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(The Stranger)   Washington state has filed a lawsuit against the florist who refused to do the flowers for a gay wedding due to her "relationship with Jesus". WWJD, indeed?   (slog.thestranger.com) divider line 273
    More: Followup, public accommodations, flower shops, Human Rights Commission, legal defense, discrimination law, federal courts  
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4423 clicks; posted to Main » on 10 Apr 2013 at 11:28 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-04-10 11:52:32 AM  
What the law calls people in one sided "relationship"? stalker.
 
2013-04-10 11:56:07 AM  
I've seen this sign in plenty of businesses:

"We reserve the right to deny service to anyone for any reason."

Leave it at that. Don't specify the reason.

Of course, now the flower shop has been given free advertising to those who might share those views...
 
2013-04-10 11:56:15 AM  
Did they cite Directive 10-289?
 
2013-04-10 11:56:16 AM  
If your relationship with Jesus is what's preventing you from acting like a decent person to other people, then you've obviously missed the entire point of including Jesus in the bible.
 
2013-04-10 11:56:41 AM  
*checks TFA, confirms it's 2 gay guys*...okay, how do these two not have a dozen gay florist friends to choose from? Seriously. I live in Tennessee and even I know several gay florists.
 
2013-04-10 11:57:05 AM  

Spad31: Gays aren't anything special. A business person not wanting to do business with someone because of their beliefs happens all the time. Why would anyone give a shiat?


What they are doing actually is illegal in the state of Washington.
 
2013-04-10 11:58:09 AM  

Spad31: Benevolent, just so we're clear love, I understand your point and agree. I just don't have the ability to make someone not be an asshole if they've decided they're going to be. no one does. The only thing I can do is take my business somewhere else, go try to continue having a good day and maybe get laid. Then a sammich or something.


No, you don't silently ignore it and hope the problem goes away when somebody acts like an asshat.  Doubly so when their asshattery happens to be illegal in your state, which this is.
 
2013-04-10 11:58:42 AM  

Spad31: Benevolent Misanthrope: Spad31: Benevolent, just so we're clear love, I understand your point and agree. I just don't have the ability to make someone not be an asshole if they've decided they're going to be. no one does. The only thing I can do is take my business somewhere else, go try to continue having a good day and maybe get laid. Then a sammich or something.

You can't stop them, true, and neither can I.  But the State AG, acting on behalf of The People, can tell her, "Hey - knock it the fark off.  The People don't see that as acceptable behavior, and they've passed laws saying that.  You're being an asshole.  Quit it."

I'm glad you read and responded. Waited all day for it. ;)  I truly wasn't trolling you, you know. You've been here long enough that you're noticed and appreciated.

I'm still not convinced the AG has any ground to tell anyone what sort of customers they want to do business with. If some ass doesn't like a particular person, they don't have to do business with them. The customer isn't obligated in any way to give said ass money. They (the asshole) don't have to "quit it" because someone got their feelings hurt. Yes, that is a slippery slope...where do you draw the line? I'm of the mind we have too many folks worrying about too many things as it is and not enough just actual responsibility. But, I'm old and cranky, so there you go. Have a great day!


Which is we should ban all Christians from our stores. They are a hateful, bigoted peoples who destroy family values!
 
2013-04-10 11:59:14 AM  

Spad31: Gays aren't anything special. A business person not wanting to do business with someone because of their beliefs happens all the time. Why would anyone give a shiat?


Because it's against the anti-discrimination laws of the State.  The AG in Maryland has also indicated that he will go after any business refusing to provide services to people on grounds of sexual orientation.  We've actually had several prominent wedding-related businesses shut their doors after the referendum passed last November.
 
2013-04-10 11:59:36 AM  

Mr. Eugenides: Maybe it's different in Washington state.


Yes, it is.   In fact, it's illegal for businesses to deny service based on gender,race,sexual orientation, that sort of thing.  It IS a big deal.
 
2013-04-10 12:00:31 PM  

Jim DiGriz: "We reserve the right to deny service to anyone for any reason."


