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And Washington State attorney general is filed a consumer protection action against the floors to refused to provide flowers -- same sex ceremony.
The florist told a longtime customer it's cool because of her relationship with Jesus Christ -- -- cover Seattle fox affiliate has more.
-- else Stutzman has made bouquets for hundreds of weddings but has only ever turn down one.
When he got all the way through it.
At this candidates that I am sorry that your ratings because my relationship accused.
After being denied -- Robert Ingersoll -- his partner took their story online and it quickly went viral.
The attorney general's office got wind of it and two weeks ago sent this letter to Stutzman.
Warning her that not providing flowers for the couple is a violation of the State's anti discrimination law.
There's someone who has fairly blatantly.
Denied service to gay couple because of their sexual orientation.
Don't think there's any dispute that but for the fact that they were -- she'd be happy to provide planning services.
State representative Jaime Peterson was the co sponsor of last year's gay marriage bill.
And says the legislature did debate this issue and decided to carve out an exemption for religious institutions own.
We did and specifically declined to do that for florists.
That was a feature of the campaign the opponent's.
Hand to reference and for.
Talked about that failure to exclude that exemption.
As a reason not to -- the -- the voters of the state of Washington did not agree with them.
So at this point it the lie is actually pretty straight forward.
The reason he's wrong about that is that our means flowers has had gay employees.
Had served the couple in question for years never -- a complaint.
This is not about not providing services to gay people this is about there's -- particular activity that this particular business owner was not comfortable -- Just -- back home is with the family policy institute whose group has signed on to a letter challenging the suit.
The -- attorney says he will fight the consumer protection lawsuit on the grounds that arranging flowers is an act of expression.
And any infringement on that violates her first amendment rights of free speech.
Would you compel an artist to paint a portrait.
That -- what was inconsistent with who The Who the artist what you can you wouldn't dinners and -- strong case law that's what the debate -- hashed out in court the flower shop owner is standing firm.
Just a personal convictions out of mattered here -- you -- wrong just.
In erratic Q thirteen Fox News.
The ACL US also filed a suit.
Against the florist joining us for fair and balanced debate -- civil rights and criminal attorney Ryan QB.
As well as attorney David Gibbs president of the national center for like -- liberty and president of the gives law firm.
Well as this consumer protection or freedom of speech Dave I'll start with you mean there's a clear loss here in place and florists were not given that exemption.
To make -- protests on religious grounds what does she do.
-- absolutely I believe this is a freedom of speech a constitutional violation as this law is being applied against this particular -- She clearly has the right to practice -- -- not just when she's at church but in her business and she made it clear that she would sell to them she would work with them they've been longstanding customers this is not -- Business discrimination this is the state -- Washington.
Bullying this woman I believe unconstitutionally.
In -- doing something that violates -- rights as a religious person and also violates her rights to speak as an artist when she does these flowers.
-- -- a statement and that it photographers can have free speech she should have that same freedom.
Ron how do you balance these competing interests.
Well we've been balancing them effectively.
Almost for half a century about fifty years ago there was a very broad deep and -- in America.
That given the -- commerce work.
-- it is best for everyone if people were holding themselves out to the public is providing goods and services.
Are not permitted to discriminate even on the basis of deeply held beliefs against their customers.
Liberals like that because you know we liberals we've been you know equality income by on all of that.
But conservatives like it true because you can go to the store for example and buy yourself a six pack.
-- without having to go through a checklist are you pro choice are you anti abortion -- Republican a Democrat you support the war do you oppose the war you were Christian.
I urge you were you a Mormon who is -- just yeah.
-- you're not supposed to have your nose in my business you're supposed to sell meet the product.
Now now mr.
Gibbs makes two very different points here one is that this is an expression of for religious faith.
And it may very well be but as a warrior he knows full full well for example.
That say I refuse to pay my taxes because my religious beliefs says I shouldn't support war.
And in truth I think Jesus had a lot more about war the -- about flowers that gay weddings.
Our how does that work out mr.
Gibbs when I say I refuse to pay my taxes as a matter of deep religious faith I don't.
Want to be paying for the killing of other people -- lose right.
Well I will say that you will lose as a tax -- because state law is pretty clear on taxpayers standing.
But when you're looking at a government in this case the state of Washington.
Telling this woman not just that she has to sell flowers nobody is disputing she sold them flowers for almost a decade.
But the force her to go do what violates her -- and by the way these freedoms cut in all directions I believe that a a homosexual floor should be able to say you know what I'm uncomfortable with the Muslim wedding they believe in.
The death penalty I don't want to participate in that I choose not to.
And that really the market as you said can handle this so much better is this really what we want our tax dollars the state of Washington.
Investing time and effort going after this one.
Christian woman who says you know what I feel uncomfortable.
In this special -- flower she just doesn't want to be in the ceremony.
OK bet that that's fun so it's not discrimination against gays it's discrimination against gay marriage.
-- what if she decides that today Mother's Day happy Mother's Day everybody I don't wanna stand up flowers to a lesbian mom or -- gun owning mom.
Or a mom who is supporting gun control do we really in this society.
-- to be in a position where every merchant who sells us.
Gets -- -- into our most personal and intimate religious beliefs you're gunners hold yourself out.
-- -- public is selling flowers so that day.
Flowers that's okay.
-- -- and she has sold them the flowers.
And we're not asking that people inquire what you sell a product.
If they want to take the flowers to their own wedding.
But we're sitting here just like attorneys you know -- you and I can decide whether we're gonna get involved in -- case the -- still you can decide.
Churches can decide and I think business owners should have the right to decide when they're gonna personally.
That's what others were SHI that's anonymously to religion comes it.
David I I totally respect your belief that that so as long as you recognize.
That there is.
All of law and litigation and Supreme Court decisions particularly from various conservative supreme courts that simply says you were wrong I might -- your creativity.
I love the free expression argument that that arranging flowers is a warm -- speech it's symbolic speech conveying an idea.
I mean I I I FBI think that's totally charming nice to be a -- -- for example.
And when I made my food on the grill.
I viewed it -- expressing man's.
Isolation in the universe a world without it got everybody else thought -- -- burgers and Fries and I still have servant of people.
Whether they were Christians are buddhists or Jews or Muslims are -- Because I was in the business of -- cheeseburgers that not -- My my own personal sense of creation.
Gentlemen I like how creative both -- -- -- topic today thank you very much -- and Ron will watch and see how plays out in court.
Thank you absolutely --
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