Over $100,000 in Donations Pour in for Christian Florist Punished for Declining ‘Gay Wedding’

StutzmanKENNEWICK, Wash. — Over $100,000 has been raised in an online campaign for a Christian florist from Washington who is in jeopardy of losing her business, home and life savings after a judge found her guilty of discrimination for declining to service a same-sex ceremony for a regular client.

As previously reported, Baronelle Stutzman of Arlene’s Flowers in Richland was leveled with a lawsuit March 2012 by State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who claimed that she violated the law by not fulfilling the order.

Stutzman had been approached by one of her faithful customers, Robert Ingersoll, a homosexual, as he wanted her to supply the flowers for his upcoming ceremony with his partner, Curt. She states that she politely explained that she would not be able to help in regard to the event, but referred him to three other florists that may help.

“I just took his hands and said, ‘I’m sorry. I cannot do your wedding because of my relationship with Jesus Christ,’” Stutzman told reporters.

But after Ingersoll decided to post on Facebook about the matter, controversy arose on both sides of the issue—both for and against Stutzman. The florist said that she received a number of threatening and angry comments.

“It blew way out of proportion,” Stutzman explained. “I’ve had hate mail. I’ve had people that want to burn my building. I’ve had people that will never shop here again and [vow to] tell all their friends.”

Weeks later, Ferguson issued Stutzman a letter advising that she must accommodate homosexual ceremonies or be subject to a lawsuit and heavy fines. He included with his letter a form that offered Stutzman the opportunity to recant and agree to comply with the law. She refused, and was subsequently met with a discrimination suit.

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But the Christian legal organization Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) contended that Ferguson’s actions were inappropriate since he never received a complaint, but rather filed on his own volition. It also filed a motion asking that Ferguson and the ACLU—which filed a separate suit—be prohibited from attacking Stutzman on a personal level.

In January, Benton County Superior Court Judge Alex Eckstrom—while throwing out a charge that accused Stutzman of directing her business to violate the state’s anti-discrimination laws—ruled that the florist may be held personally responsible for the incident. The ruling drew concerns that fines could consequently place Stutzman at risk of losing her business, home and/or bank accounts.

In February, Eckstrom granted summary judgment to Stutzman’s opponents, agreeing that she had committed an act of discrimination. Last month, he ordered her to pay $1,000 to Ferguson as a civil penalty, a punishment that is stated to be “only the first punch” financially against the business owner since Eckstrom found that Stutzman may be required to pay damages and attorney’s fees to Ingersoll and his partner, which will be far more costly.

As of Monday, fundraising efforts for Stutzman had exceeded $100,000, which is stated to be the original fundraising goal on GoFundMe. The campaign had been launched in late February by attorney and friend Tom Savage.

“The highest priority is to protect Barronelle and her livelihood,” the page reads. “The funds will either be paid directly to Barronelle, a trust established to assist Barronelle, or a non-profit organization that will hold the funds to assist Barronelle and those in similar circumstances.”

Ferguson had offered to settle the matter if Stutzman agreed not to decline orders for same-sex ceremonies in the future, but she declined, stating that she could not betray God like Judas.

“Your offer reveals that you don’t really understand me or what this conflict is all about,” Stutzman responded. “It’s about freedom, not money. I certainly don’t relish the idea of losing my business, my home, and everything else that your lawsuit threatens to take from my family, but my freedom to honor God in doing what I do best is more important.”

“Washington’s Constitution guarantees us ‘freedom of conscience in all matters of religious sentiment.’ I cannot sell that precious freedom,” she continued. “You are asking me to walk in the way of a well-known betrayer, one who sold something of infinite worth for 30 pieces of silver. That is something I will not do.”


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  • Paul Hiett

    My favorite part of the Bible is that part that says “thou shalt not sell cakes or flowers to gay people”.

    • KenS

      Oh, you must mean this part here: 2 Corinthians 6:12-18:
      12 Ye are not straitened in us, but ye are straitened in your own bowels.

      13Now for a recompence in the same, (I speak as unto my children,) be ye also enlarged .

      14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for whatfellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

      15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?

      16 And what agreement hath the temple ofGod with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said * , I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

      17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate , saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

      18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

      • Paul Hiett

        Meaning what? Do you really think your deity gives a crap whether or not someone sells flowers or cakes for a gay wedding?

        • Sarah

          Yes!

        • jjhot254 .

          what happened to you? that you are so angry at God?

          • Paul Hiett

            Better question is, why are you folks so angry at gay people?

          • KenS

            I am not angry at gay people. I have a gay brother-in-law whom I love very much. It breaks my wife and my heart that he is living in sin, but we love him and his partner very much.

          • MisterPine

            You’d probably be a lot closer to them if you dropped the concerns about “sin” and left the judging to God.

          • KenS

            You do not know my relationship to them. we are like brothers. I do not judge him, he grew up in church and acknowledges that he is sinning and knows that God will deal with him and this sin.

          • MisterPine

            “It breaks my wife and my heart that he is living in sin”

            Is that not judging him?

