Washington law prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, which applies to businesses selling goods and providing services, the ACLU statement said.
“Under the Consumer Protection Act, it is unlawful to discriminate against customers on the basis of sexual orientation,” Mr. Ferguson said in a statement on April 9. “If a business provides a product or service to opposite-sex couples for their weddings, then it must provide same-sex couples the same product or service.”
Ferguson sent a letter to Stutzman in March asking her to reconsider her decision, but her attorney said she would challenge the state action and ACLU lawsuit, Reuters reported.
Attorney Justin Bristol, who is representing Stutzman, told Reuters that his client expects a long legal fight, but she believes the cases violate her First Amendment rights.
"She is one of the few people left today willing to stand by her convictions rather than compromise her beliefs," Mr. Bristol said. "She's a very nice lady and doesn't have a discriminatory bone in her body, but she doesn't want to be forced to participate in an event that she doesn't believe in."
He told the Seattle Times, “I one hundred percent believe this is a freedom-of-expression and free-exercise-of-religion issue. What the government is saying here is that you don’t have the right to free religious exercise.”