The backstory is here.
A few updates since then:
The Freedom From Religion Foundation let all the florists know that Jessica Ahlquist was “under the public eye” so they would need to show identification when they delivered the flowers to her door. I don’t know if that warning was necessary — did the florists really need to know who Jessica was? — but it looks like it was a red flag for some of them.
Does that change your mind about how these florists reacted?
Also, according to a local ABC news story, one of the florists that was initially asked to deliver flowers (Floral Express) was legitimately closed for the day:
The others still sound like bigots to me:
Owner of Twins Florist in Cranston, Marina Plowman, was one of the businesses to reject the order.
Plowman said, “It’s my freedom of speech I refuse orders when I want and I take orders when I want.”
[Flowers by Santilli] owner Raymond Santilli said, “we have beliefs as well as the individual that’s in the middle of all this, and we just feel that it’s better for us as a business and the city itself just to stay away from this and not to cross the lines.”
Whether their refusals actually constitute “freedom of speech” is debatable and FFRF is in the process of “filing civil complaints” (PDF) against the florists that refused their order.
Sean Condon, co-owner of Glimpse of Gaia, the only company that agreed to deliver flowers to Jessica Ahlquist, is a little surprised to be receiving all the positive publicity, but he comes off looking great in this segment:
One reader passed along an email he received from Sean and Steph after thanking them for delivering the flowers:
“Thank you very much for your kind words. It is an odd experience to be congratulated and thanked for doing something so ordinary. We’d like you to know that the response has been overwhelmingly positive and that Jessica is getting more flowers today as are several charities in our area, thanks to donors. This is a funny little chapter in the history of a state founded on religious liberty.
Thanks again – Sean & Steph”
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