Washington State Supreme Court Nips Christian Florist’s Rights in the Bud

Washington State Supreme Court yesterday refused to reconsider its ruling against floral artist Barronelle Stutzman, a Christian who runs a popular flower shop in Richland, Wash., that has been in her family for decades.

Six years ago, Washington State’s attorney general took it upon himself to bring charges against Barronelle after she prayerfully declined to design floral arrangements for the wedding of a longtime customer who was marrying another man. She was found to be in violation of the state’s law making sexual orientation a protected class over her objection that the law, as applied to her, violated her right to freedom of expression and freedom of religion under the U.S. Constitution.

Ms. Stutzman asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear an appeal from the decision of the Washington State Supreme Court affirming her violation of state law, and the U.S. Supreme Court, having just ruled in favor of Colorado cake artist Jack Phillips in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, sent her case back to the Washington State Supreme Court for reconsideration in light of the Masterpiece ruling.

Washington’s high court affirmed its earlier decision, finding there was no evidence of religious animus in the record. Her case now goes back to the U.S. Supreme Court, which will now decide whether to hear an appeal.

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