Wash. grandmother’s religious freedom, livelihood at stake
WHO: ADF Senior Counsel Kristen Waggoner, ADF Legal Counsel Jonathan Scruggs
WHAT: Available for media interviews following hearing in State of Washington v. Arlene’s Flowers
WHEN: Friday, Dec. 19, immediately after hearing, which begins at 1:30 p.m. PST
WHERE: Benton County Superior Court, Bldg. A, 7122 W. Okanogan Pl., Kennewick
KENNEWICK, Wash. – Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys will be available for media interviews following a hearing Friday in state court in the case of a florist being sued for acting consistently with her faith. Barronelle Stutzman, owner of Arlene’s Flowers, declined to use her creative skills to participate in and design custom floral arrangements for a long-time customer’s same-sex ceremony. Stutzman instead referred the customer to one of a large number of other florists in the area who were willing to fill his order.
ADF recently asked the court to dismiss the unprecedented claims filed against Stutzman in her personal capacity since the state is already pursuing claims against her business. The hearing Friday concerns summary judgment motions related to the primary issues in the case.
“Americans oppose unjust laws that strong-arm citizens to express ideas against their will,” said ADF Senior Counsel Kristen Waggoner. “Barronelle and numerous others like her around the country have been more than willing to serve any and all customers, but they are not willing to promote any and all messages. A government that forces any American to create a message contrary to her own convictions and surrender her livelihood is a government every American should fear.”
“In America, the government is supposed to protect freedom, not use intolerance for certain viewpoints to intimidate citizens into acting contrary to their faith,” added ADF Legal Counsel Jonathan Scruggs. “Plenty of other florists are willing to provide flowers for same-sex ceremonies, yet the lawsuits against Barronelle jeopardize her business, livelihood, and personal assets. The court should stop this injustice.”
Attorney Alicia M. Berry of Liebler, Connor, Berry & St. Hilaire is assisting with the case and is one of nearly 2,500 private attorneys allied with ADF.
Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.
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