About this Case
The owner of Arlene’s Flowers felt she could not participate in a ceremony that went against her religious belief that marriage is between a man and a woman. Although she served and employed homosexual and lesbian people, she felt that participating in the custom design of the floral arrangements for the wedding signified her approval of the marriage between two men. Washington’s Attorney General thought differently—she was discriminating against a homosexual couple and their civil rights.
Summary of NLF's Brief
The National Legal Foundation along with Concerned Women for America, Public Justice Institute, and International Conference of Evangelical Chaplain Endorsers filed this brief asking the Supreme Court to review this case. The central fact of this case is that a marriage ceremony is a communal, expressive event. Thus, this case is principally about what the brides or grooms (and the State) are communicating when they get married. It is about the marriage event, and the message that event publishes to the community. Thus, the question of whether the application of Washington’s civil rights law violates vendors’ free speech and free exercise rights is inextricably bound up with another aspect of that law, the consideration of which is required for the resolution of this case: the State is compelling the vendors to associate with, and facilitate, the message of their customers that the vendors find offensive.