When Your Freedom Puts Me In Chains -- Christian Florist Sued 
This is America. We are better than this.  

It is public knowledge that the owner of Arleneís Flowers in Washington state Barronelle Stutzman is in the middle of a lawsuit, brought about by that state's Attorney General, Bob Ferguson on behalf of the state because he did not like that the Christian florist chose not to create flower arrangements for a homosexual wedding. But that did not stop a long time customer and known homosexual in the community from requesting that Stutzman do such for his wedding.

Now the ACLU on behalf of the second homosexual couple that requested her artistic skills at their wedding event is suing the florist. It makes a person wonder if this was a trap. Perhaps every homosexual couple in the State of Washington should get in on this gravy train.

According to the Christian Post online, "The ACLU is representing the male couple who were denied service by Stutzman in March, Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed of Kennewick."

According to Stutzman's lawyer, Justin Bristol, who I spoke with by telephone, Robert Ingersoll, the known homosexual, has been a long time customer of Stutzman's flower shop, a flower shop that currently has a homosexual employed there.

Robert Ingersoll has never been denied service by Barronelle Stutzman's flower shop on the basis of his homosexuality. And declining his wedding was not because he is a homosexual, but rather because the marriage is a homosexual marriage. If Robert Ingersoll's heterosexual parents had sought out the florist for his homosexual wedding, the Christian florist would have turned them down too. Her discrimination is against the event, not the person himself. And there is no law against that, not even an unconstitutional law. 

The topic of civil rights is not an issue in this case. That is unless a court of law wants to say people have a civil right to force others to be party to their events. This case is about constitutional rights, such as the first amendment, which is not just for churches.

And it is not just about freedom of religion. The attorney made a good point of how the floristís freedom of speech is being violated. I will sum it up here: Putting flowers together for a wedding is a type of speech, as is any art form. It is an artistic expression of speech. As per the first amendment, the florist cannot be forced to say something she does not want to say. And arranging flowers for a homosexual wedding would be forcing her to say with her art that which violates her conscience. --It is interesting that in its first major case, the ACLU sued a school in which a teacher was forced to express something that supposedly went against his conscience.   

Along with the first amendment, the florist is also protected by the 13th and the 14th amendments. The 13th amendment protects the florist from involuntary servitude and the 14th amendment gives her equal protection of the law. In other words, it does not matter what other laws say and or what they can be twisted into saying. The U.S. Constitution trumps any law that would force a person into involuntary servitude. And the constitution does not recognize protected groups, but rather the 14th amendment denies one group of people to be more protected than another.

Bottom line: Your freedom ends when it would put me in chains

For more information about the first suit brought against this florist and if you would like to help with her legal fees: Click Here

One Final Note 

Regarding the first lawsuit, brought about by the state's Attorney General, Bob Ferguson on behalf of the state: Christian Post reported that Bob Ferguson said, "If a business provides a product or service to opposite-sex couples for their weddings, then it must provide same-sex couples the same product or service." I believe it is safe to say that the florist does not provide a homosexual wedding service to anyone. It is that simple.

And Ferguson's desire to use state law to force the florist into providing a service that she does not wish to provide is unconstitutional. 

If nothing else, the florist is due the same protection of the law as ministers that are not forced to perform homosexual marriages against their will. The first amendment is for everyone, not just churches. The government cannot pick and choose who is protected and who is not. We all are.

Debra J.M. Smith 04-24-13


© Debra J.M. Smith