I thought Florist-gate ended a year ago. I was wrong.
The backstory: After Jessica Ahlquist won her legal battle to take down a religious banner from the wall of her public high school, the Freedom From Religion Foundation tried to send her flowers as a congratulatory gift. No florist in the Cranston, Rhode Island area would deliver them to her.
Including Twins Florist:
Had the shop owners just refused to deliver the flowers, there may not be a case, but in the aftermath of the Ahlquist refusal, owner Marina Plowman told a news reporter (PDF):
“It’s my freedom of speech I refuse orders when I want and I take orders when I want… I just chose not to do it. Nothing personal, it was a choice I made. It was my right, so I did that. I’m an independent owner and I can choose whoever I want, whenever I want.”
But Twin Florists didn’t do that. Instead, they took the issue to a higher court and FFRF is pushing back. They’re suing Plowman for denying them “full and equal access to public accommodations by refusing to fulfill a flower order on the basis of religion” and hoping for a jury trial.
Can’t wait to see how Twins Florist tries to get out of this one…