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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 81
    More: Followup, public accommodations, flower shops, Human Rights Commission, legal defense, discrimination law, federal courts  
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4412 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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Archived thread
2013-04-10 12:07:12 PM
3 votes:

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 07:22:20 AM
3 votes:
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?
2013-04-10 06:23:22 AM
3 votes:
0.tqn.com
2013-04-10 01:18:28 AM
3 votes:
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?
2013-04-10 12:05:01 PM
2 votes:
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 11:58:42 AM
2 votes:

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 11:56:16 AM
2 votes:
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 11:42:36 AM
2 votes:
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?
2013-04-10 11:41:42 AM
2 votes:
Stutzman claimed that "discrimination is not the issue," but rather that she is entitled to exercise her religious conscience and that arranging flowers is an act of personal expression, and as such, any restriction on how and where she sells flowers arrangements infringes on her First Amendment right to free speech.

Then go ahead and do your personal expression on your own time; but while you are operating a business with a business license in a State that says you cannot discriminate against consumers for race/sex/orientation then you must abide by those laws. Or the State has every right to simply sue you to get it through your thick skull that your first amendment right does not trump another's first amendment right. Or they could very well take your license away from you.
2013-04-10 11:37:27 AM
2 votes:

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?


In an ideal world, I'd be right in the same boat with you. Unfortunately, it's not an ideal world and this may not be an issue the invisible hand can just solve on its own. America has entirely too many "No Irish Need Apply" signs and whites-only diners in its history---communities full of them, in fact---for me to be comfortable with the otherwise-quite-excellent "Take your business elsewhere" solution.

Granted, if they  could take their business elsewhere (and "elsewhere" isn't "the next county over"), it may not be worth the government's money and time to force this issue. But if the AG is trying to break a bad systemic pattern, then more power to him.
2013-04-10 11:35:07 AM
2 votes:
because she believed as a Christian "that marriage is between a man and a woman."

Another "christian" conservative that hasn't read the farking Bible.
2013-04-10 11:35:07 AM
2 votes:

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!


Except for the fact that occurs when you begin discriminating against those customers not simply because you want to be an asshole, but because you just don't like their skin color, or what god they pray to, or because they like cock.

The first two are against the Civil Rights act of 1966 unless it is a private club that does not do any interstate commerce. The last one is against the Civil Rights Acts of many states.
2013-04-10 11:21:58 AM
2 votes:

Spad31: 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!


Thanks for your kind words. :)

As a gay person, I see it more as a "sitting at the whites only lunch counter" thing, but that's probably because I've been the recipient of legalized anti-gay harassment for a very long time.   Any business person has a right to deny service, but when you deny service because someone is part of a class of persons that the law (passed by The People) says, "Knock off treating these people differently", then we have a problem.

Gulper Eel: One of the commenters over at the Stranger brought up a good point, which I'll paraphrase: what if your friendly local Knights of Columbus chapter president walks into your print shop wanting a bunch of anti-same-sex-marriage flyers printed, and you tell him to go shiat in a hat?

I realize the Washington law applies to public accommodation, but does a flower order for a private wedding really fall under that heading?


If I did tell them to piss up a rope because they're KoC, and there was a law specifically saying I can't deny them service for being KoC, then I would expect to be sued and have a civil rights violation slapped on me for good measure.  If, however, I denied them service for asking me to print legally-defined hate speech, I'm protected.  When I deny them because I don't like their opinion, that's when the waters get muddy.

Look at it this way:  The gay couple came to her to do flowers.  They were denied because they're gay, not because the florist didn't like their colors or choice of plant species.  There's a law that says you can't do that - nor can she deny someone because they're Freewill Four-Square Gospel Baptist and she's Freewill Four-Square Primitive Baptist, or because they're a Seekrit Ae-rabb Mooslim, or because they're black.

It may seem a subtle difference, but for people like me who have been denied service time and again for just being who we are, and treated as third-class humans (or not EVEN human) by people around us and by the law, for a long time, it's a real difference.
2013-04-10 11:18:20 AM
2 votes:
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.
2013-04-10 11:03:24 AM
2 votes:

Gulper Eel: One of the commenters over at the Stranger brought up a good point, which I'll paraphrase: what if your friendly local Knights of Columbus chapter president walks into your print shop wanting a bunch of anti-same-sex-marriage flyers printed, and you tell him to go shiat in a hat?