States are different with different laws pertaining to business licenses. In my State when I was bartending, I didn't have a right to refuse service to anyone because of their color, gender, or orientation; though I had a right to refuse service to someone who was being an asshole.
 
2013-04-10 12:00:39 PM  

Gulper Eel: If she wants to put herself out of business by sticking to her Christian beliefs, that's her choice. I'm sure her gay-friendly competition is cool with it too...so what's the state doing getting involved, besides pandering?


The state is there to enforce the law that the florist happens to be breaking with her asshattery.  The state has every right to get involved.
 
2013-04-10 12:01:41 PM  

Spad31: Gays aren't anything special. A business person not wanting to do business with someone because of their beliefs happens all the time.


Does it?
 
2013-04-10 12:02:08 PM  

TheOtherMisterP: I'm with the florist on this.

Wedding flowers are a big thing. It's not like the happy couple goes into Sears and walks out with a lawn mower. They become clients of the florist, who has to go to the location and work closely with them. Privately owned businesses should be able to choose who they take on as clients, for whatever reason. And yes, that means they should be free to be homophobic or racist or whatever. Let the market take care of them after.


The residents of Washington State disagree with you, as our laws (you know, the entire reason the AG is involved in the first place?) state that people CANNOT deny business based on their personal feelings.
 
2013-04-10 12:03:24 PM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: Spad31: Gays aren't anything special. A business person not wanting to do business with someone because of their beliefs happens all the time. Why would anyone give a shiat?

Substitute "Jews" or "Blacks" for gays.


Not sure what the laws in WA are, but some factors (usually including color and religion) are legally proscribed as a basis of discrimination. Often sexual preference is not, though again, I'm not sure about WA.

Of course, either way, this guy didn't have to announce his reason; it would have been easy to claim a schedule conflict and still protect his non-gay preference without drawing attention to him/herself, so the whole thing smacks of attention whoredom.
 
2013-04-10 12:05:01 PM  
Interesting how many of the arguments here sound exactly like the ones made in the 1960s regarding racial integration. Just like the arguments against gays in the military mirrored the arguments against allowing blacks to serve with whites.
 
2013-04-10 12:05:13 PM  

CapeFearCadaver: Jim DiGriz: "We reserve the right to deny service to anyone for any reason."

States are different with different laws pertaining to business licenses. In my State when I was bartending, I didn't have a right to refuse service to anyone because of their color, gender, or orientation; though I had a right to refuse service to someone who was being an asshole.


This. And I think it has to be pretty obvious that you're refusing service to the person b/c of their color, gender, etc. etc. (such as the lady in TFA, who spells it out clear as a "Whites Only" sign).
 
2013-04-10 12:05:57 PM  

aspAddict: Yeah, like no one saw this coming.

Business owner: I reserve the right to not do business with someone.
Lawyers: Well, yeah...
Business owner: ...including gays...
Lawyers: Get the pitchforks...

Would the AG sue a Muslim shop owner who refused to do business with someone wearing an "I LOVE BACON" shirt, or would the pork-eater be labelled as "insensitive" for having the NERVE to set foot in the Muslim shop?


Short answer: Yes.
Long answer: Yeeeessssss.
 
2013-04-10 12:06:05 PM  

Jim DiGriz: I've seen this sign in plenty of businesses:

"We reserve the right to deny service to anyone for any reason."

Leave it at that. Don't specify the reason.

Of course, now the flower shop has been given free advertising to those who might share those views...


Assuming she's able to stay in business after the AG is done with her bigoted ass.
 
2013-04-10 12:06:18 PM  

Spad31: Gays aren't anything special. A business person not wanting to do business with someone because of their beliefs happens all the time. Why would anyone give a shiat?


Apparently they want to be "more" special.

Honestly was that the only florist in the area? Really?
 
2013-04-10 12:06:37 PM  

Hickory-smoked: Spad31: Gays aren't anything special. A business person not wanting to do business with someone because of their beliefs happens all the time.

Does it?


Probably, just not in ways that are obvious: 'Oh, I'm sorry, we're booked that weekend.' - and nobody would ever know.
 
