The Washington Supreme Court ruled Thursday against a Christian florist who declined to participate in a same-sex wedding ceremony, potentially clearing a path for the Supreme Court to weigh in on the contentious conflict between gay rights and religious liberty.
Attorneys for Barronelle Stutzman, the owner of Arlene’s Flowers, said the florist will ask the highest court to reverseThursday’s decision.
“In a free America, people with differing beliefs must have room to coexist,” Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Kristen Waggoner, who represents the florist, said in a statement. “It’s wrong for the state to force any citizen to support a particular view about marriage or anything else against their will. Freedom of speech and religion aren’t subject to the whim of a majority; they are constitutional guarantees.”
“Because that freedom is clearly at risk for Barronelle and so many other Americans,” Ms. Waggoner continued, “and because no executive order can fix all of the threats to that freedom, we will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to hear this case and reverse this grave injustice.”
Ms. Stutzman was sued by Curt Freed and Robert Ingersoll in 2013 after she declined to participate in their same-sex wedding ceremony.
“We’re thrilled that the Washington Supreme Court has ruled in our favor,” the couple said in a statement. “The court affirmed that we are on the right side of law and the right side of history. We felt it was so important that we stand up against discrimination because we don’t want what happened to us to happen to anyone else. We are so glad that we stood up for our rights.”