Discrimination trial of Richland florist advances

RICHLAND — The trial of a Richland florist who refused to provide flowers for a gay wedding is still on track.

The Tri-City Herald reported that a Benton County judge struck down pretrial motions Wednesday from both sides.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson is suing the owner of Arlene’s Flowers, Barronelle Stutzman, for what the state says is a violation of the Consumer Protection Act. That lawsuit seeks a court order barring her from discriminating. A trial date has not yet been set.

Stutzman told a long-time customer last March she would not provide flowers for a same-sex marriage because it was against her religious beliefs.

Stutzman also is being sued by the American Civil Liberties Union. And a group called the Alliance Defending Freedom filed a lawsuit on behalf of Stutzman.

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