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Washington court upholds ruling against Christian florist

Barronelle Stutzman Alliance Defending Freedom

Washington court upholds ruling against Christian florist

The Supreme Court of Washington state ruled against Christian florist Barronelle Stutzman on Thursday, finding that prosecutors did not act with religious animus in their prior decision against her. Stutzman, owner of Arlene’s Flowers in Richland, Wash., faces unprecedented punishment from the state, including threats to her personal assets, because her Biblical beliefs about marriage precluded her making custom floral arrangements for a same-sex wedding.

The U.S. Supreme Court last year vacated the earlier ruling against her and ordered the Washington high court to review Stutzman’s case in light of the ruling in favor of Colorado baker Jack Phillips, who declined to make a custom cake for a same-sex wedding because of his religious beliefs about marriage. In Phillips’ case, Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the Supreme Court ruled that the baker did not receive fair adjudication and that the prosecutors showed animosity towards his religious beliefs. The Washington Supreme Court judges said they found no such animus toward Stutzman.

“After this review, we are confident that the two courts gave full and fair consideration to this dispute and avoided animus toward religion. We therefore find no reason to change our original decision in light of Masterpiece Cakeshop,” the judges wrote.

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which defended Stutzman, tweeted that the ruling minimizes the Supreme Court’s protections of religious liberty.

“Barronelle serves all customers; she simply declines to celebrate or participate in sacred events that violate her deeply held beliefs,” ADF Vice President of Appellate Advocacy John Bursch said in a statement. “Despite that, the state of Washington has been openly hostile toward Barronelle’s religious beliefs about marriage, and now the Washington Supreme Court has given the state a pass. We look forward to taking Barronelle’s case back to the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Rachel Lynn Aldrich Rachel is an assistant editor for WORLD Digital. She is a Patrick Henry College and World Journalism Institute graduate. Rachel resides with her husband in Wheaton, Ill.


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     I am pessimistic that "we" can win this battle. I think the battle was lost when we did not clearly state that homosexual practice was wrong. We seemed to say, beginning a few decades ago, no, we don't want to prosecute you, or jail you, but we just want you to stay out of our faces, and don't seduce our children. We were saying, in essence, we just don't like you. So then "they," the homosexual activists, framed the situation as one of personal essence or being, like race (which it is not), and gradually changed the paradigm. Now "we" are just bigots, just like a racist of 30 years ago, and we just have to get over it, they say, and if not, then prosecution.

     Some might respond, "What, you want to re-criminalize sodomy?! That ain't gonna happen!" I agree. Very unlikely. But I just don't think "deeply held religious beliefs" will survive charges of bigotry without our insistence that homosexuality is wrong. Period.

     There is very little in sexual boundaries that will not change and fall without some moral absolutes. A thirty year old man seducing your 11 yo daughter is out of bounds, 99% of Americans agree. (A made-up statistic). 25 and 12? Not good. 22 and 13? Still not good. 18 yo male and 15 yo girl? No problem. Just advise condoms. But what is the real difference there?


In John 15:20 Jesus says, “Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.”

Laura W

I'm confused. Are you implying that Stutzman doesn't demonstrate a changed life? I don't know anything about her personally, but I know quite a few Christians who do.

Big Jim

Well that didn't take long. The Supreme Court ruled narrowly in Masterpiece and this is the predictable result. Now the Supremes will have another chance to protect religious liberties in this country. Will they?


We live in Washington State. The ruling against Baronelle Stutzman is a sad chapter of clear animus toward religous freedom in our state. God help us. We all need to stand up and speak up! Debbie Reese


Either animus was shown toward a Christian florist or the court ruling has been tilted by judges ignorant of what constitutes religious freedom - people of faith are in trouble both ways. Hope the SCOTUS comes to a different conclusion.