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Gay Couple Sues Richland Florist

In a case that’s garnered national attention, a gay couple is suing their once favorite florist in southeast Washington. The case filed Thursday, is in addition to the anti-discrimination lawsuit filed by the state Attorney General last week.

Curt Freed and Robert Ingersoll, both professionals in the Tri-Cities, have been a couple for almost nine years. The ACLU is bringing their case agains Arlene’s Flowers. The shop refused to sell flowers to the couple for their September wedding.

Doug Honig with the ACLU says that violates the Washington’s anti-discrimination law.

“It’s basically the matter of a couple that feels very hurt an act of discrimination. And they want to stand up and make sure that in the future other gay couples in Washington don’t get discriminated against when they go to a business.”

Joseph Backholm is executive director of the Family Policy Institute of Washington. He says his organization believes private businesses have the right to choose the kinds of activities that they provide professional services for.

No court date has been set yet.

On the Web:

Ingersoll and Freed v Arlene's Flowers lawsuit - ACLU of Washington

Anna King calls Richland, Washington home and loves unearthing great stories about people in the Northwest. She reports for the Northwest News Network from a studio at Washington State University, Tri-Cities. She covers the Mid-Columbia region, from nuclear reactors to Mexican rodeos.