I realize the Washington law applies to public accommodation, but does a flower order for a private wedding really fall under that heading?


I feel as though this is one of those pick your battles wisely situations.  Denying essential services to anyone based on personal prejudice is and should be against the law and enforced by the State, flowers don't fall into that category.  Basically, this gives every Bible Thumping Bigot reason to point their finger and shout "SEE!  WE'RE BEING OPPRESSED BY THE GAYS!" with spittle flecked lips.  Not every injustice needs to be rectified by the law, sometimes it can be dealt with by going on Yelp and writing:  "This florist refused to serve us because of our sexual orientation, if you support equal rights, find another florist."
2013-04-10 10:37:29 AM
2 votes:

Benevolent Misanthrope: 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."


The People are able to see it as they choose without the state doing it for them. We don't have a situation here where gay couples are charged $2000 but straight couples get to pay $600 for the same flowers, and state would have a logical reason to step in. There are plenty of competing florists who would be delighted to take the gay couple's business. So what we have is a florist who's lost at the very least an employee two customers, and no doubt plenty more since she's earned herself a shiatload of bad press. Looks like the problem will solve itself without the state needing to ride to the rescue.

One of the commenters over at the Stranger brought up a good point, which I'll paraphrase: what if your friendly local Knights of Columbus chapter president walks into your print shop wanting a bunch of anti-same-sex-marriage flyers printed, and you tell him to go shiat in a hat?

I realize the Washington law applies to public accommodation, but does a flower order for a private wedding really fall under that heading?
2013-04-10 02:00:51 AM
2 votes:

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


You come to us gays for your wedding needs if you don't want your wedding to look like it was done by Sears and Dollar General.
2013-04-10 01:58:12 AM
2 votes:

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.


No, of course I'm not trolling. If some shopkeeper is being an asshat, just take your money somewhere else.
2013-04-10 01:36:19 AM
2 votes:

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?
2013-04-10 01:21:24 AM
2 votes:

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.
2013-04-11 06:12:39 PM
1 votes:

Deucednuisance: Just Another OC Homeless Guy: Obviously to be defined as such by some new law

IOW, "I got nuthin', aside from my fevered imagination".

That people can't (or won't) grasp that the existing statues were drafted precisely to exclude the absurdities that they continue to pointlessly raise genuinely mystifies me.


>>>Obviously to be defined as such by some new law
 
Plenty of historical precedent for that. Read a bit.

Oh, wait, you're a lib, so you don't know or care about history.

Never mind.
2013-04-11 02:19:45 PM
1 votes:
Also on the prostitution thing, specifically the gender issues, a business doesn't have to engage in the entire spectrum of that business.  A restaurant doesn't have to have a vegetarian menu.  An auto shop doesn't have to replace transmissions.  Discrimination would be based on the reason for refusal of service.

"We can't offer you same sex encounters."  "Why not?"  "We don't have any employees who are gay."
"We can't offer you a blow job."  "Why not?"  "We just don't provide that service."
"We can't sell you baked Alaska." "Why not?"  "We don't have any employees who know how to make it."
None are discrimination.

"We can't offer you same sex encounters."  "Why not?"  "Gay men are gross, if you were a lesbian, then OK."
"We can't offer you a blow job."  "Why not?"  "You're handicapped.  Go away cripple!"
 "We can't sell you baked Alaska." "Why not?"  "Because you're fat, order a salad!"
 All are discrimination.


A brothel doesn't have to offer blow jobs, or anal sex.  They would be fine saying "missionary only".
2013-04-11 12:47:51 PM
1 votes:

Deucednuisance: Just Another OC Homeless Guy: Slippery slope, indeed.  Looking forward to people getting sued by the State because they refused to strip and bend over for some gay guy who liked cut of their butt.

I look forward to your explanation of how said gay guy's randomly butt-frisking people is a "place of public accommodation".


Obviously to be defined as such by some new law (which happens all the time in many areas). Example: Legal definition of an "assault weapon" is just a tad different from what actually IS an assault weapon.
2013-04-10 10:54:21 PM
1 votes:

Gulper Eel: BarkingUnicorn: I don't see why anyone has legal recourse against her.