2013-04-10 12:07:12 PM  

kid_icarus: *checks TFA, confirms it's 2 gay guys*...okay, how do these two not have a dozen gay florist friends to choose from? Seriously. I live in Tennessee and even I know several gay florists.


That isn't the point and it isn't the couple that's suing, it's the State's Attorney General. Besides that's like saying, "why do they need to stay in this hotel, there's a perfectly good one down the road". "Why do you need to drink from this water fountain, there's a perfectly good one down that hall". "Why do you need to sit in this seat, there are perfectly good ones at the back of the bus".....this kind of discrimination is wrong and should not be tolerated and more important in the State of Washington it is illegal.
 
2013-04-10 12:08:47 PM  

socoloco: Spad31: Gays aren't anything special. A business person not wanting to do business with someone because of their beliefs happens all the time. Why would anyone give a shiat?

Apparently they want to be "more" special.

Honestly was that the only florist in the area? Really?


It doesn't matter if that was the only florist in the area or if they had a florist on every corner to choose from. They chose her business, she chose to refuse them because of their protected status.  AG has every right to lay the smackdown on people who refuse to follow laws, even if their reasoning amounts to "but this thing I think I read once."
 
2013-04-10 12:12:16 PM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: Spad31: Benevolent Misanthrope: Spad31: Gays aren't anything special. A business person not wanting to do business with someone because of their beliefs happens all the time. Why would anyone give a shiat?

Substitute "Jews" or "Blacks" for gays.

Uh, okay. Blacks or Jews aren't special. Just go spend your money somewhere else. Easy. Again, why would anyone give a shiat?

So you would be cool with a business owner refusing to serve someone because they were black?


That's the belief system they choose!
 
2013-04-10 12:12:49 PM  

CapeFearCadaver: Jim DiGriz: "We reserve the right to deny service to anyone for any reason."

States are different with different laws pertaining to business licenses. In my State when I was bartending, I didn't have a right to refuse service to anyone because of their color, gender, or orientation; though I had a right to refuse service to someone who was being an asshole.


I think of it the same way Major League Baseball says you can't even describe a Major League Baseball game without their written authorization. They can say they reserve the right to enter your home and take all the beer out of your fridge, but it doesn't make it so.
 
2013-04-10 12:12:55 PM  

Spad31: Gays aren't anything special. A business person not wanting to do business with someone because of their beliefs happens all the time.


It does happen all the time, but most business owners aren't dumb enough to state a reason and publicly stick by it. The florist wants the fight, and they are getting it.

We're not talkin' rocket surgery here, the florist could have easily said "We're unavailable".. It's the same old derp that the right wing nutballs have been pulling for 20+ years:

1. Publicly say "We don't like teh Ghey."
2. Talk  about free speech.
3. Get all whiney when the boycott is formed. then complain/ try to take away the free speech that is a boycott.
4. Come out with a "why is everybody pickin' on lil old me" statement.
5. Make enough noise so that Coulter or Beck talk about your story and business booms for 3 days.
6. Watch business fail, as only an ignoramus would make such a ridiculous business decision like excluding gays from buying flowers.
7. Blame libtards and the lamestream media.
8. Quietly apply for unemployment and every other "entitlement" under the sun.
9. Buy markers and poster board with taxpayer money.
10. Hold poorly spelled sign at Tea Party rally.
 
2013-04-10 12:13:37 PM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: iamrex... Paging iamrex to the white courtesy phone...

Why is anyone surprised by this?  It's always been this way for us queers - if you want flowers, wedding cake, whatever - you go to a gay-owned business.  To avoid this very thing.

/Relatioship with a human o the same gender = Bad
//Relationship with 2,000-year-old invisible zombie = A-OK


HOW DARE YOU QUESTION GOD! you dirty little heritic you will be sent to the pit to burn for all time.
//Foster watches you!
 
2013-04-10 12:14:28 PM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: Spad31: Benevolent Misanthrope: Spad31: Gays aren't anything special. A business person not wanting to do business with someone because of their beliefs happens all the time. Why would anyone give a shiat?

