The gay couple, her long-time customers, decided to sue her like most nice, kind, long-time customers would the minute they didn’t get their own way about something (not). And Washington State has ruled against her in a breathtakingly bad decision:
RICHLAND — A florist who refused to provide flowers to a gay couple for their wedding violated state consumer-protection and anti-discrimination law, a judge ruled Wednesday.
Benton County Superior Court Judge Alex Ekstrom rejected arguments from the owner of Arlene’s Flowers in Richland that her actions were protected by her freedoms of speech and religion. While religious beliefs are protected by the First Amendment, actions based on those beliefs aren’t necessarily protected, he said. [...]
Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson and the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, which represented the couple, welcomed the ruling.
“The law is clear: If you choose to provide a service to couples of the opposite sex, you must provide the same service to same-sex couples,” Ferguson said.
The law allows for penalties of up to $2,000 per violation, as well as legal fees.
The state will likely seek those against Stutzman individually, as well as her business, said Peter Lavallee, a spokesman for the attorney general’s office
To sum up: a Christian may not practice her Christianity when it interferes with a gay couple’s right to demand floral arrangements for what many Christians see as an evil mockery of marriage. And the State will punish a Christian for practicing her faith in her place of business--which she OWNS--by confiscating “penalties” not only from that business but from her personally as well.
Christians, you see, don’t have the right to own flower shops unless they will kneel at the altar of Ba’al to pour out floral libations in celebration of the wickedness of gay “marriage.” The state has the right to force them to do so.
The National Organization for Marriage’s blog has more details about this outrageous case. The Alliance Defending Freedom website contains links to the whole outrageous decision, in which the court ruled that freedom of religion means that believers are free to have beliefs, but not necessarily free to express them in public or act on them. Chillingly, the court cited the New Mexico decision in Elane Photography LLC vs. Willock in their decision--if a photographer can be forced to photograph a gay “wedding” despite her Christian beliefs that marriage can only exist between a man and a woman, the Washington Court said, then this creates the precedent that forces all religious believers to participate in gay “weddings” whenever they are asked to do so.
Or, as Mark Shea has been putting it for years: Tolerance is not enough. You MUST approve.
If you are a Catholic, a Christian, an observant orthodox Jewish person, a Muslim, or anyone else whose religion teaches that marriage is between a man and a woman, and you happen to own or work at a place which provides goods and services for weddings, there is only one thing you can do: Get. Out. NOW.
I hate to shout, but the bars are closing in, and if you don’t restructure your business today in such a way that you no longer provide any goods or services for weddings, you will be forced in the very near future to cater or photograph or provide flowers or bridal gowns/tuxes or other wedding-related items to gay couples. Trust me--they will seek out your business on purpose to destroy it if they have any suspicion that you might be a religious believer who doesn’t believe in gay “marriage.”
The courts keep ruling against religious freedom. In the name of tolerance and inclusion they are helping move our culture to a place that is completely intolerant of religious faith and completely ready to exclude all of us from the market place, unless we’re prepared to sell out our religious freedom and kowtow to the illusion that two men or two women are, in any way that we understand it in the light of our religious faiths, “married." The court in Washington is prepared to punish Mrs. Stutzman if she doesn’t accept their “settlement offer,” a fine of just over $2000 and a promise that from now on she will serve all the gay “weddings” she’s asked to serve as a florist. Mrs. Stutzman, may God bless her, is standing firm, prepared to lose her business and all her personal assets as well rather than participate in something she truly believes is wrong in the eyes of her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. She does not stand alone, but maybe it will take a million florists and a million bakers and a million photographers saying to all of their customers, “I’m sorry, but the one kind of event I won’t provide my services to are weddings of any kind, because America no longer allows me the freedom to practice my faith in regards to weddings or marriages--in fact, according to this great nation I am an evil bigot who must be silenced and punished for my deeply held belief that marriage is only between a man and a woman.”