Washington court rules against florist who refused flowers for gay wedding


#1

The Washington Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that a florist who refused to provide flowers to a gay couple violated a state law that bars discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

In a unanimous ruling, the nine members of the court sided with a gay couple from Kennewick, Wash., who sued a local florist for discrimination. The florist, a devout Southern Baptist, told the couple she could not provide flowers for their wedding because of her religious beliefs.

The florist, Barronelle Stutzman, said she believes participating in or allowing her employees to participate in same-sex weddings by providing flowers would be condoning same-sex marriage, counter to her religious beliefs. A lower court judge sided with the couple and fined Stutzman $1,001 in penalties.

thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/319900-washington-court-rules-against-florist-who-refused-flowers-for-gay


For opposing gay marriage, she’s facing death threats and million-dollar lawsuits
#2

we should set up a “Go Fund Me” like page for the florist (since Go Fund Me closed here page after it had raised almost $200K)

Any one know of any of Go Fund Me’s competitors who will not close down the site?


#3

I pray as a country we get past this kind of thing. I really do. And of course my state too, but I fear it is pretty much gone.


#4

This happened in my state. I’m asking in good faith as I truly do not understand the reasoning for saying that this is a trampling of religious rights. Can someone please explain this to me? I could understand if they were forcing a church to marry a gay couple. I could understand if it was a situation where a bakery was being forced to write a pro gay rights slogan on the cake but flowers for a gay wedding are the same as flowers for a straight wedding. The only reason service was refused was because she didn’t want to serve a gay couple. I see this as similar to a refusal to serve an interracial couple. I don’t understand how expecting a business to perform their normal business function for this gay couple as they would a straight couple is an issue. My first thought is that maybe it has something to do with not being an accomplice in something that is immoral but it’s the same exact goods/service.


#5

Winner, winner chicken dinner.

This is material cooperation in another’s sin. And it’s truly against the deeply held religious beliefs of some. It’s not the same as not wanting to serve these people, or people of color; in every case I’ve heard about the florists cheerfully sold flowers to homosexual patrons before. It’s the wedding that’s the problem.


#6

I’m very surprised that all nine of the judges in this Appeals Court voted against the florist. Usually cases like these are split decision, air at least somewhat close. This ruling just goes to show that religious freedom is truly under attack in the country, with secular liberals desiring that, instead of all religions being given fair treatment, no religion should be visible in American society. Simply horrible.

May God bless you all! :slight_smile:


#7

It’s participating in sin.


#8

I could understand if it was a situation where a bakery was being forced to write a pro gay rights slogan on the cake but flowers for a gay wedding are the same as flowers for a straight wedding. The only reason service was refused was because she didn’t want to serve a gay couple. I see this as similar to a refusal to serve an interracial couple. I don’t understand how expecting a business to perform their normal business function for this gay couple as they would a straight couple is an issue. My first thought is that maybe it has something to do with not being an accomplice in something that is immoral but it’s the same exact goods/service.

First of all, the government should not be telling businesses whom they must serve. It’s a dangerous slippery slope because many wedding businesses are not very large and if they take on too much the quality of their services go down and they often times end up in small-claims court because that supposedly special moment got ruined by bad service.

It’s really only a matter of when not if this happens in a controlling state like Washington because rulings like these exacerbate the victim mentality.

**Secondly, **people should not be forced by the state to violate their conscience. What would happen if the state thought it was appropriate for someone from the Westboro Baptist Church to serve on GLAAD’s board in the name of diversity and if they didn’t comply, they would be fined 100,000 dollars. Sure, it’d be stupid, unjust and a bad idea. But who cares? Government, especially “educated” bureaucrats and judges, are always right.

**Third, **some of these rulings are corrupt and influenced by outside forces. Probably not enough to change the fundamentals, but enough to have harsher penalties. By comparison, when file-sharing copyrighted music was an issue and the record companies had enough and took legal action, they went after a 12-year-old kid to prove the point that no one was untouchable.

Fourth, the same people who are for this ruling would be outside burning cars and running around half-naked with signs if it were against tax-payer funding for Muslim foot-baths. Then every activist would be in virtue-signal mode. :rolleyes:

**Fifth, any court that forces a state to conduct interracial marriage or any other kind of marriage violates the 10th Amendment. Marriage is not a Constitutional right, so it automatically falls to the states. The Loving v. Virginia ruling was based as much on economics as anything else, but was still a violation of the 10th Amendment. It is not sufficient to say that because a court made the decision that it’s right. Otherwise, I’m more than happy to discuss OJ Simpson. And by that logic, if one judge in West Virginia ruled that coal mining was completely safe and environmentally friendly, we would have to accept it as gospel truth then.
**
Sixth,
the gay “marriage” supporters have been using interracial marriage as their crutch for some time. The real question here isn’t about bakeries or florists: it’s if gay “marriage” is good, strong and powerful, why do they need all this extra attention and a baseline from straight marriages to support them? It would seem to me if so-called gay “marriages” were so strong and mighty, they would be able to stand on their own merits AND getting refused service from a little old mom and pop florist would not unravel one’s psyche to the point of them needing to go to court is not a strong stance.

