Barronelle Stutzman owns a flower shop in Washington state. A gay couple she had served for years decided to weaponize the secular state to punish her, when she declined to participate in their same-sex wedding. In this Fox News editorial, she explains what the gay activists in Washington state government did to her. Those already familiar with the case might want to read her editorial anyway, because it shows that that her case has parallels to the Jack Phillips case that was recently decided by the Supreme Court.
This is a very useful editorial because I think it really shows how to frame disagreement with homosexual redefinitions of marriage in a winsome way. If the police and the government come for you, it’s important to understand how to explain yourself without being more offensive than you have to be.
I tried to do my work as an artist in ways that honored my religious beliefs, my home state of Washington turned my life upside down. Since then, my state has been prosecuting me because I declined, for religious reasons, one request to celebrate one event for one gay customer – a friend of mine named Rob, whom I’d been delighted to serve for nearly a decade.
The Washington Supreme Court ruled against me last year with a decision that threatens to bankrupt my husband and me. But this week, the U.S. Supreme Court breathed new life into my case, sending it back to the Washington courts for further consideration.
[…]I’m also a Christian, and that affects every part of my life, including my work. Because I believe that all people are made in the very image of God, I serve everyone who enters my shop and treat them with dignity and respect.
She served gay people, but declined to participate in same-sex marriage weddings:
But this doesn’t mean that I can agree to every request. If people ask for custom arrangements to celebrate events or express messages that run up against my religious beliefs, I have to say ‘no.’ (This is particularly true for events like weddings that I personally attend.) Even then, I’ll gladly create something else for them, or sell them any of my ready-to-purchase items.
My relationship with Rob shows this. I served him for nearly a decade. I knew that he is gay, and he knew that I’m a Christian. None of that mattered. We enjoyed working with each other, and we quickly became friends. I was glad to create arrangements celebrating his partner’s birthday, their anniversary, Valentine’s Day, and other important life events. But when he asked me to design the flowers for his wedding, it was a different matter.
Her reason for declining to participate in the same-sex wedding was her own deeply-held religious convictions: (which are protected by law)
My faith teaches me that marriage is sacred, and that it exists only in the uniting of a man and a woman. I cannot create custom floral art, or be part of an event, celebrating a view that contradicts what I believe God designed marriage to be.
She declined the request to participate in the wedding in a gentle way, and recommended other businesses who would do a good job:
So when Rob asked me about his wedding, I walked him to a private part of my shop, took his hand in mine, told him why I couldn’t do what he asked, and referred him to three other florists who I knew would do a good job. Rob said that he understood, and we hugged before he left.
It was the state of Washington that decided to force their secular left “morality” on her. They decided to make an example of her, in order to intimidate Christians into acting like non-Christians on moral issues. (similar to what happened in Colorado with the Civil Rights Commission vs Masterpiece Cakeshop).
But, just like Colorado gay activists in government, they did not apply the law consistently. Christian businesses were persecuted, but anti-Christian businesses were allowed to discriminate against Christians:
Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson heard about this after Rob’s partner posted something on social media. Ever since, the attorney general has relentlessly – and on his own initiative – come after me in ways he’s never come after anyone else. He certainly hasn’t done the same to a Seattle coffee shop owner who profanely berated and openly discriminated against Christian customers.
The consequences for Barronelle are the loss of her business and everything that she owns, and hoped to pass on to her own children:
The attorney general doesn’t just want to punish me in my role as a business owner. He’s sued me in my “personal capacity,” meaning that my husband and I are now at risk of losing everything we own.
The attorney general was asked to stop trying to take everything she owned, but he declined to do it. He’s addicted the idea of using the power of the secular government to punish religious people who disagree with him.
I’ve written the attorney general a letter urging him “to drop” the personal claims that risk stripping away “my home, business, and other assets.” He won’t. For him, this case has been about making an example of me – crushing me – all because he disapproves of what I believe about marriage.
And remember that the salary of this fascistic attorney general is funded in part by Barronelle’s own income taxes. She’s paying them to persecute her for her Christian beliefs, because the people around her – some of whom claim to be Christians – voted for bigger and bigger secular leftist government.