There is the small matter of a law written that says they do have that recourse, but the bigger questions are whether the law is constitutional and whether these kind of civil rights laws, written in an era where bigotry was far more widespread and far fewer choices of public accommodation were available to people, remains necessary as written...and if so, for how much longer.

My hunch is that both sides wouldn't mind using this as a test case.


Now to address your "bigger question..."  Yes, discrimination is less pervasive than it was in the past, and might be so even without anti-discrimination laws.  But as long as backwater towns and counties and States exist where people cannot escape discrimination without uprooting their lives and moving, the laws need to remain.  Equal protection means that the laws must apply equally throughout the laws' jurisdiction.  State laws must apply throughout a State and federal laws must apply throughout the nation.
2013-04-10 10:17:45 PM
1 votes:

TheOtherMisterP: The My Little Pony Killer: 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.

Then the laws should be changed.

Let's go the other way: could a florist refuse to provide floral service for a wedding at the Westboro Baptist Church? SHOULD they be allowed to refuse? If WBC wanted to hire any one of us for something, how would we respond?

2013-04-10 07:09:51 PM
1 votes:

ReverendJynxed: Satanic_Hamster: ReverendJynxed: Can we force kosher butchers to handle and sell pork?

Why can we force fundies to sell gay flowers and cake?

Idiot, trolling, or making a stupid/incompetent  joke?   It can be hard to tell on Fark.

Can't answer the question?


It's a stupid question, hence my question towards you.

No one is forcing anyone to change the product they sell.  And what, exactly, is a gay flower or cake.  A cake that farks other cakes?
2013-04-10 07:09:30 PM
1 votes:
I just want to say I live next door to this flowershop and I will be taking my floral business elsewhere!
2013-04-10 06:14:22 PM
1 votes:

ReverendJynxed: Can we force kosher butchers to handle and sell pork?

Why can we force fundies to sell gay flowers and cake?


Idiot, trolling, or making a stupid/incompetent  joke?   It can be hard to tell on Fark.
2013-04-10 06:13:35 PM
1 votes:

Securitywyrm: And what's so wrong with it? It's their business, they can choose who they do and don't serve. The law says that you can not discriminate on EMPLOYMENT for things such as sex, race, religion, sexual orientation, etc.

Let's look at it from the opposite end. You have a customer who is being a douche. They're not paying their bills, they're causing a scene every time, they're badmouthing you to others... but when you try to drop them as a customer they claim discrimination based on sexual orientation, something that's extremely hard to disprove once it reaches the public ear.

Simply put: The government has the authority to dictate HOW you sell your product or service. It has no business dictating to WHOM you sell your product or service. When the government dictates not only how you can sell, but to whom you can sell, it's a step towards communism.


Annnnnndddd another racist libertarian reveals himself.
2013-04-10 06:09:51 PM
1 votes:

Great Janitor: Theaetetus: Great Janitor: If I ran a hotel and I knew of a guy who frequented the place and each time he stayed he trashed the room and left his semen over the walls and television I'd refuse to let him stay...
Why shouldn't the ob-gyn be able to tell the woman to stop coming in because she's doesn't want to waste her breath on a woman who isn't listening to her for her own health...
If the owner decides that he doesn't want to serve Arabs, he should be free to do so...

[2.bp.blogspot.com image 500x375]
One of these things is not like the other, one of these things is not the same...

I am well aware that one of those is not like the other, but my point still stands, if a business owner doesn't want to do business with a member of a certain race, that should be the business owner's right.  I live near a area with a very heavy Mexican population.  There have been times when I've been in that area, stopped in to buy a coke and it was made very clear to me that I wasn't welcomed.  There was one time I was stopped at the entry way of a club one Saturday night and was told that clientele of the club was non-white and that while I wasn't being told to leave, it was heavily suggested that I wouldn't be happy at that location and it would be best if I left.


Perhaps you should leave the pointy white hat at home next time.
2013-04-10 05:07:39 PM
1 votes:

Tellingthem: There have been successful lawsuits regarding these gyms refusing to employ males, however.

Ok it kind of makes sense and it doesn't.


It's easy. Just remember: straight, white males are evil.
2013-04-10 04:58:45 PM
1 votes:
This seems sooooo wrong.   A Business should be able to refuse a customer.

