Via the Associated Press:
A judge has ruled that a florist in Washington state who refused to provide flowers to a gay couple for their wedding violated state consumer protection and anti-discrimination law. In an opinion Wednesday, Benton County Superior Court Judge Alex Ekstrom rejected arguments from the owner of Arlene’s Flowers in Richland that her actions were protected by her religious freedom. He said that while religious beliefs are protected by the First Amendment, actions based on those beliefs aren’t necessarily. Courts have long held that lawmakers can prohibit discriminatory conduct, and the judge said florist Barronelle Stutzman broke the law when she refused to sell flowers for a same-sex wedding in 2013. Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson and the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington welcomed the ruling.
The wailing has already begun at World Net Daily:
A judge in Washington on Wednesday authorized the “personal ruin” for a florist whose Christian faith prevented her from promoting a same-sex “marriage” and was sued by both the state and the homosexuals. Officials with the Alliance Defending Freedom confirmed that Benton County Superior Court Judge Alex Ekstrom granted a summary judgment in the case against Barronelle Stutzman, so the case won’t proceed to trial now. It had been scheduled for March 23. It was Ekstrom who said last month that Stutzman personally was liable for the claims against her, placing both her business assets and her home and savings at risk. The judge ordered that the state and the homosexuals, who each filed lawsuits, could collect damages and attorneys’ fees from Stutzman. “The message of these rulings is unmistakable: the government will bring about your personal and professional ruin if you don’t help celebrate same-sex marriage,” said ADF Senior Counsel Kristen Waggoner.
What was that we were just saying about the track record of Alliance Defending Freedom?