85K Raised for Florist Who Refused Gay Couple

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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