What if a homosexual florist refused to give flowers to the Westboro Baptist church?  I'm sure people would be ok with that.
2013-04-10 04:52:24 PM
1 votes:
Hi there, Mr. Homosexual Florist.  I'm hosting a public reception for my new book "Why Homosexuality is a Sin in the Eyes of Our God".  We're going to need some flowers.  Oh, you don't want to?  Well, it is illegal to discriminate on religious grounds, you know.  You're running a business that is open to the public, so your own human feelings and values have no place in that, even though what you do is a passion and an art in your eyes.

Oh, also, we're doing some weddings at the First Church of Christian Puritans Who Think Gay is Yucky for Purely Religious Reasons.  You don't want to discriminate against us, do you?
2013-04-10 04:28:08 PM
1 votes:
High there, Mr. Non-Religious Building Contractor.  I'm Dave Miscavige, head of the Church of Scientology.  Even though you believe we are a criminal cult responsible for great amounts of psychological harm and even death, we need a church repaired.  because you own a business that operates publicly and not a private club, you will be our handyman this week.

Thanks for understanding, our religion is a protected class and you cannot refuse service or we'll sue you.  It's all about EQUALITY, don't you know!
2013-04-10 04:25:04 PM
1 votes:
Hi there Mr. Christian Bookstore Owner.  I'm a High Priest of the Church of Satan.  I want to buy 100 copies of your best-selling bible, and then film myself wiping my ass with the pagers, burning them, rolling cigs out of the pages, and spitting and pissing on them, while making speeches about what useless, disgusting idiots Christians are.  Because you operate a public store and not a private club, you MUST sell them to me, even though I have offended you deeply, and even though you believe you might be risking eternal damnation by doing so.

Thanks for understanding, it's all about EQUALITY and FREEDOM.  Peace be with you!
2013-04-10 04:23:41 PM
1 votes:
FTFA: "The state cannot require a florist to express appreciation for, or acceptance of gay 'marriage' any more than the state can require a musician to write a song about it, or an artist to paint a picture."

Most musicians and artists don't setup a public storefront and say, "Hey, everyone come on in and I'll write you a song / paint you a picture!" like florists do... If they did, then yes they could force them to, or at least fine/sanction them for failing to obey the damn law! If you're offering to whore out your "creative talent" to anyone with enough cash, you don't get to hide behind the "But, I'm an artist with first amendment rights!!" argument, biatch...
2013-04-10 04:16:55 PM
1 votes:

Jim DiGriz: Hmmm... Where do religious book and music stores fit in this? Should a Christian bookstore be forced to carry books from other religions? Or should they be forced to carry porn? Or both? Should a Catholic church be forced to open their doors to a Satanist cult?


Goddam it, I really wish that folks who simply cannot be bothered to understand a simple point of law would stop throwing out ridiculous strawmen that have absolutely no bearing on the subject as if they were wise scholars pointing out damning inconsistencies.

What a retail establishment chooses to stock has nothing to do with it, OK?

Criminy!
2013-04-10 04:03:47 PM
1 votes:

gerrymander: aspAddict: 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?

Or, would the AG sue a bar owner if some dude is prevented from renting a corner of a gay bar for a 'private party' -- which happens to be a loud anti-gay sermon and scripture meeting, with beer?


This is the question I need answered.
2013-04-10 03:43:47 PM
1 votes:

CapeFearCadaver: Stutzman claimed that "discrimination is not the issue," but rather that she is entitled to exercise her religious conscience and that arranging flowers is an act of personal expression, and as such, any restriction on how and where she sells flowers arrangements infringes on her First Amendment right to free speech.

Then go ahead and do your personal expression on your own time; but while you are operating a business with a business license in a State that says you cannot discriminate against consumers for race/sex/orientation then you must abide by those laws. Or the State has every right to simply sue you to get it through your thick skull that your first amendment right does not trump another's first amendment right. Or they could very well take your license away from you.


So, forced labor is okay, as long as you think the person is a bigot.  Got it.   Your "first amendment rights" include the right to force others to enter into a business agreement.  How nice for you, I wish MY first amendment rights worked that way.

Maybe we could force gay dancers and singers to perform for christian anti-gay rallies!  No religious discrimination allowed!
2013-04-10 02:42:25 PM
1 votes:
Another waste of taxpayer money here in good old Washington state. I wonder why this even surprises me any more.
2013-04-10 02:28:01 PM
1 votes:

Theaetetus: Tellingthem:
Just out of curiosity, wouldn't places like "Curves" be violating the law as ...