          • matt

            No its not judging him. We all sin. To judge would be to place a judgment upon someone, as in, that person is going to hell, etc. However, we all have the ability and the right to judge acts. How else do we decide what influences we do and don’t allow into our homes and families? You judge every time you tell your child something is wrong, and that is your right. Its not the same as placing judgment upon someone.

          • KenS

            Thank you Matt. That would have been my response to MisterPine as well.

          • Bruce Morrow

            Yet homosexuals are going to hell if they don’t repent. That is a FACT.

          • MisterPine

            Fact, eh? Got a source or link that proves it?

          • LadyFreeBird<God'sNotDead

            Bible.

          • LadyFreeBird<God'sNotDead

            It is not judging .

          • jjhot254 .

            people are not angry at gays, people are angry at the fact that the gay community is trying to make a “sin”, morally wrong, something that is contrary acceptable, what would you do if there were a group of people who try to make pedophile acceptable? wouldn’t you get angry?

        • Bruce Morrow

          Yes indeed God does NOT want his people to be partakers of other men’s sins!

  • thoughtsfromflorida

    Good for her! Now she’ll be able to pay the $1,000 fine with A LOT left over!

  • FoJC_Forever

    If the world wasn’t trying to make Christians participate in their lustful sins, there would be no issue with someone refusing to cater a homosexual “wedding”.

    If all homosexuals wanted was legal rights to “marry”, they would be content with civil unions being on the books, but they want to redefine marriage. This fact is proven over and over again by their raging outbreaks against those who will not accept their perverted definition of God, Jesus Christ, the Scriptures, and the intentions of those who know Jesus and want to follow His Word.

    • Paul Hiett

      Yes, those pesky gays and their desire for equality. How dare they infringe upon your right to discriminate against them!

      Stand up to them…don’t let them prevent you from practicing your religion on them, that’s a clear violation of your First Amendment rights!!!! You’d better make sure they know they’re all going to suffer for eternity!

      • Hollis James Langley Jr

        No one needs to discriminate leave her alone!

        • Paul Hiett

          So then, why are you folks doing it so often?

      • Revis56

        But it’s okay for them to infringe upon her rights as a Christian?

        • Revis56

          Christians want to discriminate,Muslims want to behead them..No one wants to mention that little fact.

          • Chuck Bryant

            The Atlah Worldwide Missionary Church in Harlem also wants to put gays to death right here on the USA

        • Paul Hiett

          Her “rights” as a Christian? To what, discriminate? She’s a business owner. No one forced her to open that business…no one put a gun to her head and said “you will sell flowers!”.

          Instead, she opened her business, agreeing to abide by the laws that govern commerce. She chose to break the law, willingly, and should accept the fines as a result, or close shop.

          One’s religion, in the US, does not give a “right” to discriminate if you’re a business owner. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 saw to that, and in some states/counties, they are adding on “sexual orientation” to the list of protected statuses.

          Simply put, a business owner can either abide by the law, or break it. She chose the latter.

          • MisterPine

            Mr. Hiett, please report to the “Arkansas governor refuses…” discussion, Nick is gloating about how he drove you away…

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            Need some reinforcements, eh, Mr. Pine? It won’t do you any good!

          • MisterPine

            Just want to hear what Paul has to say about how you “drove him away”, that’s all. Another lie called out.

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            crickets chirping
            I guess Mr. Hiett knows what you can’t seem to fathom, Mr. Pine. That he lost, and, was badly embarrassed.

          • MisterPine

            You don’t need to lie, Nick from Detroit. I saw the whole thing, and saw him shut you down with irrefutable facts. Your painful misunderstanding of how the law works didn’t help you.

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            Then where is he, Mr. Pine? I’m still waiting.
            If Mr. Hiett isn’t afraid of being embarrassed again, why didn’t he answer your call? Did you actually buy his embarrassing excuse that he couldn’t find that article? Are you really that gullible, Mr. Pine?
            You are now embarrassing yourself, by defending him.

          • MisterPine

            I have no idea Nick from Detroit, he knows you’re here and is making the decision not to respond to you. Given how conversations with you lead absolutely nowhere, perhaps he has a good point. You are clearly a person who needs to learn things the hard way, over and over, but you live with your head in the sand, calling SS marriages “counterfeit” when they are perfectly legal in 74% of the country. Since that more than anything else I could illustrate to you shows why you’re not of perfectly sound mind, maybe that’s the reason Paul is no longer bothering with you. But why ask me? Why not ask him yourself?

          • Nick_from_Detroit

            Doesn’t it bother you that you asked your fellow anti-Christian buddy, Mr. Hiett, to come and save you, and he ignored you? Don’t you see how he thoroughly embarrassed you on this forum, Mr. Pine?
            And, I did ask him. His response? chirpping crickets
            This is usually what happens when I own some leftwinger so completely, as I did with Paul. They go looking for someone smaller, of their own size, to pick on and bully.

