The U.S. Supreme Court Monday lifted a lower court order finding a Christian florist violated Washington state law when she refused to create a floral arrangement for a same-sex marriage.
The ruling was not a decision on the merits of the dispute. Rather, the justices lifted the Washington Supreme Court’s decision and ordered them to reconsider the case in light of their ruling in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, a much-watched religious liberty dispute the high court decided on June 4.
Like all orders of this nature, the decision was unsigned.
The case was occasioned when the Washington Attorney General brought an anti-discrimination case against a 72-year-old florist named Barronelle Stutzman, who declined to create a wedding arrangement for two longtime gay patrons.
“The U.S. Supreme Court has rightfully asked the Washington Supreme Court to reconsider Barronelle’s case in light of the Masterpiece Cakeshop decision,” said Stutzman lawyer Kristen Waggoner of the Alliance Defending Freedom. “In that ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court denounced government hostility toward the religious beliefs about marriage held by creative professionals like Jack and Barronelle. The state of Washington, acting through its attorney general, has shown similar hostility here.”
Waggoner was also lead counsel for Jack Phillips, the Christian baker at issue in the Masterpiece case.
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