- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Lawyers for Washington state florist Barronelle Stutzman have filed a request for her case to be reviewed by the highest court in the state.

Mrs. Stutzman and her business, Arlene’s Flowers and Gifts in Richland, Washington, were sued by the state for violating state nondiscrimination law by refusing to make flowers for a gay man’s wedding.

She had made floral arrangements for years for Robert Ingersoll, but declined to do one for his wedding due to her Christian beliefs that marriage is a “sacred covenant” between a man and a woman, and “obedience to Christ” takes precedence.

Mr. Ingersoll and his married partner, Curt Freed, sued her and her business as well.

In March, a judge found Mrs. Stutzman and her business guilty of violating the state’s anti-discrimination and consumer protection laws.

The judge fined her $1,000 plus $1 to resolve the state’s case against her and ordered her to make sure any goods available for sale for opposite-sex couples were available to same-sex couples.

Mrs. Stutzman was also found liable for damages by the gay couple and their attorneys, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

Mrs. Stutzman’s attorneys at the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) believe that these damages could bankrupt her business and wipe out her assets and retirement.

On Monday, lawyers with ADF filed papers with the Washington Supreme Court asking for a direct review of the case.

“The message that the attorney general and the ACLU have sent to the people of Washington in these two lawsuits is quite clear: Surrender your religious liberty and freedom of speech, or face personal and professional ruin,” ADF senior counsel Kristen Waggoner said.

• Cheryl Wetzstein can be reached at cwetzstein@washingtontimes.com.

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