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US high court turns down case of same-sex couple vs florist

/ 07:24 AM June 26, 2018

In this file photo taken on June 26, 2015 a rainb,ow flag is flown outside the Supreme Court in Washington, DC. The US Supreme Court on June 25, 2018, ordered a lower court to reconsider the case against a Washington state florist who was fined for refusing to sell flowers for a same-sex wedding on religious grounds. The decision follows the top US court’s June 4 ruling in favor of a Colorado baker who had been found guilty of discrimination for refusing to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple on the basis of his Christian beliefs. AFP

WASHINGTON, United States – The US Supreme Court on Monday ordered a lower court to reconsider the case against a Washington state florist who was fined for refusing to sell flowers for a same-sex wedding on religious grounds.

The decision follows the top US court’s June 4 ruling in favor of a Colorado baker who had been found guilty of discrimination for refusing to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple on the basis of his Christian beliefs.

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The top US court sent the case — involving florist Barronelle Stutzman, who said her Christian convictions barred her from selling a wedding floral arrangement to a same-sex couple — back to the Washington state supreme court for further consideration.

“Great news for freedom today!” said the Alliance Defending Freedom, which backs the florist in the case.

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In refusing to take the case the US Supreme Court showed its reluctance to wade into a divisive social issue — how to balance the need of merchants to serve all clients equally with a respect for their deeply held religious beliefs.

On June 4, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Colorado baker whose religious beliefs, the court said, had been treated with “clear and impermissible hostility” by the state’s Civil Rights Commission for refusing to prepare a cake for a same-sex couple.

However that was a narrow procedural ruling, and it did not definitively rule on whether a business can decline to serve same-sex couples based on religious views. /cbb

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TAGS: Christian, Colorado, florist, LGBT, news, Religion, same sex marriage, US Supreme Court
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