• Source: YouTube
  • Attorney General Submits 64 Page Brief Supporting Court's Decision Against Anti-Gay Florist

    The Washington State Attorney General has weighed in on Barronelle Stutzman's case, and supports the court's decision finding her guilty.

    For the past few years there have been several cases of anti-gay discrimination that have captivated the nation and mobilized the religious right against the right of same-sex couples to marry. These simple cases involving clear-cut discrimination, animus and anti-gay beliefs of florists, photographers, and bakers refusing to provide their goods and services to gay people getting married have all been decided in favor of the same-sex couples, as was the case against Washington state florist Barronelle Stutzman.

    As the owner of arlene's flowers, Stutzman refused to provide flowers for the wedding of a long time customer, citing her deeply held religious beliefs. 

    The State tried to settle with Stutzman for $2000 but she refused, and with her activist Alliance Defending Freedom attorney, went to trial. A Washington judge found Stutzman violated the Consumer Protection Act and the Washington Law Against Discrimination, and fined her $1000, $1 in legal costs, and enjoined her from further acts of discrimination.

    Stutzman and her Alliance Defending Freedom attorney since the case began in 2013 have egregiously been putting on a show, traveling the country, and claiming the state is trying to bankrupt her.

    And she's gotten an all-too-happy-to-comply media to go along with her pity party.

    "Barronelle Stutzman is now going to lose her business, her life savings, and possibly her own home for putting her faith into practice," Fox News' Erick Erickson claimed, incorrectly.

    Stutzman "stands to lose her business, her home, and her personal savings," a CNN op-ed wrongly claimed.

    And The Heritage Foundation ran this apparently fictive piece:

    In a phone interview with The Daily Signal, Barronelle Stutzman said the decision—and its accompanying fines—will put her flower shop out of business, or worse.

    After the fines and legal fees, “There won’t be anything left,” Stutzman said.

    “They want my home, they want my business, they want my personal finances as an example for other people to be quiet.”

    No, the State of Washington and the couple she discriminated against just want her to stop discriminating, as the decision against her read.

    Of course, the falsehoods Stutzman, her attorney, and a complicit media have claimed managed to get her $92,000 in donations via a GoFundMe page.

    And now, thanks to her anti-gay attorney using Stutzman to further her own cause, the Arlene's Flowers owner is appealing the decision to the Washington Supreme Court.

    Attorney General Bob Ferguson late Wednesday filed a 64-page brief that "outlines in exhaustive legal detail why the state’s top justices should uphold a Benton County Superior Court decision related to Arlene’s Flowers," the Tri-City Herald reports.

    Ferguson, in his brief, calls the case "discrimination based on sexual orientation, pure and simple."

    “Free speech and free exercise rights do not prohibit states from outlawing discriminatory conduct in business. If they did, discrimination of all kinds would flourish, and our country never would have made the enormous progress that we have,” Ferguson writes.

    "Just as it would be race discrimination for a florist to refuse to serve an interracial couple for their wedding, even if she would serve them at other times, it is sexual orientation discrimination for her to refuse to serve a same-sex couple for their wedding, even if she served them at other times."

    Ferguson also offers these salient points in his brief:

    Defendants ... argue that arranging flowers involves expression and that they therefore have a free speech right to refuse to provide wedding flowers to same-sex couples. But many types of conduct involve expression, and that does not exempt them from the law. Great cooking may be an art form, but that does not mean that a chef can evade health inspections or refuse to serve an interracial couple. Accepting Defendants’ argument would mean exempting from government regulation any conduct that involves expression. That is not and cannot be the law.

    Defendants also wrongly contend that their illegal discrimination must be excused because it is motivated by religion. That is incorrect. “When followers of a particular sect enter into commercial activity as a matter of choice, the limits they accept on their own conduct as a matter of conscience and faith are not to be superimposed on the statutory schemes which are binding on others in that activity.” United States v. Lee 

    The state Supreme Court will decide early next year if it will hear the case or send it to a lower court.

     

    EARLIER:

    Image of Barronelle Stutzman screenshot via YouTube
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    • commented 2016-01-27 15:56:40 -0500
      Sandra Dudley – your argument is flawed:
      1) religious freedom is what protects the customer. They have a constitutional right to their own beliefs about weddings and the business has not been able to restrict what it sells because of the customer’s creed since the 1950’s in Washington.

      This isn’t about the obligations of any particular individual but the businesses and this business had an employee at the time that would gladly have filled the order, they quit on the spot when the owner ordered the business to break the law.

      The question is "why did the owner offer the public something for sale they had no intention of selling legally in the first place?’

