Curt Freed and his then fiancé Robert Ingersoll had frequented Arlene’s Flowers for nearly a decade, making it the obvious choice to complete their wedding décor. Unfortunately, shop owner, Barronelle Stutzman, refused the couple service on the basis of her Christian identity in 2013. Now, on July 2, 2021, the Supreme Court ruled that Stutzman’s campaign to have her case re-opened would not be a possibility.
This appeal was made by Stutzman and her team of lawyers with the support of the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). The ADF has been accepting donations for Stutzman’s cause for over eight years, panting her as a Christian saint whose income, business and religious liberties are being threatened by a left-wing society.
“Our nation has a long history of protecting the right of peaceful citizens to hold different views about important issues like the meaning of marriage,” the ADF’s profile on Arlene’s Flowers reads. “Barronelle is a floral artist… and a grandmother. You’d never expect to see someone like her at the center of a firestorm.”
The ADF website updates Stutzman’s case as it develops, urging politicians to take a stand against what they perceive to be a miscarriage of justice. Not surprisingly, some within the political sphere, are listening. Three conservative Supreme Court justices, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch, moved to revisit Stutzman’s case this year, but they were out-numbered. The two cases, titled Ingersoll v. Arlene’s Flowers and State of Washington v. Arlene’s Flowers, found that Stutzman’s right to free speech were not being overridden by anti-discrimination laws.
Throughout each civil suit and appeal, Ingersoll and Freed’s team have made the same argument: to keep religion out of business and bring emotions into weddings. These trials often review Stutzman’s outright act of homophobia as it shocked the long-term patrons. Not long after the incident, Ingersoll shared, “after Curt and I were turned away from our local flower shop, we cancelled the plans for our dream wedding because we were afraid it would happen again. We had a small ceremony at home instead.”
In 2019, the Washington high court published, “The State of Washington bars discrimination in public accommodations on the basis of sexual orientation. We therefore hold that the conduct for which Stutzman was cited and fined in this case —refusing her commercially marketed wedding floral services to Ingersoll and Freed because theirs would be a same-sex wedding — constitutes sexual orientation discrimination under the [law].”
Join us: This story is made possible with the help of qnotes’ contributors. If you’d like to show your support so qnotes can provide more news, features and opinion pieces like this, give a regular or one-time donation today.