Floral Artist’s Religious Freedom Case Heard

The State of Washington’s Supreme Court this week heard oral arguments in the case of Barronelle Stutzman, owner of Arlene’s Flowers, who has been under fire from the American Civil Liberties Union and the Washington Attorney General for politely declining to use her artistic skills for a gay wedding ceremony.  A lower court had ruled that Stutzman must pay penalties even though she referred her long-time customer, a friend, to other florists who would not have a conflict of conscience.

Kristen Waggoner, senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which is representing Stutzman, said, “If the government can ruin Barronelle for peacefully living and working according to her faith, it can punish anyone else in Washington for expressing their beliefs.” She added, “This case is about the government forcing her to participate in an event and promote ideas against her will under the threat of punishment.”

Notably, in an op-ed published last weekend in The Spokesman-Review, Stutzman appealed to her fellow citizens, “I’m not asking for anything that our Constitution hasn’t promised me—and you: the right to create freely, and to live out my faith without fear of government punishment or interference.”

More information about this case is available from ADF here.

By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations

Published: November 18, 2016

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