Supreme Court won’t hear appeal from florist who wouldn’t serve same-sex wedding
Florist Barronelle Stutzman told ‘Special Report’ her religious beliefs prevented her from providing service for the wedding
The defendant in the Arlene’s Flowers v. Washington State case, along with her attorney, joined “Special Report” on Friday to react after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case, in which floral artist Barronelle Stutzman was sued by Washington State Democratic Attorney Gen. Bob Ferguson and the American Civil Liberties Union after she refused services to a gay man for his wedding.
Stutzman argued it was against her religious beliefs and therefore infringing upon her religious freedom to provide flowers for a gay wedding. Ferguson and the ACLU sued and appear to have ultimately prevailed.
The case had been moving through Washington State courts for years and at one point was booted back down to lower courts by the Supreme Court after its decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop, the case in which the high court ruled in 2018 in favor of a Colorado baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple.
Justices Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, and Clarence Thomas agreed the court should hear the case. However, the threshold required for a hearing is four judges.
Attorney Kristen Waggoner of the Alliance Defending Freedom lamented the case now essentially allows Ferguson to financially “ruin” Stutzman as the florist is now subject to significant financial punishment from the state for her alleged discrimination.
“There are a number of cases that continue in the system that stand for the principle that no American should be forced to create art or participate in ceremonies that violate their convictions,” she said.
“This denial paves the way for Washington State and the ACLU to financially ruin Barronelle. It doesn’t set binding precedent. The question to the Supreme Court is again to affirm the basic principle, no matter what side of the marriage debate we are on.”
Host Shannon Bream noted that some publications are incorrectly characterizing Stutzman as intentionally “turning the gays away,” as the Daily Beast put it.
“This is a long-time customer and friend of yours who you had served. Why did you feel you could do not his ceremony?” she asked.
Stutzman told “Special Report” that the customer in question, whom she referred to as Rob, had been a regular for 10 years, but that her faith guided her to decide against assisting with his wedding to another man.
“It was the fact that my faith teaches me marriage is between a man and a woman,” she said.
“When Rob came in to ask about his wedding, that’s something I could not do.”
Fox News’ Tyler Olson contributed to this report.
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