          • The Last Trump

            Calling for reinforcements, eh?
            Yeah, you could use the help!
            While the Christians expose your BS for what it is at least you’ll have each other.
            Hey, you should ask Paul to join your hate group at fstdt.com. Always looking for intolerant bigots who hate religious freedom and openly discriminate right? Heck he might already be a member!
            Good luck with Nick, Pinester!

          • MisterPine

            Calling on someone who’s already here to verify what I know to be a lie is calling for reinforcements? Like I need defending from people with so little grounding in reality?

            Anyone’s welcome to use fstdt.com. Just wait for the incorrigible fundies here to say something off the rails, capture it, and submit it.

          • Paul Hiett

            Contrary to what they think, I’m not here 24/7…;-)

          • MisterPine

            They (Nick and Trump) have already raked me over the coals for “calling for reinforcements” – of course – but I really just thought you’d like to have the chance to respond to Nick’s claim that he drove you away with your tail between your legs. This was after I suggested he might be tired of having his butt handed to him over and over.

          • Paul Hiett

            It seems he is a glutton for abuse. I couldn’t even find that article anymore.

          • MisterPine
          • Nick_from_Detroit

            And, yet, Mr. Hiett, only yesterday, you posted this reply to Robert Ray in that very same article: “Exactly…separation of Church and State.” Do you need a link? Or, are you really this internet non-savvy?

          • The Last Trump

            Submit it?
            Oh yeah, you know, from the public forum to the…um, …..public forum.
            (Adorable! 🙂

          • MisterPine
    • Peter Leh

      we had our chance to offer civil weddings to gays. we rejected it. that ship has sailed.

      it is equal protection and that is it. get use to it, it aint going away.

      • KenS

        You are wrong sir, here in IL we gave them civil unions, less than a year later, they came back and demanded marriage instead. So don’t go spreading lies.

        • Peter Leh

          my apologies. do you know how many states offered civil unions?

          • KenS

            Not sure, but pretty sure there were more than just IL

  • SFBruce

    A Florida bakery, Cut the Cake, refused to make a cake with an anti-gay message on it, and as a result has received death threats, fake order, etc. So I’d say both sides are pretty much even in the indignation sweepstakes.

  • Voice Reason

    The simple thing would be for business-folk with beliefs against gay weddings to not do ANY weddings. That way they are not discriminating. While it may cut into their profits, following Christ often has its monetary sacrifices.

    • Paul Hiett

      Do you really think your deity cares if you sold cakes or flowers to a gay couple? I mean, really, in the grand scheme of things…is this something you think your deity would condemn you to hell for?

      • Voice Reason

        Personally, no. But I’m talking about the people that do have religious objections to providing services for a gay wedding.

      • 4Commencefiring4

        Suppose it was 1943 and a Jewish florist was asked to provide flowers for Hitler’s birthday bash? Suppose it was 1960 and a black florist was asked to provide flowers for a voting precinct? You think there might be legit reasons for people in business to tell a customer to pound sand?

    • Revis56

      That sounds like a good idea.

    • KenS

      I can see your point, but how is that fair to the Christian who before this redefinition of marriage this would not have been an issue. I think a better solution would be to give the businesses the ability to advertise which type of wedding they do, the traditional definition of marriage or the newly defined definition or both.

      • Voice Reason

        No, I don’t think its right or fair, just the most logical solution to what looks to be a no-win situation. But time will tell. If the Supreme Court rules that gay marriage can constitutionally be banned in the States, then a lot changes.

        • KenS

          Thank you for your honest and logical reply.

          • Peter Leh

            as a business owner there are many things i feel are unfair. one stroke of the pen i lost half my business income.

            but you roll with the punches.

    • Peter Leh

      it is the most ethical thing to do.

    • 4Commencefiring4

      “Following Christ” means you will make enemies, too. Some even in your own family. “If the world hates you, know that it hated Me first.”

      • Peter Leh

        this is one of the most abused verses to justify behavior.

        The verse is certainly not a self fulfilling prophecy or goal.

        i have never heard an unbeliever say, “that sally is just the nicest person, i hate her”

  • Revis56

    Waiting for the day a gay person ask a muslim owned bakery to bake them a cake,we all know what would happen..The laws,and judges would all be on their side..But so far no one has had the balls to do that..

    • Paul Hiett

      They have, actually. It took a while, since there aren’t many out there, but in Deerborn, MI (pretty much the Mecca of the US), someone did try it, and they refused. However, there are no laws there to prevent discrimination based on sexual orientation.

      But if there were, they’d be in trouble all the same for violating the law.

  • Melissa Sharon

    God bless and keep her.

  • gina stancil

    as Christians we shouldn’t judge. be loving and compassionate. they can face christ and answer to him. providing flowers is in no way condoning it. I think you are wrong. you could have found a way to do the flowers and be a witness. just my opinion.

    • Paul Hiett

      I would completely concur. I seriously doubt your deity would condemn someone to an eternity of suffering for something like selling flowers or cakes to a gay person. It amazes me how many people use the Bible to claim that “God hates [email protected]”, or that by providing them services from their business will anger him.

