There’s another update in the story of Barronelle Stuztman, the florist in Washington state who is being sued by the state’s Attorney General Bob Ferguson in a consumer protection lawsuit for refusing to “participate in the marriage,” as she put it, of two gay men because of her “relationship with Jesus Christ.” Now the couple disrespected by the proprietor of Arlene’s Flowers, who would not sell them flowers for their wedding due to her belief that the Bible teaches “marriage is between a man and a woman” is fighting back. Via The Stranger:
Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed’s lawyers, working with the legal powerhouse at the ACLU of Washington, sent a letter today to Arlene’s Flowers owner Baronelle Stutzman saying she has two options: (1) She can vow to never again discriminate in her services for gay people, write an apology letter to be published in the Tri-City Herald, and contribute $5,000 to a local LGBT youth center, or (2) she can get sued for violating the Washington State Civil Rights Act.
That’s some offer.
This would be the second lawsuit against Stutzman, who was sued by the state yesterday in Benton County Superior Court for discrimination under the consumer protection act. And given Stutzman’s stubbornness thus far, these two cases may be on track to become the country’s biggest gay-rights-versus-religious-liberty battle to date.
Stutzman’s law firm, Gourly Bristol Hembree, responded to the AG on Monday with a letter promising “an immediate challenge in federal court” and contend that their client is entitled to act according to her religious convictions and that discrimination isn’t the issue. Furthermore, from what I can understand, they’re saying that the art of floral arrangement is an act of personal expression so that any demand or limitation on those expressive flower arrangements is a violation of Baronelle Stutzmans’s First Amendment rights to free speech.
Good luck with that floral arrangement defense, boys, you’ll be laughed out of the fucking courtroom for that one.
Naturally this will be portrayed in the conservative media as anti-religious bigotry, as opposed to the regular, straight-up bigotry bigotry that Barronelle Stutzman inflicted on the same-sex couple. As if bigotry becomes somehow okay when it’s justified by the words of desert-dwelling nomads in a supposedly magic book from 2000 years ago.
Yesterday on his on American Family Radio radio program Christian conservative whack-job Bryan Fischer described his belief that “homofascists” would force Christians to identify themselves in a manner similar to the Nazis making Jews wear a yellow Star of David during the Holocaust:
“I don’t know what the symbol would be, I’d have to think about that. [A cross? The vesica pisces? A sheep? Alfred E. Neuman? Just some thoughts] We’re getting to the point where these homofascists are going to force us to wear on our sleeves some kind of identifying marker so people will know who the racists and the homophobes and the bigots are, and can stay away from them.”
Irony deficient Fischer is, of course, conveniently forgetting that homosexuals were made to wear inverted pink triangles armbands and patches in Nazis concentration camps. But when has being an idiot ever stopped Bryan Fischer from flapping his lips? Never!
Read the full letter from Ingersoll and Freed’s attorneys, it’s a real doozy.