The Supreme Court of the United States’ decided to send the case of Arlene’s Flowers v. Washington back to the lower court for reconsideration. In the case, filed by the ACLU, the Washington State Supreme Court had found that Arlene’s Flowers clearly violated the state’s non-discrimination law when refusing to provide floral arrangements to a gay couple because of the owner’s personal religious beliefs.
Washington is one of 20 states that provide clear protections against discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations on the basis of both sexual orientation and gender identity.
“The Supreme Court has simply asked the lower court to take another look at this case in light of their recent decision in Masterpiece, but they did not indicate there was anything wrong with the ruling,” said HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow. “In Masterpiece, the Supreme Court found that the state of Colorado’s enforcement of its civil rights law was flawed due to perceived bias in the process, however, there is no indication that there were flaws in the application of civil rights law in Arlene’s Flowers. We view this decision as encouraging news that justice will prevail and the Washington State Supreme Court will again uphold the state’s non-discrimination laws ensuring LGBTQ people cannot be turned away from a business open to the public.”