Surprisingly, yes. It depends on the particular state, though - as a result of some of those suits, many states amended their laws to give an exemption for health clubs.


DemDave: Tellingthem: Just out of curiosity, wouldn't places like "Curves" be violating the law as well then?

I believe the argument there is that they are private clubs instead of "public accommodations." And private clubs don't have to adhere to these laws in the same way. Think of Augusta National, Masonic organizations, etc.

There have been successful lawsuits regarding these gyms refusing to employ males, however.


Ok it kind of makes sense and it doesn't. That is where i always have trouble in trying to figure things out. On one hand with places like those that are men only or women only I really have no problem with it because it's not a big deal to me. But on the other hand it does seem like selective discrimination. I highly doubt that we would let these places get away with only allowing a certain race. If curves is women only they get a pass but white only and now they are discriminating? I'm really not sure on what seems right or fair...
2013-04-10 02:03:09 PM
1 votes:

Theaetetus: Just Another OC Homeless Guy: Gulper Eel: Benevolent Misanthrope: 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."

The People are able to see it as they choose without the state doing it for them. We don't have a situation here where gay couples are charged $2000 but straight couples get to pay $600 for the same flowers, and state would have a logical reason to step in. There are plenty of competing florists who would be delighted to take the gay couple's business. So what we have is a florist who's lost at the very least an employee two customers, and no doubt plenty more since she's earned herself a shiatload of bad press. Looks like the problem will solve itself without the state needing to ride to the rescue.

One of the commenters over at the Stranger brought up a good point, which I'll paraphrase: what if your friendly local Knights of Columbus chapter president walks into your print shop wanting a bunch of anti-same-sex-marriage flyers printed, and you tell him to go shiat in a hat?

I realize the Washington law applies to public accommodation, but does a flower order for a private wedding really fall under that heading?

Excellent point, but that would probably be considered a failure to enable "hate speech" and would therefore be totally OK.

Nope, that'd be fine. The law doesn't say "you have to serve anyone and everyone, period." It says that you can't discriminate based on: "race, creed, color, national origin, sex, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation, or the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability." There's nothing barring you from discrimination based on political belief.


Just out of curiosity, wouldn't places like "Curves" be violating the law as well then?
2013-04-10 01:43:32 PM
1 votes:

Just Another OC Homeless Guy: 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!

Slippery slope, indeed.  Looking forward to people getting sued by the State because they refused to strip and bend over for some gay guy who liked cut of their butt.


Interesting thought...

If we legalized prostitution, and can't discriminate against people based on sexual orientation, can prostitutes who are gender-selective be sued? Or would some other rules override that? (Employee protection rules, or establishment terms of service - I can get kicked out of a movie theater for talking on the phone, despite freedom of speech.)

We'd have to legalize prostitution first. You're just talking about rape, which will likely remain illegal.

Slippery slopes are usually pretty dumb, but I'll address this one:

As far as your hypothetical, I think it's mostly a matter of perspective. Anti-discrimination laws require businesses (and perhaps more importantly, government) not discriminate based on X, Y, or Z. They can still deny service for any number of other reasons, even made up ones. But when they do that, they need to not admit it.

She could easily have taken their order, discussed their needs, and then claimed that she was booked and would be too busy to do it. Recommending a competitor is a surefire way to tell a customer that you don't want to do business with them but are too polite to say so. WITHOUT breaking the law.

Business owners turn that around and complain that they're either being forced to serve people, or that they will be unable to deny service for legit reasons to people who are members of X, Y or Z group. Thing is, that's total bullshiat. If you walk into Starbucks, pee in a corner, threaten a barista, and call another customer a bunch of nasty names, it doesn't matter if you're gay, black, and in a wheelchair - you'll be asked to leave, and forced if necessary.
2013-04-10 01:42:58 PM
1 votes:

Spad31: No, of course I'm not trolling. If some shopkeeper is being an asshat, just take your money somewhere else.


This is a rational argument if you assume that all florists offer comparable goods. Maybe this specific florist has access to a type of flower another doesn't and I have my heart set on it. Or they create bouquets that are unrivaled by their competitors. Suddenly I have to settle for the second best florist (who may be far, far worse) simply because of my race/religion/etc.? If I'm forced to buy second-rate goods, then I'm a second class citizen.
2013-04-10 01:02:07 PM
1 votes:

aspAddict: 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?


