Target: Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson
Goal: Praise Ferguson for his suit filed against a Washington florist who refused to provide services to a gay couple because of her religious beliefs
When Curt Freed, a faculty member at Columbia Basin College, and his partner Robert Ingersoll, a manager at Goodwill, decided to tie the knot, they went to Arlene’s Flowers in Washington State to make the floral arrangements for their wedding. But when the florist, Barronelle Stutzman, refused to provide her floral services on the grounds that their marriage conflicted with her religious beliefs, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson stepped in to assist the couple.
Ferguson filed a suit against Stutzman citing her violation of Washington State law: “Under the Consumer Protection Act, it is unlawful to discriminate against customers based on sexual orientation. 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.”
Stutzman’s lawyers are fighting the suit, claiming it infringes on her right to express her religious beliefs and violates the state’s Marriage Equality law. However, Ferguson has fired right back, saying that Washington’s Marriage Equality law only applies to clergymen who refuse to perform marriages because of religious conflicts, not florists who have a “strong relationship with Jesus Christ” no matter how sincere that relationship may be.
According to Ferguson, since Stutzman isn’t covered by the Marriage Equality law, she is bound by both anti-discrimination and consumer protection laws. The courts seem to agree with him as they have repeatedly affirmed that religious belief has not nor will it ever trump state law in such matters. Help praise Ferguson for standing up against sexual discrimination by signing this petition letter.
Dear Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson,
You should be commended for your stand against sexual discrimination and for your efforts towards seeing justice is done for Curt Freed and his partner Robert Ingersoll. Nothing, not even religion, should allow one individual to discriminate against another for his sexual orientation and it is heartening to know someone with your influence is willing to stand up for what is right.
It baffles me that there are still so many in this country who feel they have a right to discriminate against others, for something they can’t help mind you, all because a book or a priest told them to. Ours is a country founded on principles of free speech and equality and those principles should apply to all regardless of their sexual orientation. By signing this petition letter, I am offering my personal praise for your efforts and encouraging you to continue fighting for sexual equality within the United States.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Flickr