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Business leaders want Washington Supreme Court to uphold ruling against Arlene's Flowers

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SEATTLE, WA - Fourteen businesses and four trade associations including Amazon, Microsoft, Expedia, and Group Health Cooperative submitted a friend-of-the-court brief asking the Washington Supreme Court to uphold a ruling in the Arlene's Flowers case.

A Benton County Superior Court judge ruled in 2015 that the service refusal to a same-sex couple based on the florist’s religious beliefs violates the Washington Law Against Discrimination and the Washington Consumer Protection Act.

The brief was prepared by attorneys Leonard Feldman at Peterson Wampold Rosato, Luna Knopp and Jamila Johnson at Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt. 

Washington Supreme Court to hear Arlene's Flowers case

In the brief they describe economic harms that would be caused by sanctioning discrimination against LGBT people, such as making it difficult for Washington businesses to recruit and retain the best employee talent to compete effectively in a national and global economy. 

They also point out that allowing businesses to refuse service because of religious beliefs could subject other individuals to discrimination based on gender, race, and ethnicity as well as sexual orientation.

The owner of Arlene's Flowers, Barronelle Stutzman, and her attorneys appealed the Benton County court’s ruling to the state Supreme Court.