Skip to comments.Christian Grandma Florist Fined for Not Working Gay Wedding Takes 'Last Stand' at Supreme Court
Posted on 07/17/2017 9:19:57 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
(Photo: ADF/Screengrab)Barronelle Stutzman, owner of Arlene's Flowers in Richland, Washington, speaks as supporters rally around her in November 2016.
Barronelle Stutzman, also known as the "Christian grandmpa florist," is now asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear her appeal to reverse a Washington court's decision earlier this year that found her guilty of discrimination for refusing to provide flowers for a gay wedding.
The Associated Press reported on Sunday that lawyers for Stutzman are claiming that Washington's high court violated her First Amendment protection for artistic expression in its ruling in February.
Alliance Defending Freedom positioned in a post on Friday that Stutzman is taking her "last stand" at the Supreme Court.
"For more than four years, Barronelle has endured the litigation in this case with unwavering grace, humility, and faith even as she faces losing everything she owns," ADF wrote.
"Now she will take her last stand before the U.S. Supreme Court, asking it to preserve her religious freedom and her right not to be forced to speak a message about marriage that violates her beliefs."
The Washington high court agreed with a 2015 Benton County Superior Court decision that fined the florist $1,001 and held her responsible for paying the thousands of dollars in legal fees incurred by Rob Ingersoll and Curt Freed, the gay couple who sued her back in 2013.
Stutzman, the owner of Arlene's Flowers in Richland, Washington, had served Ingersol for close to a decade, but declined to use her talents to create floral arrangements for his same-sex wedding, as it went against her religious beliefs.
In February, Associate Justice Sheryl Gordon McCloud argued that the Washington Law against discrimination "does not infringe" on any of Stutzman's constitutional protections.
The decision sparked outrage among Christian conservatives, with David and Jason Benham, two conservative brothers who in 2014 lost out on a HGTV house-flipping show after voicing their stances on marriage and abortion, stating at the time:
"Today, religious liberty was dealt another devastating blow as the Washington state Supreme Court ruled against -year-old florist Barronelle Stutzman. Now is the time to rally to her defense and support her."
Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, called it a "loss for every American."
"The government should not bully people into violating their conscience," Moore argued on Twitter.
"A [government] that can bully consciences into participating and celebrating what the conscience finds immoral is a [government] that can do *anything.*"
ADF argued that it's "hardly disputed that artistic expression, such as floral art, is speech."
It slammed the state for going after "a 72-year-old grandmother for everything she owns just because what she believes does not fall in line with the state's political agenda."
ADF positioned that the Washington high court's decision was "blatantly unconstitutional," and warned that all American citizens need to be concerned for their freedoms.
PRAY for this BRAVE Lady!!!
If anyone ever asks me to make a gay quilt for them I will happily oblige.
And then I’ll bury them in it as a bonus!
Every citizen (and non-citizen) has a God given right to opt-out of participation in (aiding and abetting) WICKEDNESS.
This is just mean of her. She should be required to serve that wedding. Does she have -any- idea how hard it would be for them to go find a gay florist? /s
So the First Amendment protects speech, press, assembly, and religion. And she might have a case arguing on at least two of those. But violation of her right to artistic expression????
“But violation of her right to artistic expression????
I’d think it would fall under Freedom of Speech.
When government demands that a privately owned store must sell to everyone....that is where Tyranny begins. Is it not a fact that the gay couple could have gone to a myriad of other florists...or is this a deliberate act of activism funded by this Ultra Mean group of gay people?
I’m having a very difficult time finding a Muslim to cater a Barbecue for my Birthday party! Muhammad BBQ, only serves goat and camel!
Diversity, my A55!
Since the gays never went to a muzzy baker to ask for a wedding cake, they can go to hell. This was staged to enable them to sue the normal people.
Then claim freedom of speech, something that is specifically protected. Better yet, freedom of religion. Artistic expression is a lot iffier and something the courts probably won't have a problem ruling against. After all, are people able to walk around buck naked or paint graffiti on my house in the name of "artistic expression"?
“Barronelle Stutzman, also known as the “Christian grandmpa florist,””
This case is getting interesting.
The Christian Grandmpa Florist is actually a grandmother.
Remember this business sign: We reserve the right to refuse service to ANYONE. One could add ‘for any or no reason’ but it ain’t necessary. That’s the way it should be and would be in a sane, rational world. Government and the courts need to return to and stay within the strict confines of the Constitution.
The thing is, if you “happily oblige” them they will move on to the next person, until they find one that refuses- then sue them.
That’s what all these cases have been about.
I actually recall just such an event. Some clown in New York had a couple having sex on a sidewalk, a reporter asked him what made that art and he replied because I am an artist and I say it is art.
I can't recall for sure if he had a screen but I think he might have so it wasn't exactly in open view.
I guess you don't live in NYC.
I used to not care in the world about these people and even felt bad at one time. Now I despise the gaystapo and gaymafia as they compare themselves to a civil rights movement,act like a bunch of insecure crybabies and are a useful tool of the anti-Christian left. The alphabet soup of the LGBTxyz is nothing more than a hate group and metastatic stain on American society.
Her lawyers likely feel SCOTUS, ie Kennedy, will be reluctant to back free exercise in this case. Framing it as a speech issue, being compelled to use your artistic talent for a purpise you do not support, has a better chance. The state compelling speech is likely to be more alarming if SCOTUS were to support it.
If so then it's an interesting way of approaching it. We'll see if it works.
I am of the opinion that while 1st Amendment freedom of religion is an important component of the defense, there is an equally important 1st amendment freedom of assembly argument here.
The first amendment freedom of speech has been clearly defined in both positive terms (one has the right to speak) and in the negative (one can not be forced to participate in speech). That rule can and has been applied to religion. One can not be forced to worship against one’s will or participate in a religious activity against one’s desires.
That same rule should be applied to the freedom of assembly. One of the reasons for assembly is for the purpose of commerce or business. In the positive, that means we can participate in the exchange of goods and services. Likewise, in the negative, one can not be forced to participate (buy from) against one’s will.
To say otherwise leads to the absurd where the state can force the People to purchase from a special class of citizens or businesses. That would turn the model of free markets on it’s head and would be directly opposed to the founder’s intent.
I believe this argument should be made before SCOTUS as well.