Nipping Freedom in the Bud

Barronelle_StutzmanBy Tony Perkins
Washington Update

How will same-sex “marriage” affect your home? A lot, if you don’t have one to come home to. That’s the stunning predicament Barronelle Stutzman finds herself in after a judge found the Christian florist guilty late yesterday. The popular grandmother, who’s been a fixture in her Washington community for 37 years, knows the cost of conviction — and if the state gets its way, she’ll be paying it.

Benton County Superior Court Judge Alexander Ekstrom has officially made Stutzman’s house, assets, and life savings fair game in the fierce debate over religious liberty. In a lengthy 60-page opinion, the court argues that Barronelle’s “relationship with Jesus Christ” doesn’t give her the freedom to turn down business — even if that business violates her personal beliefs.

Ted Cruz 2016


“Religious motivation does not excuse compliance with the law,” Ekstrom wrote in his decision about the 2013 store flap. When long-time customers approached Arlene’s Flowers about making centerpieces for their same-sex “wedding,” Barronelle politely declined. But here’s the catch. Stutzman didn’t deny the men flowers, as the media wrongly suggests, but arrangements — which would have required Barronelle to use her personal artistry to express what she believes is a sinful message.

Despite that compromise, she was hauled in front of a court by — not just the couple, but the State’s Attorney General, Bob Ferguson, who, in a highly unusual step, went after the grandmother personally. Wednesday, Judge Ekstrom ruled in favor of both cases, dealing a huge blow to Stutzman, who stands to lose everything for exercising the very right our forefathers came to America for.

As far as the court is concerned, there is a “direct and insoluable conflict between Stuzman’s religiousl-motivated conduct and the laws of the state of Washington.” In the clash between religious liberty or same-sex “marriage,” something has to give. And that “something,” this court says, is freedom. It’s a sobering indication of where this country is headed, said ADF attorney Kristen Waggoner.

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“The message of these rulings is unmistakable: the government will bring about your personal and professional ruin if you don’t help celebrate same-sex marriage… You put your home, your family business, and your life savings at risk by daring to defy a government mandate that forces you to promote views you believe are wrong.” As for Barronelle, who had already launched a counter-suit against Washington State, her request is simple: “I just want the freedom to live and work faithfully and according to what God says about marriage without fear of punishment. Others have the freedom to say or not what they want to about marriage, and that’s all I’m asking for as well.”

If you think Barronelle’s situation is an isolated one, think again. On the same day that Arlene lost her case, tech giant Apple was outed for firing an Alabama lobbyist who had supported natural marriage when he was a state legislator! Like FRC’s Craig James, who never mentioned his views on the job, Jay Love got the boot for voicing his opinion years earlier as a state legislator.

A local Alabama newspaper smoked Love out in a hit piece that no doubt went straight to Apple CEO (and open homosexual) Tim Cook’s desk. “While it isn’t unusual rhetoric from Republicans and even many Democrats running for office, especially in conservative states like Alabama,” reporters blogged, “it does seem slightly unusual he was hired as a lobbyist by Apple, unless of course, Apple didn’t know of his past stance on the subject of same-sex ‘marriage.’”

Love’s contract was terminated the same day. So this is tolerance? The kind that says the biggest publicly-traded company in the world can fire someone for their views — but a small business doesn’t have the right to turn down a morally objectionable job? This new Brendan Eich lost his livelihood through the same politics of fear, intimidation, and oppression. Who knows how many will be next if America doesn’t wake up?

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Tony Perkins is President of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law. He received his undergraduate degree from Liberty University and a Master’s Degree from Louisiana State University in Public Administration. Perkins is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, and a former police officer and television news reporter.
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  • DCM7

    Show me someone who has to bully in order to push their viewpoint, and I’ll show you someone with a viewpoint that’s not worth having.

    • Thisoldspouse

      Amen. Homosexual activists are always telling us how “everyone” supports them now, but somehow must pass laws to force everyone to support them? Something doesn’t make sense.

      • Bob Ellis

        Well said!

        Though actually in many cases (definitely in the cases the needed to get the ball rolling), they don’t even bother with passing laws; they just get some judicial tyrant to issue an edict they call “law,” often in contradiction to the actual documented law.

        • Thisoldspouse

          One of their core arguments in earlier court cases in California is that they were a “suspect group” because they lacked political power to protect themselves. What a laugh!

  • JeffreyRO55

    Where does the bible say you can’t provide flowers to a gay wedding??? Where does the bible say ANYTHING about a gay wedding??

