Washington Supreme Court: Gov’t can force florist to participate in gay ‘wedding’
A Washington floral artist says she will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse a decision Thursday by the state’s high court that concluded the government can force her—and, by extension, other Washingtonians—to create artistic expression and participate in events with which they disagree.
Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys represent Richland floral artist Barronelle Stutzman, whom the state attorney general and the American Civil Liberties Union sued for acting consistently with her faith.
“This case is about crushing dissent. In a free America, people with differing beliefs must have room to coexist,” said ADF Senior Counsel Kristen Waggoner, who argued before the court together with co-counsel George Ahrend in November of last year. “It’s wrong for the state to force any citizen to support a particular view about marriage or anything else against their will. Freedom of speech and religion aren’t subject to the whim of a majority; they are constitutional guarantees.”
“Our nation has a long history of protecting the right to dissent, but simply because Barronelle disagrees with the state about marriage, the government and ACLU have put at risk everything she owns,” Waggoner continued. “This includes not only her business, but also her family’s savings, retirement funds, and home. It’s no wonder that so many people are rightly calling on President Trump to sign an executive order to protect our religious freedom. Because that freedom is clearly at risk for Barronelle and so many other Americans, and because no executive order can fix all of the threats to that freedom, we will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to hear this case and reverse this grave injustice.”
Read also: Russell Moore criticizes Washington Supreme Court ruling in case involving Barronelle Stutzman and religious liberty by Elizabeth Bristow, ERLC