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Thursday, December 7, 2023
HomeNewsPoliticsWashington Florist Barronelle Stutzman, 70-Year-Old Hero to the Christian Faith

Washington Florist Barronelle Stutzman, 70-Year-Old Hero to the Christian Faith


Washington floral artist Barronelle Stutzman on Friday sent a letter to Attorney General Bob Ferguson to decline the settlement offer he made to her.

Who’d have thought the next national debate on same-sex rights would take flight on the courageous wings of a 70-year-old woman?

But that’s what occurring through Barronelle Stutzman, a white-haired Washington florist with the guts of a field general and the moral righteousness and humble spirit of a true disciple of God. In the more material, she’s a Washington florist who refused to provide business services to a same-sex couple seeking to marry because of her staunch Christian beliefs – and because she thought the First Amendment provided her protection to exercise those beliefs.

Turns out, not in Washington.

Benton County Superior Court Judge Alex Ekstrom ruled a few days ago that Stutzman violated Washington’s Law Against Discrimination as well as its Consumer Protection Act by denying service to Robert Ingersoll and his gay partner, Curt Freed. The ruling – along with an earlier one – clears the way for the state and the Ingersoll-Freed couple to pursue damages and legal fees against both Stutzman and her business.

“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 Kristen Waggoner, senior counsel with the Alliance Defending Freedom, the nonprofit that’s representing Stutzman. “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.”

Indeed. Where are Stutzman’s rights to live her life in accordance with her Christian view – which includes biblical denouncement of the sin of homosexuality as an abomination?

Some might argue that homosexuality should be afforded the same legal protections as gender and ethnicity – but that’s a comparison of apples to oranges, when considered through the lens of the Bible. In other words, biblical sins don’t cover gender or skin color.

And while some might press that homosexuals are born gay, or that love is love, no matter the gender, the Christian response to those lines of thought are pretty blunt: That’s ridiculous. Why would God deem homosexuality an abomination and then create gay humans, or give the A-OK to same-sex acts so long as they’re rooted in love? As if God’s just a jokester – or worse, devious entrapper?

But now Stutzman is facing a serious financial hit that could cripple her business.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson, in a news release to the media, presented what he no doubt saw as a reasonable settlement offer for Stutzman to climb out of her predicament. The terms: Pay $2,001 and drop any fight over First Amendment rights. Oh, and one more thing: go provide business services to gays.

Stutzman’s response?

Thanks, but no thanks.

“Your offer reveals that you don’t really understand me or what this conflict is all about,” she said, in a written statement. “It’s about freedom, not money.”

She said similarly in a Fox News interview: “It’s about freedom. It’s about my eight kids and 23 grandkids … You can’t buy my freedom.”

And then to the National Religious Broadcasters International Christian Media Convention in Nashville, Stutzman delivered these emotional words: “Do I not have the right to believe in Christ or to follow him? … Christians [need] to take a stand. It’s me today, but it will be you tomorrow. You cannot sit this one out.”

Quite right. Our First Amendment freedoms depend on it. Kudos to a 70-year-old grandmother for standing strong for faith, and for inspiring others to do the same.

[mybooktable book=”police-state-usa-how-orwells-nightmare-is-becoming-our-reality” display=”summary”]

Written by

Cheryl Chumley, a writer for WND.com and journalist at The Washington Times, is also the author of <a href="http://www.peoplespunditdaily.com/books/police-state-usa-how-orwells-nightmare-is-becoming-our-reality/"><em>Police State USA: How Orwell’s Nightmare Is Becoming Our Reality</em></a>. She may be reached at <a href="mailto:[email protected]">[email protected]</a> or through her blog, <a href="http://www.cherylchumley.blogspot.com">cherylchumley.blogspot.com</a>.

Latest comments

  • if your religion forbids you from agreeing to the terms of the public market then that’s a problem between you and your religion. Religion is no excuse for denying people equal treatment in the public market..

  • Discrimination in commerce is a harm. It harms the individuals being discriminated against, and it harms society. That is why legislatures have made it illegal, in recognition of that very harm.

    Your religious rights are limited at the point they harm others.

    You do not have a religious right to harm others.

  • Discrimination in commerce is business. Businesses are free to discriminate against customers because of their credit score, for example.

    This woman should have been able to use her judgement in screening customers. By these standards, if she decided not to participate in a legal marriage between a 75 year old man and a 13 year old girl, she would be liable for age discrimination.

    She had NO PROBLEMS with these guys’ homosexuality. She only had a problem with participating in their marriage, because she considers marriage a religious ceremony. If those guys want to pursue happiness by inserting their penis in each other’s bowels, I’m certain that’s fine with everyone concerned.

    • Your comparisons fail the simplest of examination; they are not analogous, not even close. A marriage between a 75 year old man and a 13 year old girl would never be a dilemma a business person will be faced with because it would be illegal. Homosexual marriage is not illegal. Discrimination against racial minorities, women and people because of their sexual orientation is explicitly outlawed. He can discriminate against people because of their credit score because it is not forbidden by law, it can be applied to people irrespective of their race, gender or sexual orientation and it is actually relevant to the conduct of business whereas the other forms of discrimination are totally irrelevant to the sound conduct of business.

      This woman was happy to take these two homosexuals money for YEARS even though her fictitious bible allegedly says that ALL homosexual behaviour is immoral and sinful but she now wants to be able to discriminate against them because they want to formally legitimise their relationship which of itself is not a homosexual act. She is a plain inconsistent religious hypocrite and rather transparent at that. She is worthy of no sympathy whatsoever and deserves all the punishment that she is willingly calling upon herself. Being an irrational, ugly martyr is usually expensive. And worthless.

      As for you, it is always revealing that your ilk always focus foremostly on the imagery of two men engaged in anal sex. Your ilk never focus on what two lesbians might get up to sexually. Why is that? Does the idea of voyeuring that excite you? Think that you could somehow join in? That you would actually be invited? You also ignore the fact that heterosexual couples sometimes engage in anal sex, that never seems to bother you in the same way. Why is that? Your attitude is atypical and reveals you as another predictable, tedious and boring homophobe. Do you have secret fears about your own sexual orientation? That is what your attitude typically suggests about people like you.

    • You suggest “she only had a problem with participating in their marriage, because she considers marriage a religious ceremony” — that is her, and now your mistake. Marriage is a contract, and some weddings are religious ceremonies, but many are not — but none of that makes any difference as far as a florist is concerned. Creating the flowers for a wedding is not “participating in their marriage” or even participating in the wedding; the flowers are arranged at the shop and delivered to the wedding venue before the ceremony ever even takes place. If she disapproves of same-sex weddings, for whatever reason, she can hold her nose the entire time she’s arranging the flowers but, having opened the doors of the florist shop to the public, she cannot legally decide who can and cannot be her customers. One set of rights ends when they cross over another that supersedes them.

    • SOME discrimination is legal. SOME discrimination is illegal. Got it?

      In this case, the kind of discrimination was the illegal kind. And no, discriminating against a really old guy and a really young gal would only be illegal if there actually was a law preventing discriminating against however you would describe that.

      The state of Washington has banned discrimination in business on the basis if religion race, gender and sexual orientation in recognition of the harm inflicted. You dont get to harm others, even if your particular religious interpretation leads you to think that you can.

  • Portraying this woman as a “Hero to the Christian Faith” is quite erroneous. It assumes that all members of the Christian Faith agree with her stance, which they do not. There are many Christians who disagree with her stance on same-sex marriage. Even those who agree with that stance need to re-read their scriptures, particularly to understand what both Jesus and Paul said about obeying civil law.

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