You may remember that a year ago, after Jessica Ahlquist won her lawsuit against the Cranston Public Schools over a prayer mural, the Freedom From Religion Foundation could not find a florist willing to deliver flowers to her. They’re now suing one of those florists for religious discrimination, but only under state law. You can read the full complaint here.
The complaint alleges violation of Rhode Island’s anti-discrimination law, chapters 11-24, which says:
All persons within the jurisdiction of this state shall be entitled to the full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, and privileges of any place of public accommodation, resort or amusement, subject only to the conditions and limitations established by law and applicable alike to all persons.
The statute explicitly says that the law “shall be construed liberally for the accomplishment of their purposes,” which is, of course, to prevent discrimination against anyone in Rhode Island for purposes of public accommodation. And under the law, a place of public accommodation is essentially any business that is open to the public. This is nearly identical to the case we have going here in Michigan against a country club that canceled a contract to host a dinner with Richard Dawkins.
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