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Major victory: State Supreme Court rules unanimously against florist who refused a same-sex couple

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The Washington State Supreme Court has just handed down a unanimous ruling against Barronelle Stutzman, the owner of Arlene’s flowers, who refused to make arrangements for a longtime customer because he was marrying a man.

The ruling upholds a lower court’s decision that found Stutzman’s case was not decided with animus toward her religious beliefs – an argument that did win in the case Colorado Christian baker Jack Phillips at the U.S. Supreme Court. There is no suggestion the two cases are similar.

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KOMO and the AP report the State Supreme Court Thursday ruling means that “Stutzman’s refusal to provide flowers to the same-sex couple constituted discrimination against sexual orientation.”

Stutzman over several years has been offered multiple opportunities to settle her case by state and local prosecutors, but repeatedly refused. One offer was for $1000. At the same time, her attorneys have falsely claimed that by refusing the same-sex couple the elderly florist may lose her business, her home, and her savings. It’s a false claim that’s been repeated by many on the right.

The State at one point tried to settle with Stutzman for $2000 but she refused, and with her activist Alliance Defending Freedom attorney, went to trial. A Washington judge found Stutzman violated the Consumer Protection Act and the Washington Law Against Discrimination, and fined her $1000, $1 in legal costs, and enjoined her from further acts of discrimination.

The Alliance Defending Freedom, an anti-LGBT hate group that has carved out a niche defending Christians claiming their religious beliefs entitle them to discriminate against same-sex couples, says it will take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. In a statement they refer to Stutzman as a “floral artist.”

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Last year the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear Stutzman’s case, but did not rule out reviewing it in the future.

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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G7 off to a rough start as Trump aides slam host Macron’s agenda

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With President Donald Trump at the latest G7 summit, all eyes are on the interactions between him and French President Emmanuel Macron. The two world leaders started off amicably, exchanging pleasantries, but behind the scenes, things have grown contentious.

According to Politico, Trump officials are railing against Macron, accusing him of trying to "fracture" the summit by steering the negotiations away from trade and into areas like climate change.

This development comes after Trump harshly criticized Macron for enacting a tax on digital services, which could increase costs for American tech companies like Google and Facebook. Trump threatened that if France does not suspend its "unfair" digital tax, "we'll be taxing their wine like they've never seen before." It is a threat that Trump has made repeatedly over the last few weeks whenever he has gotten angry at France.

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A likely recession could doom Trump

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President Donald Trump is worried that there will be a recession before the 2020 election. For once, he is right about something.

This article first appeared in Salon.

"The Economy is strong and good, whereas the rest of the world is not doing so well. Despite this the Fake News Media, together with their Partner, the Democrat Party, are working overtime to convince people that we are in, or will soon be going into, a Recession," Trump tweeted on Friday in a clear attempt to assuage concerns. "They are willing to lose their wealth, or a big part of it, just for the possibility of winning the Election. But it won’t work because I always find a way to win, especially for the people!"

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MSNBC’s Joy Reid names every Trump-loving evangelical leader who refused to take her call on Trump’s ‘chosen one’ claim

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On Saturday, in conversation with Muslim political commentator Dean Obeidallah, MSNBC's Joy Reid castigated evangelical conservatives for their silence on President Donald Trump anointing himself "the chosen one" and retweeting a radio host who compared him to the second coming of Jesus Christ.

"Dean, we reached out to a bunch of people," said Reid. "I wanted to know — I grew up in the church. The idea of somebody declaring themselves the next coming of God or the King of Israel, which is what the Romans used to belittle Jesus before they executed him for defying the Roman emperor — Now Trump saying it's a joke, it's apostasy. We reached out to Franklin Graham, Ralph Reed, Focus on the Family, Jerry Falwell Jr., Vice President Mike Pence, and the RNC. We got no response at all. We had Pat Robertson, who declined to comment."

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