      • KenS

        Paul I have responded to you below on this statement, but my comment is pending approval of the website, hopefully it gets approved soon.

        • Paul Hiett

          It won’t. It’ll get ignored, trust me. Reword it and get rid of what is hitting the filter. If you have used the word s*x, use a hyphen with it.

          • KenS

            I do not know what is that is flagging it.

          • Paul Hiett

            Anything regarding “s*x” I would bet.

          • KenS

            Nope nothing in there regarding that, it is regarding sinning after being saved and what happens to a christian when he sins or rather doesnt happen.

          • KenS

            have to go now, will look back to see if it gets approved or not, if it doesnt, i will try to rewrite in another manner

          • MisterPine

            It censors “id1ot” as well as “[email protected]”.

          • KenS

            Yep, they ignored it. Let me try this way. I Christian who sins after being born again will not be in danger of eternal suffering down below. They will be judged by God at the Judgment seat of Christ and lose rewards for any unrepented sin. They can however, be in danger of the sin unto death which comes about if they are opening sinning so blatantly that they are hurting the Christian testimony here on earth. God will then decide to take them home to heaven, rather than let them continue to do damage to his work here on earth. I am not singling out any one sin here, just clarifying what happens to a Christian who sins after being saved.

          • KenS

            They took this rewrite, not sure what the filters didnt like in my other post.

          • Chuck Bryant

            “… lose rewards for unrepented sins…”

            Book chapter and verse please.

          • KenS

            11 For other foundation can noman lay than that is laid , which is Jesus Christ.
            12 Now if any man build upon thisfoundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
            13 Every man’s workshall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealedby fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is .
            14 If any man’swork abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
            15 If anyman’s work shall be burned , he shall suffer loss : but he himself shall be saved ;yet so as by fire.
            16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that theSpirit of God dwelleth in you?
            17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shallGod destroy ; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are .

  • Zva

    So do you refuse to do weddings for Christians having their second marriage, or couples where one of them has a child already? Better still do you do virginity testing to see which couples have been fornicating because your religion is against all these scenarios? Why single out gay marriages? Why is their ‘sin’ bigger than the others?

    • Peter Leh

      it is “easier” to pick out the gays than the “sinners”.

      your point is valid as it points out that this most likely was not based on religious conviction or there would be a mighty lots of folks turned away.

    • 4Commencefiring4

      You don’t need to ask any probing questions to know it’s a gay wedding–especially if you’re putting “We love you, Harry and Bill” on it. No baker is going to ask 20 questions of the hetero couple before taking their order to determine their history.

      Now, if the cake said, “We love you, Harry, Bill and Wanda”–and that’s coming soon–then the baker could refuse that, too. And then what minority would that disciminate against? Gay? Straight? Bi?

      We’re so confused and hopeless anymore. This country is going down the tubes right before our eyes.

      • Kara Connor

        Yes, treating everyone equally and serving the public in a public accommodation is a sure sign of decline since the second world war genocides, and legal segregation. /s

        • 4Commencefiring4

          This florist DID treat everyone equally, and nothing in the story here–or anywhere else–indicates otherwise. She sold flowers to the gay customer in question for years, as she also did other customers of every stripe.

          Only when that same customer asked for something NO ONE ELSE had requested did she deny the request, which she would have done even if the customer had been straight, bi, black, or a Communist. NO ONE gets flowers to be used in a context that would bring disrepute (in her view) to her business.

          That’s the very definition of “equal treatment”–giving the same answer to the same request, regardless of the customer.

          • Kara Connor

            Tell it to the judge and jury. Oh, hang on, the florist already did, and they found that it wasn’t equal treatment, despite your falling over yourself in a failed attempt to justify discrimination and segregation.

          • 4Commencefiring4

            Yes, and a 12 person jury said O.J. was not guilty and the Supreme Court said fetuses can be killed at will. And here a single judge found she was in the wrong. Excuse me while I become underwhelmed.

      • Paul Hiett

        Any assumption by you that polygamy will be “next” is nothing more than an assumption by you.

        • Peter Leh

          an assumption for sure but well within the realm of possibility.

          if fact from a religious standpoint christians have less of an argument against polygamy than homosexuality as there is not explicit prohibition scriptural.

          • Paul Hiett

            It’s still just an assumption, and an argument that fails in terms of this discussion. I see little movement on that front from anyone, other than the anti-gay marriage stance who like to use it as part of their argument. My stance on that is that it’s not part of same-sex marriage, and therefore irrelevant to the current debate.

          • Peter Leh

            🙂

            correct. it is not really the same kind of argument.

            but that should not stop the temper tantrum should it?

            throw
            in the argument pedophilia and [email protected] and there is no where some
            will go where they cannot embarrass themselves intellectually.

          • Paul Hiett

            You forgot the pet rocks!

          • Peter Leh

            my pet rock loves me

        • Chuck Bryant

          The Bible condones and supports polygamy.

          • 4Commencefiring4

            Not in NT theology. But even OT theology never condoned gay marriages. That is completely foreign to biblical teaching, from A to Z.

        • 4Commencefiring4

          I guess you don’t get out enough. There are already voices pushing to approve “polyamourous” marriages. But don’t take my word for it:
          http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/15/opinion/hardy-plural-marriage/index.html

        • Guest

          At least polygamy is supported by the Bible

      • Peter Leh

        “No baker is going to ask 20 questions of the hetero couple before taking their order to determine their history.”

        would you not THINK they would if they are claiming discrimination based on religious conviction of participating in an abominable ceremony?

        if they don;t ask these probing questions, are serious are we to take their religious excuse?

      • Peter Leh

        “We’re so confused and hopeless anymore.”

        education and courage tends to be the remedy. 🙂

    • bowie1

      Then it is up to the conscience of each man-woman couple, and admit they did wrong. Then there will be no problem having the church perform the marriage. When it comes to our church the unbelieving man might be asked if they support their soon to be wife in her faith, and this request might even be more important when it comes to having children, and asking the unbelieving spouse if they will support the other in raising their kids according to the Bible. This is not ideal and it would be preferable for both to share the same beliefs.

      • Chuck Bryant

        The church can reject marriages per doctrine. That’s why Catholic churches won’t do weddings for divorcees. See, the explicit purpose of the church is to practice religion.

        unlike the purpose of a florist shop, which is to sell flowers to the public

  • uzza

    All she had to do was ” recant and agree to comply with the law. She refused.”
    It’s pretty simple. Being a christian doesn’t mean you can break the law.
    If it did, then christians couldn’t be United States citizens anymore than a Muslim who wants to live here and follow Shari’a law.

    • http://www.remnantofgod.org/ John1429dotorg

      exactly…she REFUSED to break God’s Law…

      • uzza

        So you agree then that she has no right to claim American citizenship? Good on ya.

      • Chuck Bryant

        God has a law against selling flowers for gay weddings?

        My bible seems to be missing that section.

        • http://www.remnantofgod.org/ John1429dotorg

          Actually it is not missing at all…its called Commandment #3

          Exodus 20:7, “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.”

          When Christians declare themselves to be “Christians”, they make a covenant when their hearts and minds that their character reflects the character of Christ. When you do ANYTHING outside of this (sin) you take the name of the Lord in vain. Of course you can go to the throne of mercy and confess and repent but if you regard iniquity in your heart (known sin) your prayers will go unheard.

          By refusing to bake this cake she declared that she would not take the name of the Lord in vain. The Lord calls sodomy a sin and an open support of it would be sin on her part. That is the same as voting for a candidate when you know he or she wants nothing to do with the very God you worship.

          Amos 3:3, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?”

          In this case she could not and as she did what she knew best to do…

          Ephesians 5:11, “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. ”

          I know this may seem foreign to you because today all of the mainstream churches teach and preach that the Law of God, which is the Law of the universe, is no longer needed when the very definition of sin is transgression of the Law (the Ten Commandments). Strange, because with it being the end times, it is by keeping this Law (through faith in Jesus) that keeps you from getting the mark of the Roman Beast.

  • http://www.CriticalBlast.com R.J. Carter

    Sometimes you have to defy the law to change the law.

  • Peter Leh

    well, good for her!

  • 4Commencefiring4

    It’s the EVENT she’s against, not this customer. He has been a good customer for a long time, she has provided flowers for him before, so she’s clearly not bigoted against him as a homosexual person. She doesn’t wish to contribute her products and services to this venue, something she would even tell a straight customer who had requested the flowers for the same event, because she feels that to do so hurts her brand.

    Would Coke or Pepsi okay a product placement in a porn film? Same thing here: it hurts the brand, in her opinion. ANYONE coming into the shop asking her to do something she views as destructive of her business should not have the right to force her to do so.

    • SFBruce

      “It’s the EVENT she’s against, not this customer.”

      For me, this a distinction without a difference. Would you feel the same way about a florist who turns down providing flowers for an inter-racial marriage? She’s served African-Americans before, she might say, but inter-racial marriage goes against my sincerely held religious beliefs.

      • 4Commencefiring4

        All right, fair comparison. They’re a mixed race couple, and she believes that it’s wrong, based–somehow–on her christian convictions. What to do?

        While I may disagree with her conclusion (because I know of no biblical principle that would support that), I would still have to conclude that she’s entitled–as a business person–to decide if she wants to associate her “brand” with this event. No one should be compelled to ruin (in their view) what they have worked to build.

        Let’s make it a Klan-themed wedding. The white couple, and all invited guests, are going to show up in hoods and holding crosses. They want a cake with, “Wake Up, White People!” on it. Should the christian baker take the job? I wouldn’t think so.

        Or a nudist wedding. Everyone’s coming naked. The cake will have a nude couple on it (where do you get that?) Take the job? Should she be forced to be part of it?

        It’s not the race of the people, it’s still the event. No customer should be able to force a business to enter into a contract with them just because they “serve the public.” Some in “the public” are just vile people, and to run with them is to soil your brand.

        • KenS

          Good Comment!

        • Paul Hiett

          “It’s not the race of the people, it’s still the event. No customer
          should be able to force a business to enter into a contract with them
          just because they “serve the public.” Some in “the public” are just
          vile people, and to run with them is to soil your brand.”

          I don’t think you understand how the Civil Rights Act of 1964 affected commerce in this country. Stores are no longer able to pick and choose their customers. If you open a business and you advertise to the public, you don’t get to choose who walks in the door.

          • 4Commencefiring4

            You’re mischaracterizing the situation, which is what the left does all the time to get us to swallow poison.

            No one is choosing who walks in the door, or is picking and choosing customers based on “protected classes.” They are declining to do business in a way that they feel harms their enterprise. There’s no violation of the Civil Righs Act here because the same customer who claims they’re being discriminated against would have a hard time proving it if the baker had sold them flowers before–which she had.

            Further, if a straight customer had come in and asked for flowers for his gay friend’s wedding, the same answer would be expected: No. So it’s not a particular customer being discriminated against. You have to prove that a given (minority) customer cannot get the same service as anyone else. And no other customer–regardless of their sexual orientation–got flowers for a gay wedding, so the next one asking for it should not expect to get them, either. It’s equal treatment.

        • Peter Leh

          why make up hypotheticals when there is real life to observe comment and learning? 🙂

    • KenS

      Thank You!

    • Paul Hiett

      But the fact is, it’s NOT destructive to her business. She opened a business, and in doing so agreed to abide by the laws governing commerce. If you disagree with the laws, you can either choose not to open that business, or break the laws knowing you could face the consequences.

      • 4Commencefiring4

        It’s now YOUR decision what harms her business? I think she’s the better judge of that.

        There’s no laws that say she cannot deny everyone–EVERYONE–a given product or service. And she does deny–universally–such a product or service: flowers for gay weddings. NO ONE gets them, regardless of the sexual practices of the customer making the request.

        If she ran a gun store, she could sell guns to anyone who didn’t have a felony, regardless of race. But as soon as a customer with a felony walked in and tried to buy one, they’d get denied…not based on race, but because they were a felon. All customers with felonies get denied, just as all floral customers with the intent to use them in a gay wedding get denied.

        • Chuck Bryant

          She sells wedding flowers to others. The only people she won’t sell wedding flowers to are gays. That’s discrimination based on WHO the customer is, and it’s wrong.

          • 4Commencefiring4

            She’ll sell “wedding flowers” to gays, too–as long as the event in question is one she recognizes as a “wedding.” She sells “wedding” flowers to others because all others are holding events she believes–according to her religious views–qualify as “weddings”, and there’s no legal definition of the word “wedding.”

            She’s free, as a person of conscience, to characterize any given proposed ceremony as a sinful and rebellious act unworthy of the word she associates with holy matrimony committing a man and a woman to one another forever. Just because a customer calls their intended event a “wedding” doesn’t obligate her to agree that it is.

            So again, you’re back to trying to find discrimination against a person when she’s really just distinquishing between events. But thanks for playing.

          • Chuck Bryant

            It’s none of her business as a businessperson to decide which events are “legitimate”, especially in a discriminatory fashion. She sells flowers . It’s her business to sell flowers. It’s not her business to judge customers or care why they want flowers.

          • 4Commencefiring4

            It’s her business if doing so damages her reputation, violates her conscience, or puts her business in a bad light–in her opinion.

            If she were a surgeon offering general surguries to the community at large, and a Muslim father dragged his 8 year old daughter in to have a clitoral circumcision, I think you’d agree that she could legally, morally, and religiously beg off.

            Doctors refuse to perform abortions all the time. Are we now saying they must all be required to do so when asked, as long as their medical field would normally include such procedures?

          • Chuck Bryant

            Oh she did damage to her reputation all right. Her opinion on that was apparently mistaken.

          • 4Commencefiring4

            Only according to one judge. But he’s not the Judge she’s concerned about.

          • Chuck Bryant

            A businesses reputation isn’t decided by a human judge nor a supernatural one. It’s determined by the community and customers servered by that business. She ruined her own business reputation.

          • 4Commencefiring4

            No, as mentioned, “the community” expressed their support to a great degree. If she “ruined” her rep by her refusal, I’d love to see what the opposite would look like.

          • 4Commencefiring4

            Apparently not. Those who agree with her sent her a whole lot more in contributions than the business she “lost”–if any–by taking the stand she did. I don’t have to tell you what Memories Pizza realized in donations for doing essentially the same thing.

            In short, put to a popular vote, holdiing to one’s religious convictions, when being bullied to violate them by those who call those convictions “hate”, is instead rewarded.

          • Chuck Bryant

            Hate sells, and some Christians are buying.

          • 4Commencefiring4

            She sells wedding flowers to those holding what she considers “weddings”, and a gay union is–in her mind, and in the minds of millions–a blatant mockery of the holy institution of marriage.

            There’s no legal definition of “wedding”, so it’s her call. But besides all that, gay people can get “wedding flowers”, too–as long as the “wedding” is a traditional one that joins a man and a woman.

            There are two ways to lose a lot of weight: go on a diet, or have stomach stapling surgery. Both end up reducing your weight, but only one is a “diet.” Gays can “marry” legally, as can straights. But only one can have a “wedding” if you’re a Bible-believing christian.

          • Chuck Bryant

            You seem to have confused “Christian Wedding” with weddings in general. Jews have weddings. Muslims have weddings. Even atheists have weddings. She doesn’t have to agree with them, only the officiant has to do that. She’s just a vendor selling a product. She’s probably sold flowers to atheists weddings numerous times. It’s not her faith she’s fighting for. It’s gays she’s fighting against. While she admittedly sold flowers to gays for casual occasions, that doesn’t give her a pass to hate on important ones.

            And to whom is a wedding most “important”? The couple, or the vendors?

          • 4Commencefiring4

            I said nothing about “Christian weddings” or “Jewish weddings”; I said her understanding of what a “wedding” is–of whatever faith–matches what thousands of years of human history have always practiced: men marry women. They don’t marry animals, vegetables, minerals, or other men.

            An atheist wedding is not an affront to what “wedding” means, nor is a Muslim one, nor a Zoroastrian one, as long as a “he” marries a “she.” But when a “he” marries another “he”, you’ve mocked the institution–in her view and, frankly, in mine. She has no obligation to respect that act as a “wedding” any more than a woman must consider a pinch on the fanny a “compliment”–even if it was meant to be.

            And will you please lose the “hate” designation just because someone has a different view from your own?

        • Zva

          Interestingly you say it wouldn’t be discrimination if “all customers with felonies get turned away”, but that is not the case here is it?

          That’s why I asked the question does this florist ask couples if this is 2nd, 3rd or 4th marriage? Does she ask if they have been fornicating or either partner has children already? Why is there a ranking system for felonies? Why are gays couples ‘sins’ worse than the other scenario’s I described above.

          A more accurate description of your example is a gun store stating that if you were convicted for arson theft or only killing 1 person then we will serve you but if its killing 2 or more or kidnapping no way.

          • 4Commencefiring4

            A federal firearms dealer doesn’t have to know any more than that the customer has a felony; in fact, I don’t know that he CAN know any more from the NICS database he consults.

            In the case of the baker, you’re putting the onus on him/her to first go on a hunting trip through the customer’s life to uncover something untoward. But the situation we have is one of a customer who intentionally makes it known to the business, right up front, that he’s demanding something he very well knows the business isn’t going to give him. This is rubbing it in his face and daring him to make an issue of it. Hardly the same thing. It’s not a matter of ranking sins; it’s matter of advertizsing them or not.

            One could make the theoretical argument that a person of faith should not shop at a store owned by a person who is a Playboy channel subscriber at home because some of the funds spent there go to support porn. But really–is that practical? Are they going to grill every merchant on his personal life before patronizing his store? Of course not.

            But if he’s got posters in his store window inviting his customers to local swingers’ parties, I think that might inform any shopping decisions.

    • Peter Leh

      “It’s the EVENT she’s against, not this customer.”

      well, this is BUS 101. if you sell wedding cakes you sell to all protected groups.
      she knows that, the state knows that. the judge knows that, the ADF know that.

      The verdict confirmed what everyone KNEW. 🙂

      “Would Coke or Pepsi okay a product placement in a porn film? Same thing here”

      not at all. while “porn” is protected it is not a protected group.

      “ANYONE coming into the shop asking her to do something she views as
      destructive of her business should not have the right to force her to do
      so.”

      that is taken care of when the owner set up their business. not by the customer

  • Matt

    What I don’t get is how the LGBT community can expect respect by those who disagree with their lifestyle when they act like 13 year old middle schoolers by trying to force people into submission with lawsuits? She may have hurt his feelings, he may ruin her entire life. She didn’t spit on him, call him names, and kick him out onto the street. She politely declined. The fact that the LGBT community and supporters send her threats of death and violence shows they are no better concerning open-mindedness, understanding, or tolerance than those they claim are bigots and discriminators, namely Christians. You (LGBT supporters or members) remind me of the Westboro Baptist Church in your methods. Get over it. So Christians believe acting on homosexual desires is a sin. WHAT ELSE IS NEW? How long have Christians been around? Was this somehow news to you? You’re going to put an old lady out of business for standing up for her beliefs? Would you respect her more if she was a fence-sitter? If she only half-followed her beliefs? The answer is no. When Christians do that they are labeled as hypocrites. When they stand up for their beliefs, they are labeled as bigots. LGBT are bigots just the same.

  • Nick_from_Detroit

    UPDATE: Barronelle Stutzman, the Christian florist who has been mercilessly attacked and sued by homo-fascists has received OVER $145,000, so far!!!!
    Thanks, homo-fascists!
    Here is Mrs. Stutzman’s GoFundMe page:
    http://www.gofundme.com/mz6zm4

    Perhaps, all of you haters out there could listen to the gay community, who are ashamed of all of you. People like Courtney Hoffman & Buz Smith, who both donated to the Indiana pizza shop owners GoFundMe page. And, who both denounced all of the hateful attacks on those poor people.

