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 new Associated 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. …
In State of Washington v. Arlene’s Flowers, Benton County Superior Court Judge Alexander Ekstrom ruled on Jan. 7 that Stutzman was personally liable for the claims against her, placing both her personal and professional livelihood in jeopardy. Ekstrom then granted summary judgment Wednesday against both Stutzman and her business; therefore, the case will not proceed to trial. ADF attorneys will appeal the rulings.
“A government that tells you what you can’t say is bad enough, but a government that tells you what you must say is terrifying,” Waggoner explained. “The lesson from the court’s decisions is that you put your home, your family business, and your life savings at risk by daring to defy a government mandate that forces you to promote views you believe are wrong.”