Arlene’s Flowers Inc. v. Washington

There is no evidence that the surrounding circumstances of same sex wedding will convey Petitioner’s floral arrangements as an “expressive speech” in support of same sex marriages.

Unlike in Tinker, where the bandanas represented a well-known public symbolism of opposition to the Vietnam War, the display of floral arrangements in a wedding does not convey a florist’s or vendor’s opinion of approval or disapproval of the wedding. It is not likely that a wedding guest will look at Petitioner’s floral arrangements and interpret Petitioner’s approval of same sex marriages. Like a wedding cake, white chiffon tablecloths, white lace – floral arrangements are part of the ensemble of a wedding ceremony. Petitioner’s floral wedding do not represent a particular message.

Here, requiring Petitioner to service floral arrangements for a same sex marriage is not an inherent expressive act of approving of all same sex marriages. Floral arrangements are not known to have an inherent expression of making matrimonial statements.

Wedding florals may represent general ideas, such as love, purity, and celebration. However, wedding floral arrangements are not expressions used to convey support or unsupported towards same sex marriages. Like FAIR, unless a conduct alone expresses a particular idea, message or symbolism that is known by society, it cannot be understood as inherently expression. Petitioner’s floral arrangements lack having religious “inherently expressive” components, and are therefore not protected by the First Amendment.

However, the compelled-speech doctrine does not mean that the government may not compel people to engage in unwanted speech.

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Elane Photography, LLC v. Willock, 309 P.3d 58, at 64 (2013). For example, in Elane Photography, LLC v. Willock, Elane Photography argued that the NMHRA requiring her to service wedding photography for a same sex couple was a violation of her First Amendment because same sex marriages conflict with her religious beliefs. Id. at 61. The Court held that the statute does not compel Elane Photography to speak the government’s message. Id. It only requires “to take photographs of same-sex weddings only to the extent that it would provide the same services to a heterosexual couple.” Id. at 65. Furthermore, this Court has not recognized a compelled-speech violation unless it interferes with a speaker’s direct message. Rumsfeldv. Forum for Acad. & Institutional Rights, Inc., 547 U.S. at 64 .

This case is analogous to Elane Photography because Petitioner’s conduct of providing floral arrangements does not compel Petitioner to make a speech approving of same sex marriages. Petitioner is not being asked to attend the wedding, nor make a statement of what her flowers represent. Further, in support of the above argument showing that Petitioner’s conduct lacks a particular message, Petitioner’s floral arrangements alone do not communicate any statement about same sex marriage. Petitioner’s flower arrangements on a vase will only be joined with the ensemble of Ingersoll and Freed’s wedding decorations.

Additionally, Petitioner’s conduct of providing floral arrangements does not interfere with her religious beliefs. Like FAIR, the institutions had strong oppositions of the military recruitment methods.” Rumsfeld v. Forum for Acad. & Institutional Rights, Inc., 547 U.S. 51 (2006). Yet, this Court held “it’s accommodation of military recruiter’s message is not compelled because the accommodation does not sufficiently interfere with any message of the school.” Id. at 64. Likewise, creating wedding floral arrangements does not intrude or disvalue Petitioner’s religious view against same sex marriage. Respondent only requires Petitioner to service wedding floral arrangements to a same sex marriage, as she would service a heterosexual marriage.

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Arlene’s Flowers Inc. v. Washington. (2021, Dec 17). Retrieved from

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