Barronelle Stutzman has owned Arlene’s Flowers in Richland, Washington for a number of years. She has taken business from all kinds of people from all kinds of backgrounds, including homosexuals, some of whom have worked for her at the florist shop.
One of Stutzman’s longtime customers is Robert Ingersoll. She has had no issue with him being gay or providing him with flowers for various occasions in the past. That is until he asked her to do the flowers at his wedding to his gay partner Curt Freed. She explained to him that she is a Christian and that because of moral grounds she was unable to accept his order.
Reports indicate that he told her that he respected her opinion and that the two friends embraced in a hug and Ingersoll went on his way. Stutzman believed that the issue was over and went about her business of selling flowers; until she received a notice from that she was being sued by the Washington State Attorney General on charges of sexual discrimination.
Stutzman’s attorney, JD Bristol commented about the lawsuit saying:
“Arlene’s Flowers has catered to all patrons, including homosexuals, for many years. Arlene’s Flowers has had openly gay employees. This is about gay marriage, it’s not about a person being gay. She has a conscientious objection to homosexual ‘marriage,’ not homosexuality. It violates her conscience.”
“What the government is saying here is that you don’t have the right to free religious exercise.”
In most cases involving sexual discrimination, the person being sued refused to serve a gay person from the onset. But in this case, Stutzman has served Ingersoll on many occasions without any problem. She just drew the line at being involved in a same-sex marriage because of her Christian belief.
The order she received from the Attorney General’s office says she must comply with the request to provide the flowers at the gay wedding or face a $2,000 fine.
Joseph Backhom, Executive Director of the Family Policy Institute of Washington sent an email blast to his supporters asking them to stand with Arlene’s Flowers in the fight for freedom. He also commented on the case involving the florist, saying:
“You may not be a florist, and you may have made a different decision, but liberty is at stake for all of us. Draw your line in the sand right here.”
“Don’t ignore the bully just because he hasn’t punched you in the mouth yet. A small business owner is looking at years of litigation and huge legal expenses because she won’t bow to the political elites.”
Peter Sprigg, of the Family Research Council describes cases like this as being a dangerous encroachment upon the religious liberties of all Americans, saying:
“People need to be aware this is the underlying motive for the push for same sex marriage. It’s not just about legal rights and benefits. It’s about forcing everyone in society to recognize their relationships as being one hundred percent equal to opposite sex marriages.”
“It also reflects a narrow view of religious liberty where people may have freedom to exercise religious liberty in their church but they don’t have that right when they go outside those four walls.”
Of course once the word got out among the gay community, Stutzman is being slandered on dozens of websites. One gay website referred to her a homophobe saying:
“Yesterday I reported that Barronelle Stutzman, the homophobic Washington state florist who told a gay longtime customer that she would not do his wedding because of her relationship with Jesus, was being sued by the Attorney General for discrimination…Stutzman and her bigotry have shown no signs of giving in.”
This is typical of the intolerance of those screaming for tolerance. Anyone that does not believe the way they do are labeled as homophobes and bigots. They want to force everyone else to accept and embrace their lifestyles while at the same time they are unwilling to admit that anyone else is entitled to believe anything different. It’s their way or no way. They feel they are entitled to ridicule and mock your lifestyle or religious faith if they want, but dare say one word to even question their opinion and lifestyle and they’ll run screaming discrimination and sue you for hurting their feelings.
Between sexual orientation, race and other discriminating factors, the most persecuted people in the US of late are white Republican conservative American born Christians. If you fit that description, you will find it harder to get a job and you will stand a greater chance of being sued by some whiny liberal as in the case of Arlene’s Flowers.