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Florist in Washington state fined for refusing to serve same-sex wedding

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A judge in Washington state on Friday fined a florist $1,000 after she refused to sell flower arrangements for a gay couple’s wedding, officials said.

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who along with the couple — Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed — sued florist Barronelle Stutzman in 2013, applauded the ruling in a statement.

“My primary goal has always been to end illegal discrimination,” Ferguson said. “I’m pleased that today’s ruling clearly prohibits discrimination against same-sex couples.”

Benton County Superior Court Judge Alexander Ekstrom’s order on Friday also bars Stutzman and her Richland shop, Arlene’s Flowers, from offering goods or services to straight couples that aren’t also made available to same-sex couples, the statement said.

Stutzman was also required to pay $1 in court fees.

Ingersoll and Freed were longtime customers of Stutzman’s, and asked her to provide decorations for their wedding two years ago, following the state’s legalization of same-sex marriage.

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Stutzman maintained that her Christian beliefs prevented her from selling flowers for the wedding, citing “(her) relationship with Jesus Christ,” according to court documents.

Last month, Benton County Superior Court Judge Alexander Ekstrom ruled in a 60-page opinion that Stutzman violated the state’s Consumer Protection Act by refusing to service the wedding.

(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Michael Perry)

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
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Chuck Todd goes ballistic on AOC for using ‘concentration camps’ – and Dems for not condemning her – even though she’s right

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MSNBC's Chuck Todd says "you can't call" the concentration camps at our southern border "concentration camps."

"Be careful," Todd warned – comparing the Trump administration's camps, where we are keeping migrants, including many children, against their will, in horrific conditions – "comparing them to Nazi concentration camps. Because they're not at all comparable in the slightest.

His tone was one of anger and personal outrage.

He is extraordinarily wrong.

Todd, who hosts NBC's "Meet the Press" and MSNBC's "Meet the Press Daily," also serves as the network's political director. Perhaps he should reach out to a few historians and a few experts on authoritarianism, maybe experts in Nazi concentration camps, before opining in such a degrading and condescending manner (watch the video below.)

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Hong Kong protesters threaten more demos if demands not met

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Hong Kong student groups were preparing to mobilise support for another major demonstration, a union leader said, as a Thursday deadline approached for the pro-Beijing government to respond to demands of protesters who have shaken the city with massive rallies.

Millions have marched this month to oppose a proposed law that would have allowed extraditions to the Chinese mainland, but the huge protest movement has morphed into a larger rebuke of Hong Kong's administration.

Under-fire chief executive Carrie Lam has apologised and suspended the controversial bill, but that has failed to quell the opposition, with protesters demanding she step down and completely withdraw the legislation.

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2020 Election

A number of Democrats running for president are kind of weird about food

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The New York Times has posted a series of short videos of the Democratic candidates for president answering important questions, like what they propose to do about our broken health care system and just how crooked Donald Trump is. Because campaign coverage demands candidates be allowed “human” (debatable!) moments, the Times also asked the participating candidates about their go-to comfort foods on the campaign trail.

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