Seventy year-old Barronelle Stutzman may lose her home and life’s saving for not selling flowers to couple for their gay wedding. Stutzman did refer the couple to a different shop but that was not enough.
The court ruled recently that both the state and the same-sex couple may collect damages and attorneys’ fees not only from her business, but from Stutzman personally.
The Alliance Defending Freedom reported:
A state judge ruled Wednesday that Washington floral artist and grandmother Barronelle Stutzman must provide full support for wedding ceremonies that are contrary to her faith – a decision at odds with the views of most Americans according to a newAssociated Press-GfK poll. The court claims that Stutzman’s referral of a long-time customer to another business for floral design and support for a same-sex ceremony violated Washington law.
The court also ruled recently that both the state and the same-sex couple, who each filed lawsuits against her, may collect damages and attorneys’ fees not only from her business, but from Stutzman personally. That means the 70-year-old grandmother may not only lose her business, but also her home and savings because she lives her life and operates her business according to her beliefs.
“The message of these rulings is unmistakable: the government will bring about your personal and professional ruin if you don’t help celebrate same-sex marriage,” said ADF Senior Counsel Kristen Waggoner, who argued before the court in December. “The two men had no problem getting the flowers they wanted. They received several offers for free flowers, and the marketplace gives them plenty of options. Laws that are supposed to prohibit discrimination might sound good, but the government has begun to use these laws to hurt people – to force them to conform and to silence and punish them if they don’t violate their religious beliefs on marriage.”