With the case of Christian cake baker Jack Phillips as precedent, will the U.S. Supreme Court now hear the appeal of a Christian florist who was sued because she refused to provide flowers for a homosexual wedding?
Barronelle Stutzman, owner of Arlene’s Flowers in Richland, Wash., was not only sued by Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed, the homosexual couple who felt they had been discriminated against, but also by state Attorney General Bob Ferguson. She lost her case in the state Supreme Court in 2017 and then ADF appealed the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Supreme Court put this case on hold pending the resolution of Phillips’ case.
In a statement on Monday, Ferguson explained how he doesn’t think Stutzman has a chance by saying, “Today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision may add some procedural steps to the Arlene’s Flowers case, but it will not alter its ultimate resolution.”
On the other hand, Kristen Waggoner, Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Vice President, U.S. Legal Division who represented Phillips, believes Stutzman does have a chance. In Tuesday’s ADF news release she said, “Barronelle, like Jack, serves all customers but declines to create custom art that expresses messages or celebrates events in conflict with her deeply held religious beliefs. The attorney general’s efforts to punish her because he dislikes her beliefs about marriage are as impermissible as Colorado’s attempt to punish Jack.”
The Court could rule as early next week on this matter. Given the narrowness of the Masterpiece ruling, it is possible that the Court will send Stutzman’s case back to the trial court to be re-reviewed in light of this week’s decision.
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