In fact, my wife and I had problems with the caterers at our wedding, but it didn’t affect the outcome or our happiness. Are gay (and really other invalid instances) ‘weddings’ so fragile and frail they cannot take the slightest little hiccup? If so, why invest in or support them at all?

In terms of government, Thomas Jefferson started railing against the courts as early as 1803 because he saw them as the Achilles heal of our republic.

Overall, you keep saying “I don’t see, I can’t see”. By this we really mean if we can’t understand the decision a business makes, it should not be allowed to make them because we think its wrong…even though most people commenting on this have never run a business one day in their lives.

Our voice is in the marketplace. It’s very dangerous to use the force of government, especially the courts, to solve what we think are problems while we sit around and arm-chair quarterback what feels right.

I would also add that since this is a Catholic Forum----if we cannot see the problem with being forced to accommodate invalid weddings, then people are not looking hard enough and falling for scandal.

If it really were this grave injustice, why aren’t the activists looking into this:

louderwithcrowder.com/hidden-camera-gay-wedding-cake-at-muslim-bakery/


#9

Ever notice in the West how ALL of these cases involve businesses run by straight, white Christian small business owners?

If it’s such a grave injustice, why don’t they just waltz on over to a bakery in Harlem, East LA or Dearborn, Michigan and try and plan a gay wedding there?

After all, it’s the great cause of our time----and not just a coincidence that most everyone who supports it does so because it’s fun, easy and cool and just big old headache not to.

This isn’t about “equal rights”. It’s about getting leftists elected, getting revenge on Christians, and feeling and looking good on Facebook and keeping the peace at Thanksgiving dinner.


#10

By providing the flowers for a wedding, she is participating in the gay couple’s mortal sin. This would be like driving your son and his girlfriend to a rental office to rent an apartment together. Or buy alcohol for someone under 21, or worse under 18. Or selling cigarettes to someone you know has a fake ID.

All of these things are sins because you are helping someone commit a sin.

In regards to the interracial marriage… no. There is no sin by marrying someone from another race, regardless of what people may have said.

BTW - this would also be a kin to watching two Catholics marry outside the Church. There are many people who will not attend an interfaith wedding if the couple is sinning by doing so. For example: two Catholic getting married by a justice of the peace or a Catholic & Protestant marrying outside the Catholic Church without a dispensation from the Bishop. Or a divorced Catholic marrying without an annulment. There are religious people who will not attend any of those weddings either.

The problem for the Baptist owner is that she can’t show other instances where she would turn down a person.

If a devout Catholic was a florist… I would strongly recommend that a Catholic florist refuse to provide services for any Catholic who is not marrying according to the canon law. At least then, the florist can show that it wasn’t just against gay marriage, but all invalid marriage. But again, the Baptist doesn’t have a code of canon law.


#11

Yes being an accomplice seems to be their thinking and apparently it’s a sin for Catholics and in this case for Southern Baptists to sell flowers for an occasion that they do not approve of. I suppose then if some florist’s religion declared it a sin for interracial couples to marry, that Catholics here would be on board with the florist in that case too. And I would of course agree with Phil and for consistency I’d expect Catholic florists to refuse to sell flowers to a heterosexual Catholic couple or a divorced Catholic marrying outside the Catholic Church. But I don’t often hear of that occurring. And some apparently think businesses can not be told who to serve. But one time businesses refused to serve people based on race.


#12

This has nothing to do with serving gay marriages, it has to do with a business’ schedule. Presumably a florist know how many weddings he or she can provide flowers for each week and also possesses a calendar.

**Secondly, **people should not be forced by the state to violate their conscience. What would happen if the state thought it was appropriate for someone from the Westboro Baptist Church to serve on GLAAD’s board in the name of diversity and if they didn’t comply, they would be fined 100,000 dollars. Sure, it’d be stupid, unjust and a bad idea. But who cares? Government, especially “educated” bureaucrats and judges, are always right.

The GLAAD board is not a licensed place of public accommodation so yes, if a court decided that it would be a bad decision. This example has nothing to do with the situation at hand.

**Third, **some of these rulings are corrupt and influenced by outside forces. Probably not enough to change the fundamentals, but enough to have harsher penalties. By comparison, when file-sharing copyrighted music was an issue and the record companies had enough and took legal action, they went after a 12-year-old kid to prove the point that no one was untouchable.

I honestly don’t know what you’re trying to say here.

