BLOGFaith or Freedom: Should Creative Professionals Have to Choose?

By Bob Trent Posted on: | November 23, 2016

Barronelle Stutzman, owner of Arlene's Flowers in Richland, Washington, and Kristen Waggoner, Senior Vice President of U.S. Legal Advocacy for Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), join the show this week to talk about State of Washington v. Arlene's Flowers.

For the past three years, Barronelle has been the hero of a story playing out in the courtrooms of Washington state. At the heart of the matter is the question: Do Americans have to abandon their faith when they open a creative business?

Barronelle's was among the first of the freedom of conscience cases that center on the belief that marriage is between one man and one woman after she declined to use her God-given gifts to create custom work for a same-sex ceremony. She is being sued by both the state of Washington and her former customer, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Last week her case was before the Washington Supreme Court.


Also on the show is Gerald Chipeur Q.C., of the Canadian firm Miller Thompson, LLP. Chipeur successfully argued a recent religious liberty case involving Christian universities in Canada.

Trinity Western University (TWU) is a private Christian university in British Columbia which has a community covenant which requires students to live up to biblical teaching in all things, including limiting sexual intimacy to heterosexual marriage. Even though the covenant does not mention people who identify as LGBT, the Law Society of British Columbia denied accreditation to a proposed law school at Trinity Western because it says the covenant discriminates against those who don't hold a biblical view of human sexuality.

TWU went to court in August 2015 to challenge the denial, and the British Columbia Court of Appeal recently issued a powerful decision in favor of religious liberty.  


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Bob Trent

Vice President of Public Relations

Bob Trent serves as vice president of public relations with Alliance Defending Freedom. In this role, Trent oversees all media and public relations efforts for the organization.

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