Case of Florist Who Denied Service for Gay Wedding Is Heard

A florist who was sued for refusing to provide services for a same sex-wedding says she was exercising her First Amendment rights, but Washington state Supreme Court justices repeatedly questioned Tuesday whether ruling in her favor would mean other businesses could turn away customers based on racial or other grounds.

The court heard arguments in the closely watched case against Barronelle Stutzman, a 71-year-old florist in Richland, Washington, who was fined by a lower court for denying service to a gay couple in 2013.

Stutzman had previously sold the couple flowers and knew they were gay, but told them she couldn’t provide flowers for their wedding because same-sex marriage was incompatible with her Christian beliefs.

The narrative …

“Marriage is an archaic backwards institution. Who needs it?”
“Marriage and children? What? No connection.”
“You don’t need marriage to have a loving, compassionate relationship. It’s just a piece of paper.”


“Marriage is vital to the happiness and dignity of non-straights.”
“There are so many children in foster care that need love. It is the same-sex couples’ right to adopt.”
“Bake the cake. Take the pictures. Rent the space.”

All while yelling “LOVE IS LOVE!”

I suggest making “narrative” plural. There is more than one.

Marriage doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone. I don’t think that people are trying to make their specific perspectives consistent with the perspectives of everyone else.

but Washington state Supreme Court justices repeatedly questioned Tuesday whether ruling in her favor would mean other businesses could turn away customers based on racial or other grounds.

No, I believe there is a big difference between a race, gender, sexual orientation etc and someone’s actions. Supreme Court justices are a major worry if they can’t seem to get their heads around something that simple!

Not only that, but do they really think Christians are going to obey any law they pass trying to force them to participate in something they find morally wrong?

If X people couldn’t get flowers anywhere else, than I could at least understand a court case, but not when they can just go buy them elsewhere, these people need to wake up to themselves and leave these Christian Florists alone.

If I were the Christian florists, I would have sold them the flowers, as I don’t believe that would be contributing in what they wanted to use them for. I would have just said I don’t want to know what your going to use them for, and the proceeds will go to an organization that defends and upholds traditional marriage.

The Asher’s Bakery case in Ireland is very different though I believe, because in that instance, they were asked to inscribe pro same sex marriage material on their product. The ruling in the Asher’s Bakery case was a gross injustice.

p.s. Haven’t these people got anything better to do than sue a Christian flouriest because they don’t want to violate their conscience in being a participant to a same sex wedding? so much for *‘how will two people of the same sex marrying effect you’ *

And haven’t the Supreme Court got anything better to do either? … what a joke.

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Well, okay, to be accurate: one is a fictional narrative and the other a factual one, but you are technically correct that there are two narratives.

It is at base an attack on freedom of religion and sooner or later this will be made the focus.

Maybe a Jewish bakery that gets a demand for pork pies …

It would be a problem if the Jewish bakery sold pork pies to straight people but not gay people. If the Jewish bakery didn’t sell pork pies to anyone then there’s no problem.

With regard to the bakers- the issue should be argued as freedom of speech.

If you are a musician, you should be able to accept or decline whatever jobs you want. That allows jazz musicians to not be forced to play classical concerts, and R&B musicians to not be forced to play country concerts. Likewise, Christian musicians shouldn’t be forced to play at a “gay marriage” ceremony.

If you are a artistic painter, you should be able to accept or decline whatever commissions you want. If you specialize in painting landscapes, you should not be forced to paint a portrait. Likewise, if you specialize in Christian motif’s, you shouldn’t be forced to paint a pornographic scene.

If you create a work of art on a cake, you should be able to accept or decline whatever commissions you want. If you specialize in gothic design, then you should be able to decline creating flowery Easter cupcakes. And if you specialize in Christian wedding cakes, you shouldn’t be forced to use your artistic ability to create a cake for a “gay marriage” ceremony.

I thank God that Trump won so he can put conservative, God-fearing men and women on the US Supreme Court…and maybe we can get back to some semblence of sanity in our country.

In legal terms, is it possible to discriminate against “gay marriage” and not “gay people”, per se?

I don’t see why not. Gay marriage is not an intrinsic characteristic of gay people.

Here is some backdrop information in regards to Baronelle Stutzman. She wrote an op-ed called ‘Why a friend is suing me: the Arlene’s Flowers story’:

Basically, she says she counts a man named Rob as a friend, who was in a same-sex relationship. She said she would of provided flowers for his “partner’s birthday” but when he asked for flowers for a wedding, she couldn’t do that because of the meaning of weddings being a Christian. She even suggested other florists who would do the flowers, but she couldn’t put the creativity into the flowers for what was going to be a wedding, because of her faith, that was going too far. She was still sued despite all this, by a friend.

