85K Raised for Florist Who Refused Gay Couple

This March, 6, 2013 photo shows Arlene's Flowers on Lee Boulevard in Richland, Wash. The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a Kennewick gay couple who were denied service at a flower shop... This March, 6, 2013 photo shows Arlene's Flowers on Lee Boulevard in Richland, Wash. The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a Kennewick gay couple who were denied service at a flower shop. The ACLU of Washington says the lawsuit against Barronelle Stutzman, owner of Arlene's Flowers and Gifts, was filed Thursday, April 18, 2013 in Benton County Superior Court. (AP Photo/Tri-City Herald, Bob Brawdy) MORE LESS
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RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) — A florist in eastern Washington state fined $1,000 for refusing to sell a same-sex couple wedding flowers and also facing a consumer-protection lawsuit has netted more than $85,000 in a crowdfunding campaign.

The Seattle Times reports (http://bit.ly/1GztB9a) that nearly half of the money on the gofundme.com page set up in February for 70-year-old Barronelle Stutzman came in the last several days.

Supporters compare Stutzman’s benefit page to an Indiana pizza shop that raised more than $800,000 after closing when the owner said the shop wouldn’t cater a gay wedding.

Stutzman, owner of Arlene’s Flowers and Gifts in Richland, Washington, received the fine in Benton County Superior Court in March after refusing to serve a same-sex couple in 2013.

Stutzman says same-sex weddings go against her Southern Baptist beliefs.

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