Or, would the AG sue a bar owner if some dude is prevented from renting a corner of a gay bar for a 'private party' -- which happens to be a loud anti-gay sermon and scripture meeting, with beer?
2013-04-10 12:50:37 PM
1 votes:
What she should have done is accepted the contract, then delivered totally farked up and wilted arrangements to the wedding, then said, oh, sorry, here's your money back.

This whole deal is stupid and dangerous... for the protected douchbag class. Say someone is a bigoted surgeon and refuse to do a sex-change operation on you. Do you REALLY want this guy to be FORCED by the State to perform the operation? Really?

People are stupid. Including gays.
2013-04-10 12:50:36 PM
1 votes:
Submitter here...

Some background on the story: Here, in Tri Cities, these two men in a long-term relationship had bought flowers from Arlene's for years. Suddenly, when it's legal for the two men to be married here, they come in to ask their long-time florist to do the flowers for their wedding. She says she will not do it because of her "personal relationship with Jesus". Apparently Jesus told her men should not marry each other, I guess. The guys were sad and disappointed, and left, presumably to talk to other florists. One of the men mentioned it on Facebook, the press got wind of it, and stuff blew up down here. One of her employees quit over it, as well. She's still got a sign up looking for a new flower arranger as of last time I drove by. The men who were discriminated against are not pursuing this, our AG is using it as a test case. The AG did offer the florist a chance to sign something saying that she wouldn't break the law again, she has refused, and the lawyers are taking over.

Interesting fact: Sexual orientation has been a protected class for the purpose of defining discrimination since 2006.
2013-04-10 12:45:10 PM
1 votes:

Benevolent Misanthrope: Spad31: 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!

Thanks for your kind words. :)

As a gay person, I see it more as a "sitting at the whites only lunch counter" thing, but that's probably because I've been the recipient of legalized anti-gay harassment for a very long time.   Any business person has a right to deny service, but when you deny service because someone is part of a class of persons that the law (passed by The People) says, "Knock off treating these people differently", then we have a problem.

Gulper Eel: One of the commenters over at the Stranger brought up a good point, which I'll paraphrase: what if your friendly local Knights of Columbus chapter president walks into your print shop wanting a bunch of anti-same-sex-marriage flyers printed, and you tell him to go shiat in a hat?

I realize the Washington law applies to public accommodation, but does a flower order for a private wedding really fall under that heading?

If I did tell them to piss up a rope because they're KoC, and there was a law specifically saying I can't deny them service for being KoC, then I would expect to be sued and have a civil rights violation slapped on me for good measure.  If, however, I denied them service for asking me to print legally-defined hate speech, I'm protected.  When I deny them because I don't like their opinion, that's when the waters get muddy.


Look at it this way:  The gay couple came to her to do flowers.  They were denied because they're gay, not because the florist didn't like their colors or choice of plant species.  There's a law that says you can't do that - nor can she deny someone because they're Freewill Four-Square Gospel Baptist and she's Freewill Four-Square Primitive Baptist, or because they're a Seekrit Ae-rabb Mooslim, or because they're black.

It may seem a subtle difference, but for people like me who have been denied service time and again for just being who we are, and treated as third-class humans (or not EVEN human) by people around us and by the law, for a long time, it's a real difference.


>>>>people like me who have been denied service time and again for just being ....

... total douchbags?

.... morons?

What. Ever.
2013-04-10 12:39:53 PM
1 votes:
Jesus: What? I've had no relations with that woman. She's just fooling herself.
2013-04-10 12:36:52 PM
1 votes:
teenage mutant ninja rapist: 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.


No.  Sue her and drive her out of business.  "I don't like gay people" is not a legitimate, and in this case an explicitly <i>illegal</i>, reason to not want a certain customer.


