Friday, February 17, 2017

WA State Supreme Court Unanimously Rules Against Barronell Stutzman's Religious Freedom

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IN THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON
STATE OF WASHINGTON,

Respondent,
·'V.
ARLENE'S FLOWERS, INC., d/b/a
ARLENE'S FLOWERS AND GIFTS, and
BARRONELLE STUTZMAN,

Appellants.
ROBERT INGERSOLL and CURT FREED,

Respondents,
v.
ARLENE'S FLOWERS, INC., d/b/a
ARLENE'S FLOWERS AND GIFTS, and
BARRONELLE STUTZMAN,

Appellants.
NO. 91615-2
ENBANC
Filed FEB 1 6 2017 -------
GORDON McCLOUD, J.-The State of Washington bars discrimination

I spoke with Barronell yesterday following the announcement of the State's Supreme Court ruling.


Yesterday, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled unanimously that Barronell Stutzman does not have the right to decline selling flowers to homosexuals for a "wedding."

It's informative to see who signed amicus (supportive) briefs in favor of the state, and who filed in favor of Barronell.

This is a link to the 59-page court opinion explaining why she does not have that right, including the signatures of each of the justices who are denying her that right.

Stutzman's lawyers will now ask the US Supreme Court to overturn the decision.


KOMO News and other news outlets are carrying the story by Associated Press that was published by Seattle AP journalist Rachel LaCorte.

LaCorte notes that "a florist that refused to provide services for a same-sex wedding broke the state's anti-discrimination law, even though she claimed doing so would violate her religious beliefs."

Kristen Waggoner, Stutzman's local attorney affiliated with Alliance Defending Freedom, wrote in a statement that "Freedom of speech and religion aren't subject to the whim of a majority; they are constitutional guarantees."

She said, "It's wrong for a state to force any citizen to support a particular view about marriage or anything else against their will."

I agree. That's "Freedom"---"Liberty"---our Founders declared them to be a "God-given, not government-given right."

But A/G Bob Ferguson and Gov. Jay Inslee disagree. They say "people have a right to marry whom they love" and if someone believes differently because of religious beliefs---and lives in a way that is not consistent with that idea--- we now have laws with which we can punish them.

Inslee said yesterday, "The ruling was in favor of equality for all Washingtonians."

No, it wasn't. It does not favor "all Washingtonians"---it doesn't favor Barronell's personal religious beliefs and the biblical beliefs of thousands of other Washingtonians.

What about Muslims who do not believe in same-sex marriage? Will they be pursued with the same vigor?

If the State finds it necessary to "redefine" marriage to accommodate homosexuals with "equality" and the "right to marry whom they love," why does the State not also provide "marriage equality" and the "right to marry whom they love" for polygamists?

Most men in a polygamist living arrangement will tell you they equally love all their wives.

I don't believe in polygamist marriage for the same reason I don't believe in same-sex marriage. Because it isn't marriage. Marriage is a Judeo-Christian institution, formed by God between one man and one woman that predates organized civilization---an institution that every successful civilization and every major religion has affirmed.

The state---all states, have traditionally supported and passed laws to support natural marriage and the family.

If the state is honestly seeking "equality," why do they administer even their own concept of equality selectively?

It is only in recent years, as a result of becoming lost in the quagmire of political correctness and so-called "progressivism and progress," that some have begun to celebrate the attack on the institution of marriage.

Inslee says, "By ruling that intolerance based on sexual orientation is unlawful, the Court affirmed that Washington state will remain a place where no one can be discriminated against because of who they love."

Inslee's message is that the state will redefine the most basic and oldest human institution---marriage between a man and a woman---so that no one can be discriminated against because of whom they love, but an individual who loves God and His word and attempts to live out that belief will be crushed by the law and those who administer it.

And the crushing will be celebrated as a victory for "equality", "fairness" and "justice."

The Seattle Times quotes A/G Ferguson: "Ms. Stutzman is free to believe what she wishes, but because she runs a public business she is required under the law to serve everyone."

"Free to believe what she wishes..." is a key phrase in the attempted dismantling of marriage and the revision of what "religious freedom" means in America.

John J. Miller, director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College, has written an article for the Wall Street Journal on the use of these phrases which is informative.

In his article, he notes a letter from Senator James Langford, an Oklahoma Republican who is inquiring into the matter after noticing that the immigration forms for those seeking US citizenship were now using the term "freedom of worship" rather than "freedom of religion."

He wrote a letter to then Homeland Security Sec. Jeh Johnson asking about the revision and telling him that was a "pet peeve" of his.

He followed up with this: "The freedom of religion is much more than just the freedom of worship. Worship confines you to a location. Freedom of religion is the right to exercise your religious beliefs---it is the ability for Americans to live out their faith or to choose to have no faith at all."

And that's the point. A/G Ferguson says, "Ms. Stutzman is free to believe what she wishes..." but that was not the intent of our Founders, nor is it acceptable to millions of Americans whose families came to America to "exercise their religious beliefs."

We have seen the devastating effects this revision has in laws and policies forbidding Americans to share their Christian faith with co-workers, etc. The military has been particularly hard on Christians in this regard.

The word "proselytizing" has taken on a new meaning, and in some cases can cost you your job.

To the point. "Ms. Stutzman is free to believe what she wishes..." but she better not practice those religious beliefs outside the walls of First Baptist Church, because if she does...

