Atheist group files suit against Cranston florist - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Atheist group files suit against Cranston florist

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Dee DeQuattro

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is back in Rhode Island, this time to sue a florist for refusing to deliver flowers to the 16-year-old atheist who challenge the Prayer Banner in Cranston High School West.

FFRF, a Wisconsin based atheist group, filed the lawsuit on Jan. 25 in Rhode Island Superior Court, alleging that Twins Florists denied the group "full and equal access to public accommodations by refusing to refill a flower order on the basis of religion (Non-belief, in violation of Rhode Island General Laws."

The Freedom From Religion Foundation attempted to have flowers deliver to Jessica Ahlquist in Jan. 2012 after she won the lawsuit against the Cranston Prayer Banner.

The lawsuit names owner Marina Plowman as a party to the suit and asks the court to grant a permanent injunction against Plowman to prevent future retaliatory acts. They also ask for damages and court costs.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation did end up having flowers delivered to Ahlquist from an out of state vender. FFRF contacted three florists in Cranston but all three turned down the request. The group claims that Twins Florist told them "I will not deliver to this person." Another flower shop said they were closed that day, another said they didn't want to be involved.

A hearing date on the case will be set for March. The FFRF also has a similar case proceeding in the Rhode Island Human Rights Commission.

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