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


I'm not American, dude.  And the point isn't that there are other florists.  It's that THIS florist should either stop being a bigot, or shouldn't be in business at all.  If that takes a lawsuit, so be it.
2013-04-10 12:31:06 PM
1 votes:

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 12:30:54 PM
1 votes:

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 12:24:54 PM
1 votes:
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 12:23:46 PM
1 votes:

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 12:19:59 PM
1 votes:
due to her "relationship with Jesus"

Yeah, blame it all on your Mexican boyfriend.
2013-04-10 12:18:49 PM
1 votes:
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 12:12:55 PM
1 votes:

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 12:03:24 PM
1 votes:

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 12:01:41 PM
1 votes:

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 11:59:14 AM
1 votes:

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 11:51:50 AM
1 votes:

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.
2013-04-10 11:49:16 AM
1 votes:

Voiceofreason01: BarkingUnicorn: This case is a refreshing change from the usual drill.  Normally, a gay couple would claim discrimination and the florist would claim religious freedom.  But here, the AG is claiming consumer harm and the florist is claiming free speech.

Orientation is a protected class in Washington, florist is a "place of public accommodation", florist admits to discrimination. Suit seems like a slam dunk.


Hence the constitutional claim, I suppose. Trumps state and federal laws.
2013-04-10 11:48:08 AM
1 votes:

BarkingUnicorn: This case is a refreshing change from the usual drill.  Normally, a gay couple would claim discrimination and the florist would claim religious freedom.  But here, the AG is claiming consumer harm and the florist is claiming free speech.


Orientation is a protected class in Washington, florist is a "place of public accommodation", florist admits to discrimination. Suit seems like a slam dunk.
2013-04-10 11:47:16 AM
1 votes:

Gulper Eel: I realize the Washington law applies to public accommodation, but does a flower order for a private wedding really fall under that heading?


Yes.

Seriously, you can ask that question, knowing the terminology, and not know the answer already?
2013-04-10 11:44:36 AM
1 votes:

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?


Well, you're quite wrong on the facts, Counselor.

You may want to brush up on the concept of "Places of Public Accomodation".

Unless you're going to get all hair-splitty and say you meant "Not wanting to do business with, but does anyway, because it's the law".
2013-04-10 11:43:31 AM
1 votes:

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.
2013-04-10 11:41:49 AM
1 votes:
She's screwed.

It's amazing how many people wear their bigotry on their sleeves.

She could have just stated "I'm booked, sorry", and no one would be the wiser.  But instead, she made her real objections known.

At least it's out there now, rather than seething beneath the surface.
2013-04-10 11:41:23 AM
1 votes:

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.


What if you live in a small community, and all two florists in town have a problem with gays, blacks, jews, whatever?
2013-04-10 11:39:05 AM
1 votes:
Interesting that Christianity is so full of the people who killed Jesus: scribes and pharisees.
2013-04-10 11:38:01 AM
1 votes:
The Bible clearly states that they should be executed by stoning. It doesn't say anything at all about whether they should have flowers at their weddings.
2013-04-10 11:37:06 AM
1 votes:
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.
2013-04-10 11:37:01 AM
1 votes:

Source4leko: 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?

0/10


In situations like this it is still odd to me that when a private company discriminates against a costumer why does it become a legal thing in a so called capitalist economy, why not publicly shame them, take your business elsewhere and let everyone know their policies and try to make change through hitting them in the market, especially in this day in age with the internet just let everyone know
2013-04-10 11:35:57 AM
1 votes:
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, and as such, any restriction on how and where she sells flowers arrangements infringes on her First Amendment right to free speech.

Great, lady. Arrange flowers at home, on your own time. Knock yourself out. Give the arrangements away, even. But if you're going to open a storefront, advertise, and charge for the arrangements, then you have to accommodate everyone willing to pay.
2013-04-10 11:35:53 AM
1 votes:

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?


I'm wondering that as well.  I'm pretty sure there's no US constitutional right to purchase flowers.  Maybe it's different in Washington state.

If the customer had ordered a deathshead bouquet for his metal themed wedding and the florist found it unacceptable would it be OK to sue over that one as well?
2013-04-10 11:30:45 AM
1 votes:

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?


0/10
2013-04-10 10:17:01 AM
1 votes:

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!
2013-04-10 09:37:54 AM
1 votes:

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."
2013-04-10 02:41:32 AM
1 votes:
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.
2013-04-10 01:43:46 AM
1 votes:

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.
2013-04-10 01:17:57 AM
1 votes:
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
2013-04-10 01:11:26 AM
1 votes:
Freaking out and flipping tables is a valid response.
 
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