Fourth, the same people who are for this ruling would be outside burning cars and running around half-naked with signs if it were against tax-payer funding for Muslim foot-baths. Then every activist would be in virtue-signal mode. :rolleyes:

If there was taxpayer funding for facilities that only accommodated Muslims that court decision would be correct. A footbath open to all people isn’t discriminatory and is just a public service.

**Fifth, **any court that forces a state to conduct interracial marriage or any other kind of marriage violates the 10th Amendment. Marriage is not a Constitutional right, so it automatically falls to the states. The Loving v. Virginia ruling was based as much on economics as anything else, but was still a violation of the 10th Amendment. It is not sufficient to say that because a court made the decision that it’s right. Otherwise, I’m more than happy to discuss OJ Simpson. And by that logic, if one judge in West Virginia ruled that coal mining was completely safe and environmentally friendly, we would have to accept it as gospel truth then.

Do you oppose the Loving decision on moral grounds or simply jurisdictional grounds?

Sixth, the gay “marriage” supporters have been using interracial marriage as their crutch for some time. The real question here isn’t about bakeries or florists: it’s if gay “marriage” is good, strong and powerful, why do they need all this extra attention and a baseline from straight marriages to support them? It would seem to me if so-called gay “marriages” were so strong and mighty, they would be able to stand on their own merits AND getting refused service from a little old mom and pop florist would not unravel one’s psyche to the point of them needing to go to court is not a strong stance.

Since interracial marriage is just a “crutch” I’m probably too weak to argue without using it: do you feel this same away about the black people who fought for civil rights in the '50s, '60s, and beyond? Why did they need all this extra attention from people who didn’t want to serve them?


#13

As of 2015, according to Reuters, over $100,000 was raised in donations for Baronelle Stutzman: uk.mobile.reuters.com/article/idUKKBN0MX18H20150406

I don’t know if she’s received that money but over $5000 has also been raised here: continuetogive.com/4812329


#14

Here’s an opinion piece that Baronelle Stutzman wrote. She calls the man that sued her by his first name and she said they had a ‘friendship’ in the article. Here is an excerpt:

I knew he was in a relationship with a man and he knew I was a Christian. But that never clouded the friendship for either of us or threatened our shared creativity — until he asked me to design something special to celebrate his upcoming wedding.

If all he’d asked for were prearranged flowers, I’d gladly have provided them. If the celebration were for his partner’s birthday, I’d have been delighted to pour my best into the challenge. But as a Christian, weddings have a particular significance.

Marriage does celebrate two people’s love for one another, but its sacred meaning goes far beyond that. Surely without intending to do so, Rob was asking me to choose between my affection for him and my commitment to Christ. As deeply fond as I am of Rob, my relationship with Jesus is everything to me. Without Christ, I can do nothing.

seattletimes.com/opinion/why-a-good-friend-is-suing-me-the-arlenes-flowers-story/


#15

There is discussion about interracial marriage and it is very important that interracial marriage, while it was opposed by some and discriminated against, there are serious and distinct differences between interracial marriage and same-sex marriage.

Here are some articles going over the differences between interracial marriage and same-sex marriage:

thepublicdiscourse.com/2015/07/15350/

cfcidaho.org/isn039t-banning-gay-marriage-just-banning-interracial-marriage

dailysignal.com/2014/08/27/7-reasons-current-marriage-debate-nothing-like-debate-interracial-marriage/

Regarding Loving v Virginia, the Supreme Court opinion declared the prohibition of marriage between White people and others to be about ‘White Supremacy’. The opinion states:

There is patently no legitimate overriding purpose independent of invidious racial discrimination which justifies this classification. The fact that Virginia prohibits only interracial marriages involving white persons demonstrates that the racial classifications must stand on their own justification, as measures designed to maintain White Supremacy.

law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/388/1

So it appears that in Virginia, non-Whites could get married to somebody of the same or different race than themselves but it was only Whites that were distinctly not allowed to get married to somebody of a different race. This is nothing like the debate or issues regarding same-sex marriage.


#16

Since when did courts become the legislative branch of our country? I mean, geez, where does it end? I don’t see this ending well. I had to sound paranoid about a coming persecution, but I feel it’s coming. I hope someone proves me wrong.


#17

Is it? Would it have been material cooperation in Trump’s sin to provide flowers for his second or third wedding?


#18

Since they didn’t. Read the article. In this case they interpreted WA state law and made the determination that the florist was violating the state’s nondiscrimination law.


#19

Is it particpating in sin to do the flowers for people remarrying after divorce?


#20

Thank you for the articles! These are very helpful and are good food for thought. As someone coming into the faith, I’m still learning to reconcile compassion for people with same sex attraction with church teachings. It can be difficult and confusing to do so when there are some people who support the business owners out of bigotry towards homosexuals instead of supporting the business owners because they hold marriage sacred.

A few people above mentioned providing services for those getting married outside of canon law. Would the people providing the services also be sinning in those situations?


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