Florist who refused to do flowers for gay wedding to appeal ruling that she broke law

Associated Press

A florist in Washington state who refused to provide flowers for a gay wedding plans to appeal a judge's ruling that she broke a state antidiscrimination law.

Alliance Defending Freedom says the ruling threatens the financial ruin of 70-year-old Richland florist Barronelle Stutzman, along with her business, Arlene's Flowers. The organization says it will file the appeal on her behalf.

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Benton County Superior Court Judge Alex Ekstrom on Wednesday rejected arguments that Stutzman's actions were protected by her freedoms of speech and religion.

Ekstrom says the First Amendment protects religious beliefs but not necessarily actions based on those beliefs. He also says the state has the authority to prohibit discrimination.

The florist was sued by the couple she refused as well as the state. She could be required to pay damages and legal fees.