Substitute "Jews" or "Blacks" for gays.

Uh, okay. Blacks or Jews aren't special. Just go spend your money somewhere else. Easy. Again, why would anyone give a shiat?

So you would be cool with a business owner refusing to serve someone because they were black?  Really?   Okay, now I know for sure you're trolling.  Got me.


Being 'cool'   ≠ legally agreeing. I think that's where the disconnect is when it comes to these types of arguments.

This is a private business and they have the 'right' to sell or not sell to anyone they so chooses. You can disagree and think they are a total douche but as Americans still have to stand up for their 'rights' lest you become a hypocrite yourself.

This case is basically akin to what Voltaire said.
 
2013-04-10 12:15:15 PM  

show me: Well, how about this then: Since the Religious Right consider homosexuality to be a mental illness which can be cured, I think this would fall under the ADA, discriminating against someone with a disability.


Ok i like this one here, we have a starting point.
 
2013-04-10 12:17:12 PM  

The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves: I think of it the same way Major League Baseball says you can't even describe a Major League Baseball game without their written authorization. They can say they reserve the right to enter your home and take all the beer out of your fridge, but it doesn't make it so.


If the MLB came into my home and took my beer... does that count as a Stand Your Ground defense when I shoot them?
 
2013-04-10 12:18:49 PM  
But instead of agreeing to the terms, attorneys for Stutzman fired back their own missiveto state lawyers yesterday that appeared to lay out the crux of their legal defense. Stutzman claimed that "discrimination is not the issue," but rather that she is entitled to exercise her religious conscience and thatarranging flowers is an act of personal expression,"

Sure, seems reasonable...

"and as such, any restriction on how and where she sells flowers arrangements infringes on her First Amendment right to free speech."

Not so much. You're free to privately arrange your flowers any way you want. This isn't about your free speech, it's about your commercial enterprise.

Additionally, the law is content-neutral. You can arrange them to look pretty, you can arrange them to look like ass. You can use roses, daisies, or farkin' cactuses. The law doesn't care. It's only concerned when you discriminate against a protected class in commerce.
 
2013-04-10 12:19:01 PM  

Hickory-smoked: Spad31: Gays aren't anything special. A business person not wanting to do business with someone because of their beliefs happens all the time.

Does it?


Yes it does
 
2013-04-10 12:19:59 PM  
due to her "relationship with Jesus"

Yeah, blame it all on your Mexican boyfriend.
 
2013-04-10 12:20:26 PM  

CapeFearCadaver: Jim DiGriz: "We reserve the right to deny service to anyone for any reason."

States are different with different laws pertaining to business licenses. In my State when I was bartending, I didn't have a right to refuse service to anyone because of their color, gender, or orientation; though I had a right to refuse service to someone who was being an asshole.


To the utter disappointment of Farkers everywhere, assholes are not a protected class.
 
2013-04-10 12:22:00 PM  

Thorak: number8: Why would you want to give your business, your money, to someone that hates you? I'd rather know someone hates me so I can take my business elsewhere. And even if I'm not part of the group being denied service, I'd rather know the owner is a complete ahole, so I don't give them my money in protest.

Nobody's really suggesting that the florist should be forced to provide flowers for gay weddings against her will.  They're suggesting that she should be sued for the civil rights abuses her bigotry pushes her into, and that such lawsuits will hopefully drive her out of business completely.

I don't understand this idea that "the market" should fix it.  It seems like a backwards attempt to justify bigotry by hoping that there's enough bigots out there to keep these businesses afloat.


So what. I mean really bigots are everywhere. This woman doesnt want a customer for whatever reason than so what.
what are you gonna do put a gun to her and make her do some flowers.

Im sure lots of other florists would like to take the couples business.

you americans and your lawyers sheesh. It would be comical if it wasnt so sad. Most other places the proper response would be "well fark you to buddy" and that would be the end of it
 
2013-04-10 12:22:52 PM  
"We're booked. No chance until later."

/was that so hard?
 
2013-04-10 12:23:46 PM  

Theaetetus: To the utter disappointment of Farkers everywhere, assholes are not a protected class.


I think we've just figured out where the victim complex of old christian white men stems from....
 
2013-04-10 12:24:44 PM  

CapeFearCadaver: but while you are operating a business with a business license


Which brings up the question of why a florist would need to be licensed. For what - so they don't make a flower arrangement out of giant hogweed?
 
2013-04-10 12:24:54 PM  
SuperNinjaToad:
This is a private business and they have the 'right' to sell or not sell to anyone they so chooses.


No they don't. As an example if you run a business that is open to the public you cannot legally refuse to sell to someone because of their religion, race, sex, nation of origin, age, and in the State of Washington sexual orientation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protected_class
 
2013-04-10 12:26:17 PM  

This text is now purple: Benevolent Misanthrope: if you want flowers, wedding cake, whatever - you go to a gay-owned business

Wait, let me get this right: you mean to tell me there are straight florists?


They're female.
 
2013-04-10 12:27:11 PM  

Duke_leto_Atredes: Benevolent Misanthrope: iamrex... Paging iamrex to the white courtesy phone...

Why is anyone surprised by this?  It's always been this way for us queers - if you want flowers, wedding cake, whatever - you go to a gay-owned business.  To avoid this very thing.

/Relatioship with a human o the same gender = Bad
//Relationship with 2,000-year-old invisible zombie = A-OK

HOW DARE YOU QUESTION GOD! you dirty little heritic you will be sent to the pit to burn for all time.
//Foster watches you!


Meh, Heaven for climate, hell for company.  I was already headed there anyway for kissin' girls.
 
2013-04-10 12:29:22 PM  

Spad31: Gays aren't anything special. A business person not wanting to do business with someone because of their beliefs happens all the time. Why would anyone give a shiat?


Why indeed? Get over it and find another florist.

When are they gonna set up the re-education camps?
 
2013-04-10 12:29:28 PM  

teenage mutant ninja rapist: Thorak: number8: Why would you want to give your business, your money, to someone that hates you? I'd rather know someone hates me so I can take my business elsewhere. And even if I'm not part of the group being denied service, I'd rather know the owner is a complete ahole, so I don't give them my money in protest.

Nobody's really suggesting that the florist should be forced to provide flowers for gay weddings against her will.  They're suggesting that she should be sued for the civil rights abuses her bigotry pushes her into, and that such lawsuits will hopefully drive her out of business completely.

I don't understand this idea that "the market" should fix it.  It seems like a backwards attempt to justify bigotry by hoping that there's enough bigots out there to keep these businesses afloat.

So what. I mean really bigots are everywhere. This woman doesnt want a customer for whatever reason than so what.
what are you gonna do put a gun to her and make her do some flowers.

Im sure lots of other florists would like to take the couples business.

you americans and your lawyers sheesh. It would be comical if it wasnt so sad. Most other places the proper response would be "well fark you to buddy" and that would be the end of it


The problem is that we (the US) have a history of a large region of the country acting like this for generations, and making life miserable for a large percentage of the population as a result.

The process of fixing the segregated South created a whole infrastructure of laws and procedures that is easily repurposed to deal with other types of discrimination. Now there's precedent for using the law to make everyone play nicely.
 
2013-04-10 12:30:54 PM  

jshine: Benevolent Misanthrope: Spad31: Gays aren't anything special. A business person not wanting to do business with someone because of their beliefs happens all the time. Why would anyone give a shiat?

Substitute "Jews" or "Blacks" for gays.

Not sure what the laws in WA are, but some factors (usually including color and religion) are legally proscribed as a basis of discrimination. Often sexual preference is not, though again, I'm not sure about WA.


It's against the law in WA.  IMHO, she deserves public shaming AND a lawsuit.
 
2013-04-10 12:31:06 PM  

Spad31: Benevolent Misanthrope: Spad31: Gays aren't anything special. A business person not wanting to do business with someone because of their beliefs happens all the time. Why would anyone give a shiat?