Discrimination against Christians
I decided to take a look at the other case that she linked to, to really understand whether the state of Washington had enforced the law differently for different people. You’ll remember that the favorable decision that Jack Phillips got was conditional (in part) on the law being applied inconsistently in his home state.
Here’s the story:
A homosexual coffee shop owner refused service to a group of peaceful Christian [pro-lifers] Sunday and evicted them from his shop.
The [pro-lifers] had been actively engaging people in the city for several days, sharing the gospel, holding signs exposing the abortion holocaust, and handing out literature to people of the streets. According to… Caytie Davis, the group entered Bedlam Coffee to rest and have a drink but did not engage anyone there.
“We had nothing on us, we weren’t distributing anything,” Davis said. “We bought coffee and went upstairs.” Within minutes of their arrival, the barista ran up the stairs and into the back room to alert the owner of their presence.
[…]When the [pro-lifers] asked why they had to leave, the owner told them, “This offends me.”
[…]Jonathan Sutherland pointed out that the literature had been found on public property, but the owner repeatedly cut him off, saying “Shut up! Shut up!”
“We tried to talk to him and he wanted nothing to do with it,” Davis added.
“So you’re not willing to tolerate our presence?” Sutherland asked.
“Will you tolerate my presence?” the man responded. Sutherland assured him they would. “We’re actually in your coffee shop,” he said.
“Really?” the owner demanded. “If I go get my boyfriend and f*ck him in the a** right here you’re going to tolerate that?”
“That would be your choice,” Sutherland answered. But the owner would not be persuaded. “Are you going to tolerate it?” he asked again. “Answer my f***ing question! No, you’re going to sit right here and f***ing watch it!”
“Well, we don’t want to watch that,” said Caleb Head…
“Well than I don’t have to f*cking tolerate this!” the man said. “Leave! All of you. Tell all your f*cking friends, don’t f*cking come here.”
The [pro-lifers] agreed to leave, but Davis took the opportunity as they left to share the message of salvation through Jesus Christ. “Just know that Christ can save you from that lifestyle,” she said.
“Yeah, I like a**,” the owner responded. “I’m not going to be saved by anything. I’d f*ck Christ in the a**. Ok? He’s hot.”
As they exited… Jes Sutherland commented, “Seattle has proved itself to not be tolerant.”
“Don’t act so f***ing shocked b**ch,” the owner said. “Get the f*ck out.”
The story was also reported on by a neutral source, a local radio station.
The Christians didn’t even ask the gay business owner to cater a heterosexual wedding! They were just refused service for who they were… something that Barronelle and Jack did not do. Naturally, the police and the state of Washington had nothing to say about this.
Finally, some secular leftist journalists are trying to say that what the owner of the Red Hen did to White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was OK, because of the Jack Phillips decision. But it’s pretty obvious to anyone who is thinking rationally, that the cases are not parallel. Jack Phillips and Barronelle Stutzman both served gay people for everything except participation in a gay wedding. But the owner of the Red Hen refused to serve people based on religious convictions or political convictions. I would be fine with radical leftists refusing to participate in my heterosexual wedding, too. People on the religious right don’t believing in forcing those who disagree with them to act as if they agreed with them. And we certainly don’t believe in using the government to force them to do it. Fascism is now and always has been a left-wing enterprise, because only people on the secular left look to government as a solution to anything that makes them feel bad.
In Canada, the Christians get jail time for disagreement
By the way, if you want to read an interesting story from The Federalist about how gay activists are using police and courts to go after Christians who say things that offend them, then read about this case from Canada, where a very weird but harmless Christian is being threatened with TWO YEARS in prison for handing out pamphlets warning gay people about the health risks of male-male sexual behavior. Although he cited numbers from the Center for Disease Control for his little pamphlets, this was apparently too much for the Canadian police, and they decided to arrest him and threaten him with jail time. And again, he is paying the salaries of the police, prosecutors and judges through his taxes.