Follow us:

Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

April 17, 2013 at 11:31 AM

Richland florist refuses sale to gay couple

Florist had the right to refuse service

The Washington Attorney General’s Office is suing the owner of Arlene’s Flowers in Richland for refusing to provide wedding flowers for a same-sex marriage. (AP Photo/Tri-City Herald, Bob Brawdy)

The Washington Attorney General’s Office is suing the owner of Arlene’s Flowers in Richland for refusing to provide wedding flowers for a same-sex marriage. (AP Photo/Tri-City Herald, Bob Brawdy)

Compelling a florist to prepare flowers for a same-sex marriage is not a principled stance [“State sues Richland florist over gay wedding,” NWWednesday, April 10].Let’s turn this around and imagine a gay caterer who is asked to provide food at a minister’s conference about preaching against homosexuality. Should he be compelled to do this? Of course not.

Maids, midwives, florists, caterers, piano tuners and massage therapists are not required to provide their services in a private setting where they do not feel comfortable. They may or may not be in the right morally, but they are not breaking the law.

Lara Updike, Bothell

Will case be taken to the Supreme Court?

As a business open to the public, state law prohibiting discrimination in places of public accommodation requires the florist to provide services without regard to sexual orientation [“State sues Richland florist over gay wedding,” NWWednesday, April 10]. The attorney general has both the authority and responsibility to uphold this law.

The florist’s attorney has argued that creative expression is protected by the First Amendment under the free-speech umbrella and that the state cannot compel a painter to paint, a singer to sing, or a floral designer to arrange flowers, because the U.S. Constitution trumps state law. I find that to be a compelling argument and one that could ultimately land this case before the U.S. Supreme Court. This is one to watch.

Rob Sargent, Newcastle

0 Comments | More in Gay marriage, Gay rights

COMMENTS

READER NOTE: Our commenting system has changed. Find out more.

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.


Advertising
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►