So she points out she would of provided flowers for another type of occasion for this friend, so this is not a case of her not wanting to serve homosexuals full stop, but putting the artistic creativity into flowers for a same-sex wedding went over the line, and there should be reasonable accommodation for people like Baronelle Stutzman.

wasn’t that the whole fiasco though? they’re probably willing to sell flowers, cakes, etc for non-gay marriage-related occasions to gays/lesbians. So they are not being discriminated against.

Some try to get an issue into a higher court because it’s a method of changing laws. It’s not necessarily motivated by a single instance of a conflict.

In one of these cases, the bakery one, the gay people had been long standing customers of the shop.

So, yeah, the owner was perfectly happy to sell anything to them as people, but was unwilling to be part of a ceremony they disagreed with.

If marriage doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone then it isn’t objective. If it isn’t objective then we define it. If we define it then it can’t be discriminatory in a way that violates a fundamental right. The marriage ‘looks’ different argument to different people should be a sufficient reason for one person not to honor or recognize someone else’s vision of it.

But the battle is to force those who don’t think SSM is a real thing to act as if it is. Tolerance isn’t being asked for but rather acknowledgement and acceptance is being demanded.

Yes, I think we are on the same side on this issue.

So by this reasoning, the bakery could just not sell cakes with pro-gay messages to either gay or straight people alike, and it would be OK. I like that.

It doesn’t, it’s a societal convention and has been subject to changes. Looking across societies, cultures, and times differences can be found. How many people can be in a marriage with each other? What are the possible sex combinations of those involved? Do the people need to be alive? Does it need to be people? Can the relationship be dissolved? Can a person marry someone else after having been married before? What if those people are or different “races” (race also being a societal convention).

Societal conventions are defined and changed by the people within a society or grouping within that society. That’s part of why I say:

There are qualifiers that people may use to refer to marriages that have certain characteristics or are examples of certain definitions. Civil/Legal marriage, sacramental marriage, ghost marriage (yes, that’s a thing), so on. I don’t think all the different type of marriage fit into a single linear narrative (see message #2). Rather I think there are multiple narratives some of which may have branched off of or had interactions with others.

“If it can be defined then it can’t be discriminatory” - Can you explain? I think that’s a non sequitar. Perhaps there is some additional information that is missing. The topic of fundamental rights depend on which school of thought you subscribe to on “rights.” That’s a topic for the Philosophy forum, one that has come up before and will probably come up again.

It’s not necessary to honor or recognize someone’s marriage to sell them a cake. If someone wanted to marry a warehouse (an example that’s not as made-up as it sounds) and asked to by a cake for the occasion I can both think it’s ridiculous and give them a cake.

Not quite accurate. Merely because different people have differing opinions on something does not logically imply the thing isn’t objective. There are, for example, differing opinions on good art or good music and that, in itself, does not mean the qualities that make art or music good cannot be objectively determined.

People, even experts, can disagree about certain things but that merely implies the objective qualities are not easily determined. It doesn’t automatically make those determinations subjective.

Nope. This same argument can be made with regards to things like rape, torture, murder, theft or dishonesty. The mere fact that some individuals can be found to have a different view does not mean we are free to define it any way we wish.

There are specific characteristics of marriage that are “objective” and not even disputable. The capacity to create, nurture and form new human beings is integral to the conjugal view of marriage. Merely that some will disregard those very objective characteristics does not mean they aren’t objective and clearly an aspect of marriage all through history.

It is much bigger than that. In fact, it has morphed into denying gender has any objective meaning whatsoever – that individuals have a right to determine their own gender despite the fact that gender differences are genetically, physiologically and biologically undeniable.

We may as well abdicate any sense of reality and let reality (and objectivity) become entirely a matter of subjective determination.

The whole enterprise went off the rails a while ago. We need to forensically backtrack to the point where the “common” understanding went astray and shore up the rational case for objectivity before we proceed any further.

I would insist that any claim that begins with if something isn’t seen the same way by everyone then it isn’t objective has proven itself to be unfit to make determinations regarding objectivity from the get go.

This is a mere assertion that assumes what it needs to prove. Question begging at best.

No, defenders of conjugal marriage are not going to grant you that marriage is merely a “social convention.” It may be viewed as such by those who argue that redefinition of marriage is not problematic. That, however, doesn’t prove the case.

It is the same point with regards to morality. If someone merely assumes that morality is to be defined as the conventions of society, that person is missing entirely that the starting point of those who do not agree that morality can be “subject to change” is a fundamentally different one – metaphysically, ontologically and ethically.

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