Florist Barronelle Stutzman said she was friends with one of the homosexuals who sued her because she wouldn’t arrange flowers for his “wedding.” He and the other man had been customers for years, but Stutzman, a Christian, had to draw the line at using her artistic talents to make custom arrangements for a service that violated the Bible’s teachings on marriage and sin.
The Washington state resident lost her case in the lower courts and the state’s highest court.
“Our nation has a long history of protecting the right to dissent, but simply because Barronelle disagrees with the state about marriage, the government and ACLU have put at risk everything she owns,” Alliance Defending Freedom lawyer Kristen Waggoner said. “This includes not only her business, but also her family’s savings, retirement funds, and home. Not only does her case and Jack Phillips’ case involve similar issues, but both Barronelle and Jack face burdensome penalties for simply exercising their right of free expression.”
Stutzman’s lawyers are asking that the Washington Supreme Court decision be thrown out and the case be sent back for a rehearing in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Colorado baker case.
“That would allow the state courts to consider the evidence of government hostility toward the faith of Barronelle Stutzman,” lawyers for Stutzman wrote in court filings.
Lawyers for Ingersoll and Freed, however say they want the Supreme Court to decline the case.
“We strongly disagree there’s evidence of religious bias,” Elizabeth Gill, a senior staff attorney with the ACLU, said.
The Supreme Court ruled earlier this month in favor of Jack Phillips, a Christian baker in Colorado who refused to provide custom services for a homosexual “wedding.”
In 7-2 ruling, the court contended that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission treated Phillips unfairly and his religion with hostility when it ruled that he’d discriminated against two homosexuals. Phillips serves homosexual customers, but he won’t use his artistic talents to do what conflicts with what conflicts with this faith. For instance, he won’t make custom Halloween or adult-themed cakes.