    “As a member of the gay community, I would like to apologize for the mean spirited attacks on you and your business,” Hoffman wrote in the note accompanying her donation.
    […]
    “My girlfriend and I are small business owners, and we think there is a difference between operating in a public market space and then attaching the name of your business to a private event,” Hoffman said in a radio interview. “Like, if we were asked to set up at an anti-gay marriage rally, I mean, we would have to decline.”

    Hoffman said the “horrible, hate-filled attacks” against the pizzeria and its Christian owners did not reflect the gay community that she has come to know and love.

    “The gay community that we know knows full well what it’s like to be condemned for doing nothing but living your life according to your beliefs,” she added. “We know so many gay individuals that fully support the freedom of living your life according to your beliefs and feel that freedom extends to everyone, even the people that we don’t agree with.”

    Hoffman’s donation with her accompanying message brought Memories co-owner Crystal O’Connor to tears.

    Another gay man, Buz Smith, sent in a $250 donation to the Memories campaign as well, accusing the Democratic leadership of hijacking the gay community and promoting religious intolerance. Other members of the gay community wrote in applauding Hoffman’s gesture and backing up her stance.

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/04/07/gay-woman-apologizes-to-christian-owned-indiana-pizzeria-sends-donation/

    You haters could only raise 650 bucks! Losers!

    • MisterPine

      (crickets)

  • mrdsoccer

    I hope she also denies 2nd, 3rd & 4th marriages as well with the same merits but I doubt it!!

    • Peter Leh

      make one wonder

  • http://www.imagineitincorporatedng.com/ Tessa

    Love how Christians rallied round her.
    We love you. Keep standing.

  • Peter Leh

    this article highlight some of the things i have bee saying. IE if you get cited by the state that is the business owners fault. you can satisfy your conscience AND state regulations.

    Stutzman is no martyr. she has made poor business decision and taken poor legal advice from the ADF.

    http://www.breakingchristiannews.com/articles/display_art.html?ID=15734

  • Peter Leh

    BTW where is gary?

    • Paul Hiett

      My guess is he got banned. He was a pretty insulting and hateful individual.

      • Peter Leh

        i did not know one could get banned here?

        • MisterPine

          It seems to happen to most regular posters eventually.

  • Paul Hiett

    This, folks, is what love and compassion and tolerance is all about.

    http://i.imgur.com/KOIbf9Q.jpg

  • Nick_from_Detroit

    UPDATE: Barronelle Stutzman, the Christian florist who has been mercilessly attacked and sued by homo-fascists has received OVER $150,000, so far!!!!
    Thanks, homo-fascists!

    Here is Mrs. Stutzman’s GoFundMe page:
    http://www.gofundme.com/mz6zm4

    Perhaps, all of you haters out there could listen to the gay community, who are ashamed of all of you. People like Courtney Hoffman & Buz Smith, who both donated to the Indiana pizza shop owners GoFundMe page. And, who both denounced all of the hateful attacks on those poor people.

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/04/07/gay-woman-apologizes-to-christian-owned-indiana-pizzeria-sends-donation/

    You haters could only raise 650 bucks! Losers!

    • Paul Hiett

      Isn’t it nice to see that hatred for others pays so well? If she was any kind of a real Christian, she’d give it all to charity.

      • Nick_from_Detroit

        It wan’t hatred, Mr. Hiett. It was the love of Christ. All the hatred came from your side, as the “gay community” said. That why they apologized on your behalf. Why are you so against the “gay community,” Mr. Hiett?

      • MisterPine

        You have to love someone calling himself a Christian who gleefully sneers at what he calls “homo-fascists.” Real genuine Christian spirit at work there.

  • Penny

    Christians with businesses should always be allowed to practice their faith and be able to deny service to anyone they want when it is against their personal beliefs. There are plenty of other florists for people to go to.

  • Covered California

    I certainly hope Christians will raise at least the same amount of money for the victims and families of the attacks in Kenya and Nigeria.

  • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

    Good. Now she can afford to pay her thousand dollar fine like Jesus told her to do. She is an embarassment to sane Christians.

  • Janeben

    People don’t feed the trolls. Just donate to Baronelle and others who are being punished for their convictions. The trolls have nothing better to do with their time, aside from disrespecting, harassing and threatening others. It’s what they do best.

  • Kansas_Guy_79

    Hi I’m gay and I love my partner. We’re just like you. We’re professionals. I’m a teacher and he’s in sales. We have a loving monogamous relationship. We watch Netflix in our PJs, we check out the newest tech at the Apple store, and we work weekends over coffee, pushing to get ahead and make a difference. We don’t need your support, but we’re not going anywhere, and we love you anyway. We want to get married because we love each other and that’s what people who love each other do. We bear you no ill will and don’t want you to hate us and we don’t hate you. Peace to you all!