Substitute "Jews" or "Blacks" for gays.

Uh, okay. Blacks or Jews aren't special. Just go spend your money somewhere else. Easy. Again, why would anyone give a shiat?


You are obviously a racist and a Nazi.
 
2013-04-10 12:32:01 PM  
teenage mutant ninja rapist:
you americans and your lawyers sheesh. It would be comical if it wasnt so sad. Most other places the proper response would be "well fark you to buddy" and that would be the end of it

a three minute internet search suggests that Alberta has far more strict discrimination laws than Washington
 
2013-04-10 12:35:12 PM  

DemDave: Mr. Eugenides: I'm wondering that as well.  I'm pretty sure there's no US constitutional right to purchase flowers.

The Federal Civil Rights Act has been upheld as constitutional and guarantees all people the right to "full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation, without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin."

A florist is considered a "place of public accommodation" because it sells flowers to the general public. So while you don't have a constitutional right to purchase flowers, you have a right to not be denied flowers (that are otherwise available to be sold to the general public) for any of the reasons listed above. Interestingly, that doesn't expressly include gender or sexuality.

Not saying I necessarily agree or disagree with the law. Just reporting how I understand it to work.


As I understand it: religion and race are suspect classes with laws regarding them subject to a strict scrutiny test.  That's why the Civil Rights Act has been upheld and it's illegal, nationwide, to refuse service to someone on account of race or religion.  Sexual orientation laws have reached various levels of scrutiny in various courts and local laws but nothing as definitive or widespread as race or religion in the Civil Rights Act and subsequent court cases.  This court case could nudge the law in the right direction but as of now, it's mostly legal to discriminate against people on account of sexual orientation.
 
2013-04-10 12:35:31 PM  
But it's perfectly OK for Washington state-licensed pharmacists to use their Bibles as medical textbooks, amiright?

Makes no sense at all.
 
2013-04-10 12:35:58 PM  

teenage mutant ninja rapist: Thorak: number8: Why would you want to give your business, your money, to someone that hates you? I'd rather know someone hates me so I can take my business elsewhere. And even if I'm not part of the group being denied service, I'd rather know the owner is a complete ahole, so I don't give them my money in protest.

Nobody's really suggesting that the florist should be forced to provide flowers for gay weddings against her will.  They're suggesting that she should be sued for the civil rights abuses her bigotry pushes her into, and that such lawsuits will hopefully drive her out of business completely.

I don't understand this idea that "the market" should fix it.  It seems like a backwards attempt to justify bigotry by hoping that there's enough bigots out there to keep these businesses afloat.

So what. I mean really bigots are everywhere. This woman doesnt want a customer for whatever reason than so what.
what are you gonna do put a gun to her and make her do some flowers.

Im sure lots of other florists would like to take the couples business.

you americans and your lawyers sheesh. It would be comical if it wasnt so sad. Most other places the proper response would be "well fark you to buddy" and that would be the end of it


In most other places, the florist probably wouldn't be breaking state law.  She's in Washington state and breaking state law.
 
2013-04-10 12:36:17 PM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: Spad31: Benevolent Misanthrope: Spad31: Gays aren't anything special. A business person not wanting to do business with someone because of their beliefs happens all the time. Why would anyone give a shiat?

Substitute "Jews" or "Blacks" for gays.

Uh, okay. Blacks or Jews aren't special. Just go spend your money somewhere else. Easy. Again, why would anyone give a shiat?

So you would be cool with a business owner refusing to serve someone because they were black?  Really?   Okay, now I know for sure you're trolling.  Got me.


I'm a Person of Pallor. Several years ago I went on a job interview at a company owned by a Person of Color, and where all the employees were also Persons of Color. I fit the technical aspects of the job to a tee, but didn't get it, as the owner apologetically told me, "Sorry, legally I couldn't specify "no whites" in the ad, but you would just not fit in here."  And rather than spend my time in he-said-he-said legal bullshiat, I thanked him for his candor, went out and found another job.

Seriously, people, grow up.
 
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