    • Bob Ellis

      The Bible makes it clear in many places in both the Old and New Testaments that his design for human sexuality involves a man and a woman in marriage, and that homosexual behavior is an egregious perversion of his design:

      – Genesis 2:24 Where God outlined his design for human sexuality: “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.”

      – Genesis 19 where men of Sodom wanted to have sex with the male angels, and it was called a “wicked thing”

      – Leviticus 18:22 “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.”

      – Leviticus 20:13 “‘If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable.”

      – Judges 19 In Gibeah where “wicked men” wanted to have sex with a Levite man, and it was called a “disgraceful thing”

      – Mark 10:6-8 Jesus reaffirms God’s design for human sexuality: “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one.”

      – Romans 1:26-27 where the Bible talks about “godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness” and says “Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.”

      – 1 Corinthians 6:9 says, among other habitual sins, homosexuals “will not inherit the kingdom of God”

      – 1 Timothy 1:10 condemns “men who practice homosexuality”

      Recognizing this, a Christian cannot participate in anything-especially not a formal ceremony-which attempts to portray something immoral as moral, something illegitimate as legitimate, or something counterfeit as genuine.

      • JeffreyRO55

        Again, where does the bible say a florist can’t provide flowers to a same-sex wedding? If that florist can provide them to things the bible actually prohibits (like second marriages, after a divorce, or to marriages involving non-virgin brides), I’m pretty sure it’s ok to provide flowers to same-sex couple weddings LOL.

        • Bob Ellis

          I have already answered your question clearly and abundantly. It is now obvious that you have no interest whatsoever in the truth or in learning anything, only in forcing other people to accept your will.

          That has no place in America. You should find some repressive hellhole of tyranny in which to live where your anti-freedom proclivities fit better.

          • JeffreyRO55

            I knew you’d cop out.

            • Bob Ellis

              You knew there was no amount of evidence or logic that would dissuade you from your anti-Christian bigotry and loathing. I was pretty sure of that, too, even from your first comment. But I thought: “Who knows. Maybe there’s a chance of an open mind here,” so I provided a detailed answer.” Then you quickly proved it to be a waste of time.

              • JeffreyRO55

                Another cop out. When someone questions a xtian belief, they have to be reviled. The fact is, the bible says nothing about same-sex marriage and to claim it does is what normal people call “a lie”. You’re connecting dots that don’t exist, all while ignoring the fact that the bible actually does prohibit pre-marital sex (and forbids marriage for non-virgins), adultery and divorce, all of which you christies happily support. Hypocrites.

              • Bob Ellis

                you might want to catch up a little bit on your lawfully inadequate knowledge of the Bible. things have changed a little bit since the Old Testament. Stop being a propaganda artist and a hypocrite.

              • JeffreyRO55

                Oh, the Ten Commandments don’t matter anymore?? That’s news to me.

              • Bob Ellis

                That would be news to me, too, especially since I don’t recall mentioning the Ten Commandments at all.

                Were you aware that God issued instructions to humanity outside of the Ten Commandments?

                Were you aware that God issued some instructions to the nation of Israel in the form of ritual and dietary restrictions that were a part of that Old Covenant, and since the coming of Christ are not a part of the New Covenant established by Christ?

                Were you aware that a woman in the lineage of Jesus (God himself) who had been a prostitute before she joined Israel?

                Were you aware that there was another woman in the lineage of Jesus who had been married before she married the man with whom she would bear an ancestor of Jesus?

                Were you aware that while God wants us to remain sexually pure, that he is also merciful to forgive our wrongs when we repent (which means to admit that we were wrong and turn from that wrong)?

                Maybe you didn’t know any of these things, which is probably a large part of your problem.

                There is a lot that you don’t know. You should acknowledge that, and make yourself teachable so you can understand the truth.

    • Thisoldspouse

      You have the reasoning ability of a toddler, but how does that surprise us? Homo-activists prove themselves again and again to be mentally and emotionally arrested.

      Let me pose the converse of your pathetic question: Where does the Bible say that you CANNOT REFUSE to provide flowers to a fake wedding?

  • simple kind of man

    I am a Christian, so yes, I believe homosexuality is wrong, but people practicing it are just people. This will all fall on deaf ears though, because I refuse to support this tyranny. That judge and that attorney general obviously do not support freedom.
    Why is it that gay people just can’t handle not having the approval of everyone around them? First, they demand that the government give them a piece of paper saying, “We, your governing authority, officially give you permition to call yourselves a married couple,” then they demand the rest of us approve of it too. This is why no one who supports freedom should ever support gay marriage.

    • Thisoldspouse

      Because it has nothing to do with being “married,” it’s all about the ultimate goal of cultural dominance in order to exact vengeance on Christianity.