In light of yesterday’s Benton County Superior Court ruling that a Richland florist violated Washington’s Consumer Protection Act by refusing to serve a same-sex couple seeking to buy wedding flowers in 2013, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson today released the following statement:
“My primary goal has always been to bring about an end to the Defendants’ unlawful conduct and to make clear that I will not tolerate discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation,” said Ferguson.
“Before this case began, my office wrote to Ms. Stutzman, asking her to comply with state law. Had she agreed to no longer discriminate, my office would not have filed suit, and Ms. Stutzman would not have paid any costs, fees or penalties.
“After lengthy proceedings, the court has ruled, the law is clear, and the state prevailed on all counts.
“Today, I am prepared to settle this matter for a penalty of $2,000 under the Consumer Protection Act, a $1 payment for costs and fees, an agreement not to discriminate in the future, and an end to further litigation.
Ignoring that the AG's summary of the facts ('refusing to serve a same-sex couple seeking to buy wedding flowers') is wrong, we wonder if the oath of office he took contained a pledge to defend the U.S. Constitution? Which includes the words, 'Congress shall make no law...prohibiting the free exercise of religion.'“I have asked my legal team to craft and present a formal settlement offer to the defendants including these elements.”