Instead, the Roberts Court requested that the originator, the Washington State Supreme Court, review the dispute.
In Arlene, a gay couple was turned away from a flower shop due to their same-sex status. In 2017, the Supreme Court of Washington State handed down a ruling in favor of ACLU clients Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed.
In that previous ruling, the justices of the Washington State Supreme Court ruled that the vendor in question, Arlene’s, acted contrary to laws when they denied Ingersoll-Freed service.
The controversy arose when the two men, Ingersoll and Freed, were planning their wedding, and sought a floral vendor. The owners of Arlene’s declined to serve them.
The recent Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling kept in place Colorado’s anti-discrimination laws, but decided in favor of the baker, due to concerns about supposed anti-religious sentiment.
James Esseks, an ACLU director, said in a press release that “The Supreme Court today asked the Washington courts to re-examine our clients’ case in light of the recent decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop …
“To be clear, the court made no indication the lower courts ruled incorrectly and made no decision on the case’s merits. We are confident that the Washington State Supreme Court will rule once again in favor of the same-sex couple, and reaffirm its decision that no business has a right to discriminate. Our work to ensure LGBT equality is the law and the norm in all 50 states will continue.”
Ingersoll said that the refusal of service that he and Freed encountered was an experience nobody should have.