Floral Quarrel: AG Threatens to Close Shop over Marriage
By Tony Perkins
Lots of families take a trip to grandma’s house over Christmas — but in Washington State, Barronnelle Stuzman may not have a house to host people! In an outrageous lawsuit from the state attorney general, the Christian florist stands to lose everything — including her home — because of her beliefs on marriage. As if it weren’t enough that Barronnelle is being sued by a long-time customer, the state is bringing a second wave of accusations that the owner of Arlene’s Flowers somehow “discriminated” by turning down an order to serve a same-sex “wedding.”
Now, the florist of 40 years is being hauled before a court in a Christian inquisition that could cost her the business she spent decades building. Last Friday, a court heard the state’s arguments for suing Barronnelle as a private citizen — something officials can only do under very special circumstances. Although the judge didn’t issue a ruling on the state’s motion, another hearing is scheduled for December 19.
In the meantime, Barronnelle could very well be enjoying the last Christmas in her home if Washington manages to move the case forward. “In America,” her attorneys at Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) argued, “the state shouldn’t jeopardize your personal assets just because it disagrees with you…” ADF Senior Counsel Kristen Waggoner told reporters. “Plenty of other florists are willing to provide flowers for same-sex ceremonies, yet the state attorney general insists on going after — not only her business, but her personal finances as well.” And the Left says we’re the intolerant ones?
Obviously, this isn’t about flowers — but about exacting a price from anyone who holds a biblical view of marriage. It’s about forcing Christians to check their beliefs at the workplace door. And it’s about using the full weight of the government to punish Americans for exercising the freedom our Constitution guarantees them. Join us in praying for Barronnelle, for ADF, and for every Christian faced with the ultimate test of standing up for their faith.
Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law.
(Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)
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