Seattle, Wash., Feb 16, 2017 / 15:35 pm
A Washington state florist must pay fines and legal costs for conscientiously objecting to serving a same-sex wedding, as the state's supreme court upheld a lower court's decision on Thursday.
"It's wrong for the state to force any citizen to support a particular view about marriage or anything else against their will. Freedom of speech and religion aren't subject to the whim of a majority; they are constitutional guarantees," Kristin Waggoner, senior counsel with the group Alliance Defending Freedom who argued the case before the Washington Supreme Court, stated Feb. 16.
"This case is about crushing dissent. In a free America, people with differing beliefs must have room to coexist," she added.
In 2013, Barronelle Stutzman, owner of Arlene's Flowers in Richland, Wash., declined to serve the same-sex wedding of a long-time customer who had requested her service, citing her Christian religious beliefs that marriage is between one man and one woman.