- The Washington Times - Monday, April 6, 2015

More than $100,000 has been raised — most of it in recent weeks — for a Washington state florist who declined to make an arrangement for a gay couple’s wedding.

Barronelle Stutzman, owner of Arlene’s Flowers and Gifts in Richland, Washington, was found guilty in March of violating the state’s anti-discrimination and consumer protection laws.

A state Superior Court 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 has also been found liable for damages by the gay couple and their attorneys, the American Civil Liberties Union.

Her attorneys at the Alliance Defending Freedom believe that these damages could bankrupt her business and wipe out her assets and retirement.

A gofundme.com request was set up for Mrs. Stutzman earlier this year. As of 1 p.m. Monday, more than $100,000 had been donated to her cause.

In a video on the site, Mrs. Stutzman speaks about receiving a Bible and many letters written in support, but also many hateful letters.

She explained that despite a warm, 9-year-long relationship of customer service with Robert Ingersoll, she could not in good conscience make a floral arrangement for his wedding to Curt Freed.

As a Christian, she said, marriage is a “sacred covenant” between a man and a woman, and “obedience to Christ” had to come first in this situation.

Separately in Indiana, a family-owned pizza business received more than $842,000 by crowdsourcing.

Memories Pizza in Walkerton, Indiana, had not received a request to cater a gay marriage, but its owners said they would not be able to accept such a request due to their religious beliefs about marriage.

That refusal brought rejection and attacks severe enough to prompt the O’Connor family to possibly close their business and leave town.

Donations in support of the family poured into gofundme.com, and the donations window has now closed after receiving $842,387.

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