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Originally published Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 11:08 AM

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Richland florist headed to court over gay marriage

The lawyer for a Richland florist being sued for refusing to provide flowers for a gay marriage says he hopes to move the lawsuit to federal court as a First Amendment case.

The Associated Press

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RICHLAND, Wash. —

The lawyer for a Richland florist being sued for refusing to provide flowers for a gay marriage says he hopes to move the lawsuit to federal court as a First Amendment case.

Attorney Justin D. Bristol says the case is about freedom of speech and freedom of religion, not discrimination.

Bristol represents Barronelle Stutzman, owner of Arlene's Flowers. He said Wednesday they are still planning their response to the lawsuit announced Tuesday by Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson. Ferguson says Stutzman violated consumer protection law by refusing to provide flowers for a same-sex wedding for Arlene's customer Robert Ingersoll. It's unlawful to discriminate against customers on the basis of sexual orientation.

Bristol says Stutzman does not discriminate against homosexuals but does have a religious objection to gay marriage.

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