A judge in Washington ruled on Wednesday, Feb. 18, that florist Barronelle Stutzman violated the state's anti-discrimination law when she denied flower arrangement services to a gay couple's wedding.

Stutzman was charged by both Washington's Attorney General Bob Ferguson and the gay couple, Curt Freed and Robert Ingersoll, in 2013.

The florist said that her decision to refuse services for the gay wedding was made because of her "relationship with Jesus." Apart from violating the anti-discrimination law, the judge also ruled that Stutzman violated the state's consumer protection laws.

"In trade and commerce, and more particularly when seeking to prevent discrimination in public accommodations, the courts have confirmed the power of the legislative branch to prohibit conduct it deems discriminatory, even where the motivation for that conduct is grounded in religious belief," said Judge Alexander C. Ekstrom of the Benton County Superior Court. "Confirming the enactment of same-sex marriage, there would eventually be a direct and insoluble conflict between Stutzman's religiously motivated conduct and the laws of the state of Washington."

As for Creed and Ingersoll, they expressed that they felt "hurt and saddened when we were denied service by Arlene's Flowers after doing business with them for so many years."

"We respect everyone's beliefs, but businesses that are open to the public have an obligation to serve everyone," added the couple. "It wasn't about us getting married, it wasn't about her religion, it was about discrimination," said Ingersoll.

The couple had asked Stutzman to provide the flowers that they needed for their wedding.

The ceremony was scheduled in March 2013, three months after same-sex marriage was made legal in Washington.

The court documents showed that Stutzman had served Ingersoll before for at least 20 times and knew that he was gay. However, she refused to provide the flower arrangements for his wedding since it would mean that she approved of the wedding itself.

"I just put my hands on his and told him because of my relationship with Jesus Christ, I couldn't do that, couldn't do his wedding," said Stutzman.

The 60-page ruling stated that, without a doubt, Stutzman violated the Consumer Protection Act because of her denial to perform services.

"This case reflects the growing understanding gay people have to be treated equally under the law and we hope it will send a strong message to other business," said Doug Honig, Communications Director at ACLU of Washington. "You have to treat your gay customers just like everybody else."

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