“The refusal to sell flowers to the couple is a disturbing reminder of the unequal treatment that gay men and women have experienced over the years,” said Sarah Dunne, ACLU of Washington legal director, in a statement. “When a business serves the general public, the business owner’s religious beliefs may not be used to justify discrimination.”
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.