Barronelle Stuzman | Gay Marriage | News | Washington

Washington Florist Barronelle Stutzman Countersues State for Discriminating Against Her Religious Discrimination


Another lawsuit has been flung in the case of Barronelle Stutzman, the Richland, Washington florist who refused to provide flowers for a longtime gay customer's wedding because of her "relationship with Jesus Christ."

The couple who were discriminated against and the ACLU, as well as the state attorney general are suing Stutzman in two separate lawsuits, and now she's countersuing the state, KING5 reports:

The Alliance Defending Freedom issued a statement Thursday, saying it is representing Stutzman in the countersuit. It says Stutzman has employed people who identify as homosexual. Despite this, she feels she’s being discriminated.

“In America, the government is supposed to protect freedom, not use its intolerance for certain viewpoints to intimidate citizens into acting contrary to their faith convictions,” said Alliance Senior Legal Counsel Dale Schowengerdt. “Family business owners are constitutionally guaranteed the freedom to live and work according to their beliefs. It is this very freedom that gives America its cherished diversity and protects citizens from state-mandated conformity.”

The countersuit argues that the state Constitution protects Stutzman.

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  1. I used her for a while as a florist. After ruining two orders, I stopped going back. That was long before this stupidity.

    Posted by: GeoffreyPS | May 17, 2013 10:28:55 AM

  2. Dear Baronelle,

    If you truly believe whtat your Bible tells you, I suggest you re-read Romans 14:13. For your conveinience, I will post it for you: (from the King James Version) "Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way."

    Posted by: RHR IN TN | May 17, 2013 10:35:03 AM

  3. She's an hilarious wee plebe.

    Yes, the government should step in to protect her "freedom" to discriminate and make someone else's life more unpleasant.

    Because the government stepping in to protect you from having to treat everyone with fairness and grace and equality is what America is all about. Yeah. Right.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | May 17, 2013 10:40:22 AM

  4. If religion can be used to discriminate then why not take it to the ultimate and use it as a justification for taking a life. True believers my ass. Just hate filled bigots. A business license carries with it social responsibilities. If they conflict with your beliefs then you're in the wrong business. Open a church. I'm an atheist...explain why I can't buy beer before 12 on Sundays in my state but can on Saturday.

    Posted by: terry | May 17, 2013 10:43:37 AM

  5. I don't think that most of the people who support these "non-discrimination" laws have actually thought them all the way through.

    Are you aware that the case law doesn't merely support the basic rule that the restaurant must serve everyone who can pay? It actually has been ruled that the restaurant has to give "EQUAL SERVICE". Now I demand that you define "equal service". You can't. Moreover, it would by extension mean that you can't give better service to a regular or someone you want to please, if you don't also put that extra dollop of cherry sauce on everyone else's Crepes Fon Fon.

    These laws make operating your private property for profit and selling your labor and product for profit a legal crap shoot and a guaranteed source of revenue for lawyers and insurance companies.

    Posted by: David Hearne | May 17, 2013 10:47:11 AM

  6. I see a SCOTUS case in the making here.

    Posted by: jamal49 | May 17, 2013 10:50:18 AM

  7. So when the government forced white people to serve black people or allow black people to sit wherever they wanted to on the bus they were discriminating against white people's "right" to discriminate against black people?

    So if I refused to hire "Christians" or sell my products to them that would be ok? Oh no, no, no the "Christians" would cry persecution and discrimination and sue me for violating their religious freedom.

    Discrimination is uncivilized and this ingrate Nazi florist has NO legal right to force her religious beliefs on customers.

    Posted by: RMc | May 17, 2013 11:04:49 AM

  8. Sometimes it's just so hard being a white, middle-class Christian in America. Oh the discrimination she must face... I really feel for the poor old b*tch.

    Posted by: Jack Ford | May 17, 2013 11:14:50 AM

  9. rmc- A lunch counter and a bus service are two quite different things. My great uncle owned the bus service when I was a child. While it was his private enterprise, he was working under a franchise from the government to provide an essential service normally provided by the government. So it was not OK for the bus line to discriminate against blacks. The lunch counter, on the other hand was owned entirely by Woolworth's and was not essential. It was and ought to be their right to serve or not serve anyone they please.

