icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

US Supreme Court refuses to hear LGBTQ rights case involving businesses that refuse to cater for same-sex weddings

US Supreme Court refuses to hear LGBTQ rights case involving businesses that refuse to cater for same-sex weddings
The US Supreme Court has passed on hearing a case that would have settled whether businesses are entitled to refuse services for same-sex marriages on religious or free speech grounds.

Declining to consider the appeal brought by a Washington state florist, the Supreme Court on Friday deferred to earlier state court rulings on the case.

In 2013, Barronelle Stutzman refused to provide flowers for the same-sex wedding of two male customers because it violated her “relationship with Jesus Christ.” The couple took her to court over the matter, and state judges ruled that she had broken a law prohibiting businesses from discriminating against people due to their sexual orientation.

The Washington Supreme Court backed that decision, by claiming that providing flowers for a marriage ceremony “does not inherently express a message about that wedding.”

The decision by America’s highest court not to take Stutzman’s appeal is the second time in recent years where the Supreme Court avoided the thorny issue of the balance between protecting individuals from discrimination and upholding rights enshrined in the Constitution.

Also on rt.com Pipeline decision splits US Supreme Court along ‘ideologically scrambled’ lines

Three years ago, the Supreme Court declined to address similar concerns when it ruled that a Colorado bakery could not be forced to create a cake for a same-sex wedding. The 7-2 decision in favor the baker only addressed the facts of his specific case, rather than the larger issue concerning religious or free speech objections to serving certain people or groups.

Prior to the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear the case, Stutzman’s lawyers argued that “these First Amendment violations must stop” and that the justices should rule that “religious people should be free to live out their beliefs.” The American Civil Liberties Union, representing Washington state, argued that providing services to same-sex marriages does infringe upon individual rights, as business owners do not have to participate in or endorse the ceremonies.

Like this story? Share it with a friend!

Dear readers and commenters,

We have implemented a new engine for our comment section. We hope the transition goes smoothly for all of you. Unfortunately, the comments made before the change have been lost due to a technical problem. We are working on restoring them, and hoping to see you fill up the comment section with new ones. You should still be able to log in to comment using your social-media profiles, but if you signed up under an RT profile before, you are invited to create a new profile with the new commenting system.

Sorry for the inconvenience, and looking forward to your future comments,

RT Team.