***Update***: There’s now a Facebook group called “I Don’t Stand with the Cranston Florists.” Join it!
So now even the florists in Rhode Island are avoiding Jessica Ahlquist?
[Freedom From Religion Foundation] President Annie Laurie Gaylor, wishing to send a bouquet of roses to congratulate Jessica, contacted a shop based in Madison, Wis., to assist with the delivery. FFRF understands at least three florists in Cranston were contacted on Wednesday.
• Floral Express, in Cranston, on Wednesday messaged the Madison shop via Dove Network, an electronic order service, that it was “closed on the requested delivery day” (which was the same day) and “. . . I am not able to fill this.”
• At 2:12 p.m. Wedneday, the Madison florist was contacted by Twins Florist, refusing the order via Dove Network message: “I will not deliver to this person.”
• Then Flowers by Santilli in Cranston was contacted by phone. The owner, upon hearing the name of the recipient, said he would rather not get involved and refused to fill the order.
• Seeking to go outside Cranston, the Madison flower firm on Wednesday next contacted Greenwood Flower and Garden in Warwick, which agreed to accept the order, but today called back saying patrons were phoning and emailing threatening to boycott his business so he refused the order, too.
FFRF was forced to go to an out of state business, Glimpse of Gaia, in Putnam, Conn., which not only agreed to deliver the flowers but threw in a second bouquet from the shop with its own message, “Glimpse of Gaia fully supports our First Amendment and will not be bullied by those who do not. Here’s to you, Jessica Ahlquist.”
Meanwhile, FFRF has asked the Commission for Human Rights in Rhode Island to investigate these companies on grounds of religious discrimination.
And the Cranston florists who didn’t want to deliver flowers to Jessica? They think they’re being “intimidated” and “harassed” and created a Facebook page called “I stand with the Cranston Florists.”
Because, you know, they’re the real victims in all of this…
The fundraiser for Jessica is still going strong: