After hearing about all the laws states have recently passed and proposed that encourage discrimination based on sexual orientation, it's easy to get discouraged about the future of LGBT rights in this country. But the Ingersoll v. Arlene’s Flowers ruling in Washington provides a welcome break from all the anti-LGBT bills. And thankfully, Washington isn't the only state to further LGBT rights in recent years.
Arlene's Flowers had declined to provide flowers for a wedding between two men, Rob Ingersoll and Curt Freed, on the grounds that same-sex marriage went against the owner Baronnelle Stutzman's religion. Ingersoll, Freed, the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, and Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson sued Stutzman, claiming she violated Washington consumer protection and non-discrimination laws. The county court ruled last year that refusing to serve an LGBT wedding was illegal, so Stutzman took the case to the state's supreme court, which unanimously upheld the ruling on Thursday.
"If this case were about an interracial couple we wouldn’t be here today," ACLU attorney Michael Scott said at a news conference. "They’re sending a message that I think is loud and clear."
Here are several other states that have also recently sent the message that it's not OK to discriminate against someone based on their sexual orientation.