I spoke with Barronell yesterday after the Court released their ruling. She told me she wasn't really surprised by the State Supreme Court ruling.

I asked her how she is doing personally. She said, "I'm doing great. God is in control."

Remember her in prayer as this case heads to the Supreme Court---if they will accept it.

Be Informed. Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Blessed.


13 comments:

  1. Washington state judges and politicians have lost their minds, it seems. Do they think they do not discriminate against flower shops? Not only have they illegally taken away something more precious than gold or silver, from every flower shop in Washington state, they have robbed us all. I say the voters will make them pay.

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  2. Bob Ferguson thinks Washington state OWNS every business in the state. Wake up Bob. It doesn't.

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  3. I guess this is some kind of exercise of Bob Ferguson and Jay Inslee's religious beliefs.

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  4. I guess they are saying that we can no longer bake our cakes our own way, in Washington state, and that we must use our hands to serve the state, rather than to serve God.

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  5. The term "Public Business "by the Seattle times should be in question.

    Is that like a "public school, public transit,public square"?

    Does a personal business, guided by that persons ethics, require "PUBLIC" funds??

    I don't think so!
    "If MY people will humble themselves and pray...(God) says that he will hear and heal their land!...

    She is so totally humble as we all should be.."Trust and Obey"

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  6. It will be interesting to see if a SCOTUS with a full bench will agree to hear this case. Keep in mind that a full Court (Oct 2013 term) denied cert in the case of the New Mexico photographer (Elane v Willock) in which the circumstances of the case were substantively similar...and it only takes four Justices to grant review.

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  7. "What about Muslims who do not believe in same-sex marriage? Will they be pursued with the same vigor?"

    I think we know the answer to this. The same political philosophy that would deny Christians the right to exercise and practice their faith within their own business, would cower before the supposed right of Muslims to practice (forms of) sharia law, despite its unbelievable conflicts with our present society and laws.

    Call this what it is - an attack on Bible believing Christians. That's exactly what it is. And it's despicable. The stakes for Mr. Gorsuch's approval just went up.

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  8. I wonder how the rewrite of marriage laws will be seen by people who desire to "marry" other than another human?

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  9. The word "religion" is from the word "ligament" to bind

    So religion is re-ligament - to bind more strongly

    Obligation is also from the word "ligament" and means to bind about

    They are bound to you by YOUR WILL

    So when A/G Bob Ferguson and Gov. Jay Inslee say "people have a right to marry whom they love" They are also claiming the state has a right to force you to agree

    They are saying the state has a right to force you to its will

    You are obligated to it and it is your religion

    Which has nothing to do with freedom of anything but is the antithesis of freedom and is a totalitarian dictatorship.

    "Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed" THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE

    The powers are ONLY just when they gain your consent

    So STOP GIVING it to to them

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  10. Bob and Jay set themselves up as if they are God, and the socialist court did the same.

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  11. The Washington Supreme court is a sinful mess. It's not an authority, just a bad opinion.

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  12. We ALL discriminate on a daily basis. Some of those discriminatory decisions are wrong, and some, as in the case of Barronelles refusal of service, are RIGHT

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  13. Let's ponder this situation and see if we're likely to consistently apply this line of thinking to everyone equally...

    Let's say that Ferguson were to run a public business... Wouldn't this be a fair and equal application of the law using their line of thinking?

    "Mr. Ferguson is free to believe what he wishes, but because he runs a public business he is required under the law to serve everyone, including people who walk into his business in a calm, nonthreatening manner, while in legal possession of a firearm holstered on their belt (or perhaps slung across their back)."


    ...

    Or would his business suddenly become a personal business where he could decide that his personal belief about guns (e.g. a fear of guns or a preference for gun-free-zones) would trump his patron's constitutionally guaranteed right to bear arms for his own person defense?

    In this situation, if Ferguson didn't want to sell flowers or cupcakes or whatever to this law abiding citizen who just wants to exercise his rights in a calm and peaceful manner while completing his business in the same manner as any other patron, could this citizen be given fair and equal treatment under the law, or would be be laughed at and denied his right, while Ferguson would be free to deny him goods or services because he thinks differently?

    After reading more of the court's decision, I'll further add this line of thinking...

    Perhaps it might be suggested that Mr. Ferguson has never allowed guns in his place of business, but again, this is just discrimination... Why is a gun treated any differently than other means of self defense? What does a gun allow someone to do? I suppose it would be fair to say that a gun would allow an average person to inflict more harm on another person than they'd normally be able to inflict, so maybe that's a special case and that's just not acceptable...? Well, Mr. Ferguson's hypothetical business didn't seem to be concerned about the body builder that purchased from him a few days prior, nor the martial arts expert who bought something just 10 minutes earlier, both of which have the capacity to inflict more harm on another person than the average person. Is it not wrong for the less athletic, less skilled, or older person, who might be less physically able to defend themselves are being discriminated against? I just don't see how Mr. Ferguson's belief that guns are too dangerous to be allowed in his store should be more important than the rights if his potential patron who just wants to do business with him like anyone else has the opportunity to do.

    Unless AG Ferguson would agree to support that consistent application/interpretation of the law and protect law abiding gun owners just as well as any other American citizen, then I can not support their application/interpretation of the law in this case.

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