Barronelle Stutzman and the Anti-Wedding

Barb Wire

Much metaphorical ink has been spilt over the un-American assault on the religious liberty of elderly Washington florist Barronelle Stutzman, who has withstood withering personal attacks and repressive government action with grace, courage, and steadfastness.

I’m reluctant to beat dead horses, but this ain’t a horse and it ain’t dead. It’s a donkey and it’s alive and kicking. Or maybe it’s a Dolos—the mythical Greek spirit of deception. Either way, it’s kicking the heck out of Barronelle Stutzman.

Despite what the mainstream press and homosexual activists claim, Ms. Stutzman did not refuse to serve homosexuals. In fact, she serves not only homosexuals in general but the specific homosexual man who sought her services for his faux-wedding.

Further, Ms. Stutzman serves all manner of sinners and serves only sinners because there exists no other kind of humans.

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Ms. Stutzman refused to use her gifts and labor to produce a product that she has never produced before and which would be used for a celebration of that which Jesus says does not exist and which God condemns.

A homosexual union is ontologically different from a heterosexual marriage. A homosexual union is as different from a heterosexual union as men are from women. A homosexual union is, in reality, the anti-thesis of a marriage between a man and a woman.

Marriage has a nature—an ontology—which neither society nor the government that represents it creates. As the Left likes to point out, throughout history, marriage conventions and legal regulations have changed. But what the Left doesn’t like to point out is that throughout these tinkerings, one constant has remained: Marriage was recognized as a sexually differentiated union.

If marriage is something, if it has a nature that predates government, then government can jettison only so many constituent features from the legal definition of marriage before it becomes a meaningless, nonsensical, or empty legal definition with no relation to reality.

Virtually everyone, including liberals, believes marriage has a nature. Liberals would reject the fanciful notion that lawmakers create marriage out of whole cloth. For example, liberals argue that marriage is the union of two unrelated people who experience erotic/romantic (concept) love. They would disagree if someone were to argue that marriage is the union of three brothers who experience “storge” love or five friends who experience “philia” love. Liberals believe that the type of love family members or five good buddies feel for each other is not marital love.

In other words, liberals argue that marriage has a nature central to which is romantic/erotic love (as opposed to agape, philia, or storge love) and without which a union is not a marriage. Therefore, liberals implicitly argue that marriage has a nature which government recognizes and regulates but does not create.

Similarly, conservatives argue that marriage has a nature that governments don’t create. Conservatives believe that the central constituent feature of marriage is sexual differentiation, without which a union is not in reality a marriage.

It is no more hateful to argue that marriage is by nature a sexually differentiated union than it is to argue that marriage is by nature a union constituted by romantic/erotic love rather than storge love. And it is no more hateful to define marriage as a biologically complementary union than it is to define it as binary, which necessarily excludes polyamorists.

Barronelle Stutzman was not asked by a homosexual couple to create and sell a product to them that she creates and sells to other couples. She was asked to create and sell something she had never created or sold to anyone: an anti-wedding floral arrangement.

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

Laurie Higgins
Laurie Higgins has worked as the Cultural Analyst for the Illinois Family Institute ( since the fall of 2008. Prior to that, she worked full-time in the writing center of a suburban Chicago high school, where all four of her children attended. She is currently working on bulking up her stick arms by dead-lifting her five grandchildren--one at a time, of course.

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