Barronelle Stutzman A notice of appeal has been filed in Washington state in the case against the florist who declined to provide flowers for a same-sex ceremony on religious grounds and since then has been targeted by the state attorney general for “personal and professional ruin.”
The notice was filed to the Washington state Supreme Court by the Alliance Defending Freedom on behalf of Stutzman and her shop, Arlene’s Flowers.
ADF attorney Kristen Waggoner said the “message that the attorney general and the ACLU have sent to the people of Washington in these two lawsuits [against Stutzman] is quite clear: surrender your religious liberty and freedom of speech, or face personal and professional ruin.”
She said the trial court’s ruling “affects all Americans who wish to remain free to live and work according to their faith without fear of punishment by the government.”
For example, the owners of a Christian farm in upstate New York recently were fined $10,000 and assessed $1,500 in damages for not allowing a lesbian duo to use their land and home for a wedding.
A state human rights commissioner, Diann Rice, likened Christians to slave owners and Nazis.
Just in the last week, Gresham, Oregon bakery owners Aaron and Melissa Klein, who were forced to close their storefront, Sweet Cakes by Melissa, in 2013 shortly after a lesbian couple filed a civil rights complaint against them for refusing to provide a same-sex wedding cake, were told they were being fined $135,000.
Stutzman was told she was being fined $1,001 by the state for her decision to abide by her religious beliefs. A judge ruled that her assets, including her business, personal possessions, bank accounts and home, could be subject to seizure to satisfy judgments against her.
Stutzman, 70, has run a flower shop for 40 years, but refused to make flower arrangements for the wedding of a longtime customer and found herself on the receiving end of two lawsuits – one from the Washington state attorney general’s office and another from the two men planning a same-sex wedding ceremony. They are not only suing her business; they’re also going after her personal assets, according to her attorney.
One of the homosexual customers, Robert Ingersoll,.