The high court of the state of Washington reconsidered the case of a Christian florist who turned down two customers in 2013 because of their sexual beliefs associated with a wedding ceremony the florist would necessarily be associated with.
The top court ruled again that florist Barronelle Stutzman, owner of Arlene’s Flowers, was wrong to refuse her services of arranging wedding displays for Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed on the occasion of their so-called “wedding.”
The court is of the unanimous opinion that Stutzman violated a state anti-discrimination law. Their decision is unchanged from what they ruled in 2017, after which an order came to reconsider because of the U.S. Supreme Court’s opinion favoring Colorado cake designer Jack Phillips.
Stutzman is a Southern Baptist, and she believes that marriage is a matter of holy matrimony as defined in the Holy Bible, an institution joining a man and a woman.
Her attorneys, associated with the national Alliance Defending Freedom, vowed immediate action to appeal with the goal of a hearing before the U.S. Supreme Court.
The intransigence of the Washington judges cause national conservative commentator Todd Starnes to cry foul – the judges are wrong to ignore the religious rights of a SBC grandmother who sincerely wanted no association with a Biblically damned religious ceremony.
“Mrs. Stutzman could face the loss of her business, her life savings and her home,” Starnes said.
“Alliance Defending Freedom attorney John Bursch said they plan to appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court, setting up a clash over gay rights and religious liberty.”
Starnes said he plans to feature Stutzman and her cause prominently in an upcoming book he is writing and through interviews on his radio programs.
According to Starnes, who is following the case closely, Stutzman served all customers equally, including known homosexuals, and one of the men in question was a regular customer, for general products such as bouquets from a shelf in her shop.
They are now demanding that people like Mrs. Stutzman set aside their religious beliefs for the sake of political correctnessTodd Starnes
The issue was a matter only of religious ceremony, being involved with the religious wedding. Still, the state of Washington demonstrated no quarter toward her and waged a legal campaign of open hostility.
“Mrs. Stutzman is a devout Southern Baptist who believes marriage is between one man and one woman,” Starnes said. “When longtime customer Rob Ingersoll asked her to provide flowers for the ceremony, she politely declined, a decision that became national news.”
Starnes said that court documents claim the gay couple suffered an emotional toll after Stutzman declined to participate in their wedding. They felt “deeply offended.”
It is also documented that Stutzman served openly homosexual customers for all sorts of floral orders, except not for wedding ceremonies, according to Starnes.
“Clearly, that is not good enough for Democrats and militant LGBT activists,” Starnes said. (They) “are now demanding that people like Mrs. Stutzman set aside their religious beliefs for the sake of political correctness.”