The New York Times reported on Tuesday that Justices Ruth Ginsburg and Elena Kagan argued at the Supreme Court hearing on same-sex “marriage” that mandating that status across the nation would do no harm to traditional marriages of heterosexual couples.
But they apparently didn’t address the injury it is doing to those of faith whose religious beliefs forbid them to support what the Bible describes succinctly as sin.
Barronelle Stutzman could fill them in.
A notice of appeal has been filed in Washington state in the case against the florist who declined to provide flowers for a same-sex “wedding” on religious grounds and since then has been targeted by the state attorney general for “personal and professional ruin.”
The initial filing consisted just of the notice of appeal, not the fully briefed arguments.
But ADF attorney Kristen Waggoner said, “The message that the attorney general and the ACLU have sent to the people of Washington in these two lawsuits [against Stutzman] is quite clear: surrender your religious liberty and freedom of speech, or face personal and professional ruin.”
She continued, “The trial court’s ruling affects all Americans who wish to remain free to live and work according to their faith without fear of punishment by the government. For that reason and others, we are requesting that the Washington Supreme Court grant direct review of Barronelle’s case.”
Hear Stutzman and Waggoner tell Fox News about the case:
The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday on the question of same-sex “marriage.” At the heart of the issue is whether the court will create the right to same-sex “marriage” and infringe on the Constitution’s protections for speech and religious freedoms, or whether those First Amendment protections will trump the lifestyle choices of a minority.
In practice, homosexual activism is in the bully pulpit right now, with a long list of cases assembled by WND where courts or commissions have penalized Christians for doing no more than living by their faith.
For example, the owners of a Christian farm in upstate New York recently were fined $10,000 and assessed $1,500 in damages for not allowing a lesbian duo to use their land and home for a wedding.
In Colorado, Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips is fighting to overturn state penalties against him – and his staff – for refusing to endorse a homosexual “wedding.”
There, a state human rights commissioner, Diann Rice, likened Christians to slave owners and Nazis, stating, “I would also like to reiterate what we said in the hearing or the last meeting. Freedom of religion and religion has been used to justify all kinds of discrimination throughout history, whether it be slavery, whether it be the Holocaust, whether it be – I mean, we – we can list hundreds of situations where freedom of religion has been used to justify discrimination. And to me it is one of the most despicable pieces of rhetoric that people can use to – to use their religion to hurt others.”
Just in the last week, Gresham, Oregon, bakery owners Aaron and Melissa Klein, who were forced to close their storefront, Sweet Cakes by Melissa, in 2013 shortly after a lesbian couple filed a civil rights complaint against them for refusing to provide a same-sex “wedding” cake, were told they were being fined $135,000.
Then in a surprise just days ago, a court ruled that a Kentucky T-shirt printer has the right to refuse to make pro-”gay” T-shirts because of the message. The homosexuality of the intended purchasers had nothing to do with it, the court said, and the Constitution protects the speech and religious freedom rights of the printer.
WND reported just weeks ago that Stutzman was told she was being fined $1,001 by the state for her decision to abide by her religious beliefs. She still faces a lawsuit from the customer.
A judge specifically ruled that her assets, including her business, personal possessions, bank accounts and home, could be subject to seizure to satisfy judgments against her.
Stutzman, 70, has run a flower shop for 40 years, but refused to make flower arrangements for the wedding of a longtime customer and found herself on the receiving end of two lawsuits – one from the Washington state attorney general’s office and another from the two men planning a same-sex wedding ceremony. They are not only suing her business; they’re also going after her personal assets, according to her attorney.
Waggoner said the award to Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson boils down to a government threat to Christians: “Surrender your religious liberty and free speech rights, or face personal and professional ruin.”
Stutzman was sued even though the man who filed the complaint was referred to several other willing florists and even was offered free flowers.
One of the homosexual customers, Robert Ingersoll, told the Tri-City Herald that Stutzman’s decision thoroughly shocked the couple.
The ruling from Alex Ekstrom, a judge at the trial court level, is the one being appealed. He had ordered the “defendants and their officers, agents, servants, employees, and attorneys, and those persons in active concert or participation with them … are permanently enjoined and restrained from violating the Washington Law Against Discrimination.”
Stutzman said she has, for her entire 40-year career, employed and served people who identify themselves as “gay.”
The case triggered what Waggoner called “volumes after volumes” of hate mail to Stutzman.
“I’ve read a lot of hate mail over the years, but what I’ve read in this case just is stunning,” she said. “It makes you sick to your stomach.”
Land of the free? Not with same-sex marriage” by Jerry Newcombe
“Founders’ 4 landmarks: 3 destroyed, 1 to go” by Dan Cummins
“‘The cross-gender premise’: Empathy is not science” by John W. DeVilbiss, Ph.D.
Florist targeted for 'personal ruin' fights back
Wed, 29 Apr 2015 01:38:34 GMT