    • commented 2016-01-27 10:42:21 -0500
      Sandra Dudley:

      Their business is serviced by my roads, by my sidewalks,
      and my public lighting

      It is serviced by my code enforcement,
      by my refuse removal, my snow removal, my sewers
      by my reservoirs and by my public transportation system.

      It is protected by my police
      by my fire department
      and by my emergency services.

      It is defended by my National Guard,
      my Army, and Air Force,
      and by my Navy and Marine Corps.

      I pay for its Government.
      I pay for its schools.
      I pay for its meat and poultry inspections,
      its pharmaceuticals safety,
      and its schools, libraries, and child protection services.

      I pay for its tornado warnings, its 911 service,
      the District Attorneys that prosecute and criminal courts that adjudicate,
      and the municipal courts that give hearing to its civic complaints.

      Given, then, that their business
      is utterly dependent upon my taxes for its survival
      it is, perforce, obliged to my requests for service.

      If, in conscience, they cannot oblige me,
      then let them pay my taxes.

      Better yet,
      let close ip shop
      and get the hell out of this country.
      they don’t belong among the decent citizens of this Nation
      and This Nation will be a far more decent place without them and their kind.

      Period.
      Case closed.
      End of discussion.
      Hugs.

      Oh… I almost forgot.
      Hallelujah!

    • commented 2016-01-27 09:29:58 -0500
      This issue isn’t about discrimination, its about religious freedom. No one was refusing to bake a birthday cake for a gay person, nor refusing to bake a cake for them simply because they were gay. They were refusing to bake ONLY a wedding cake for a gay marriage because they believe gay marriage is wrong. So the issue is whether or not a person can force someone to assist them in doing something they believe is wrong and according to the constitution they can not. and it is about more than just gay marriage. It is about whether a nurse can be forced to assist in euthanasia or assisted suicide or a doctor can be forced to prescribe the abortion pills or whether a pharmacist can be forced to dispense the abortion pill or whether a Christian hospital can be force to offer abortions or transgender surgery or whether a minister can be force to perform gay marriages. or whether a Christian organization can be forced to purchase the abortion pill and birth control for their employees. Should a Jewish baker be force to make a cake with Nazi symbol for a Nazi rally? or a black baker be forced to bake a KKK cake for a KKK rally? Should a print shop owned by gays be forced to print up brochures and signs for anti gay marriage rally?

    • commented 2015-12-27 06:45:03 -0500
      Kerri, the court ruling from the state side was for $1000 fine, $1 in legal fees, and the couple’s suing for less than $10. The cases have been merged with the AG’s office doing all the legal work so there are negligible fees from the couple’s side.

      The only reason the owner’s assets are even exposed to judgement is because they instructed their business to make fraudulent offers to the public thereby losing the liability protections of the business’s LLC status.

      The owner broke the law, they have had 3 opportunities to just pay the fine and continue operating legally as they have for almost 3 years; by not offering wedding floral services to anyone. Any financial exposure the owner has is by their own personal choice.

    • commented 2015-12-27 00:00:59 -0500
      David, perhaps you should do your homework before attempting to analyze a lawsuit and pass it off as knowledgeable. Ms. Stutzman does stand to lose everything. Both the attorney general and her friend Rob and his spouse are suing her. The costs/fees are in hundreds of thousands. I’m happy to explain what that means on appeal and win/loss scenarios if you are interested in reporting facts.

    • commented 2015-12-26 21:06:08 -0500
      This is another Religion VS Secular law and the Secular law will win. No one cares about what they believe, they can leave it at home when they go to work, just like the rest of us. Just because they are ‘christians’, they think they are entitled to special rights over all other religions in which they can discriminate against customers. Funny how they didn’t mention the ‘participation’ crap in court. These people do not participate because they supply cake and flowers. I was a wedding photographer and even though we were there for the wedding, we were not part of the wedding party, sit with family or anyone not took part in the fun and games at the reception. We were working. Our job was to take pictures of the whole thing, not to be part of the wedding or pass judgement on the couple. The only person that knew our names were the one that hired us. I hope she does lose her home and business after sucking up court time chasing a dream of inequality. If she and her husband were real ‘christians’, they would have read the passages explaining following the law and praying in private.

    • commented 2015-12-26 19:20:56 -0500
      Barronelle Stutzman is pushing hard for a schizophrenic theocracy and laws that only her ilk and god will accept. American is decided on equality for all. Barronelle Stutzman belongs discredited, fined heavily, and shamed.

    • commented 2015-12-26 11:07:23 -0500
      Arlene’s Flowers faceBook Page:
      https://www.facebook.com/Arlenes-Flowers-179760432044760/

      Drop by, and leave for her a special valentine.

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