    Posted by: David Hearne | May 17, 2013 11:15:46 AM

  10. She never said she wouldn't sell them flowers. She only said that she would not make and deliver wedding flowers for them. She won't cater to a special event that she doesn't approve of. As a bartender, I refused to work a womens only dinner. I felt that a womens dinner hosted by women for women should have had a female identifying bartender, not a male bartender. There was lots of time for the event manager to hire a new bartender, I turned down the work. Shoudl I also be sued.

    She's not stopping them from pruchasing her flowers and using them in the wedding, shes not denying them entry to her store, shes not charging them an extra price. All she is doing is turning down a custom order for a special event. I see no issue with that.

    Posted by: thrutch | May 17, 2013 11:18:12 AM

  11. Her case is being brought by--surprise!--the Alliance Defending Freedom, an anti-gay organization founded by FOF/AFA etc. religious zealots. They're using Barronelle as a prop for their own anti-gay propaganda and know they don't have a constitutional leg to stand on.

    Sexual orientation has been included in the state's non-discrimination laws for years now--it's nothing new. Refusing service to people based on their sexual orientation is no different than refusing it based on race, ethnicity, religion, gender etc. So, unless the court rules that a special exemption can be carved out to give religious people (presumably it would have to be any religion, not just Christianity) special rights to discriminate, she has no case.

    @thrutch: Your comparison is not apt. You didn't want to work a dinner but found someone else to take your place. She could have found another worker to do the flowers, but didn't. So, in essence, she in fact did turn away customers based on their sexual orientation, which you may not have an issue with, but the state of WA does.

    Posted by: Ernie | May 17, 2013 11:46:36 AM

  12. David Hearne, you can't possibly believe the right wing nonsense you spew on this site every day. I know you're just a troll, and a bad one at that.

    Posted by: MateoM | May 17, 2013 12:24:25 PM

  13. She specifically broke a law in the city and/or state when she made it an anti-gay discrimination. She'll lose because of it.

    Posted by: jakeinlove | May 17, 2013 12:40:24 PM

  14. @David, read that law, it's set up to allow for wiggle room that totally invalidates your fear.

    It is not OK for a lunch counter to refuse service based on race. That lunch counter can become a private club if they want to be a country-club racist.

    Also, even private businesses could be broken by the government if they get too large and their denial of service constitutes a crime.

    Racism isn't illegal, but it should be. Privacy and personal freedom are great and all but we live in a very crowded reality and need to start shaping to meet our needs instead of foolishly holding on to every tenant of our past, like babies.

    Posted by: Fenrox | May 17, 2013 12:49:57 PM

  15. If you're such good friends with Jesus, why not ask him why he made gay people?

    Posted by: jimstoic | May 17, 2013 2:18:58 PM

  16. The majority of posters here don't seem to get the gist of this issue; that she is free to offer or not offer a service or product to the public but she is not free to make this decision based on the characteristics of a protected class. Gay and lesbian people are a protected class under the definition of her state. It doesn't matter what YOU think about it; she made a decision to not offer to a gay couple a service which she offers to the rest of the public and she based that decision on her prejudice against this protected class. She is a lawbreaker. This is not a matter of what is fair and what is not -- this is not a matter of what YOU think she should or should not be able to do. This is a matter of law. She is a law-breaker, plain and simple. Stop trying to second-guess the law and substitute your own ideas of fairness. If you don't like the law -- you are free to try to change it, but this useless bickering and whining or "She should be able to do what ever she wants to do" is pointless.

    Posted by: Alex Parrish | May 17, 2013 2:21:47 PM

  17. mateom - I sincerely believe that a US citizen has the right to choose with whom he will not associate or do business. I don't see that as a right wing position. BTW- I am not a right winger nor am I a Republican. I am a fascist.

    Posted by: David Hearne | May 17, 2013 7:58:47 PM

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