The Freedom From Religion Foundation has sued a local flower shop for its refusal to deliver flowers to a teenage atheist and former Cranston High School West student whose lawsuit against the district led to the removal of the fabled prayer banner in the school's auditorium.
The complaint (attached to this story) alleges that Marina Plowman, owner of Twins Florist, violated state law by denying a flower order that they were trying to get delivered to Ahlquist.
In the complaint, the FFRF states that Plowman denied the organization "full and equal access to public accommodations by refusing to fulfill a flower order on the basis of religion (non-belief), in violation of Rhode Island General Laws."
At the time, Cranston police officers were guarding Ahlquist's house, and she was being cyberbullied by people upset with her involvement in the case against the school district, which was brought by the Rhode Island Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union on Ahlquist's behalf.
Reached by telephone, Plowman said she couldn't immediately comment on the lawsuit, but said she has suffered greatly from the whole ordeal.
The FFRF filed complaints with the state Commission for Human Rights last year when the group was reportedly denied flower orders by three different local flower shops.
Plowman said she received threats and harassing calls, emails and other messages after news of the FFRF complaint surfaced last year.
"It was a horrible two weeks," she said. "They threatened me and it was a hard and difficult situation."
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Another complaint was filed against Flowers by Santilli but they "chose [to] pursue mediation through the commission" and a hearing is set for March, according to a release.
The new lawsuit asks the court to grant permanent injunction against Plowman for further acts of discrimination or retaliation and seeks court costs and damages.