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Christian Florist Faces Ruin After Losing Religious Liberty Case


waving flagAuthored by Edmund Kozak | Updated 17 Feb 2017 at 8:10 AM

URL of the original posting site: http://www.lifezette.com/polizette/christian-florist-faces-ruin-after-losing-religious-liberty-case/

A Christian florist’s personal assets and home are now at risk because she could not in good conscience arrange flowers that would be used in a gay wedding ceremony.

Barronelle Stutzman

On Thursday, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled that Barronelle Stutzman broke anti-discrimination laws when she turned away a homosexual couple seeking floral arrangements for their wedding.

“It’s wrong for the state to force any citizen to support a particular view about marriage or anything else against their will,” Kristen Waggoner, Stutzman’s attorney, wrote in a statement issued shortly after the ruling. “Freedom of speech and religion aren’t subject to the whim of a majority; they are constitutional guarantees.”

Big Gay Hate Machine

Apparently the Washington State Supreme Court disagrees. The decision comes after a lengthy legal battle, which began in 2013. A lower court had previously found Stutzman guilty and fined her, but she appealed the decision. With the Washington State Supreme Court’s decision, the only option left is to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, something which Stutzman’s lawyer said would be done immediately following the decision.

The Left is hailing the decision as some sort of victory for equal rights and justice. “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,” Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said in a written statement.words-of-a-leftist-propagandist


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Others, however, say the ruling is a gross miscarriage of justice which intentionally distorts the law in order to suppress Christians and their beliefs.

“Americans were told repeatedly that redefining marriage would have little impact on their lives. Yet now courts are seeking to drive families from their businesses — and now today even their homes as the result of crippling government imposed fines designed to force them to deny their faith,” said Family Research Council President Tony Perkins in a prepared statement.amen

“Barronelle knew her customer and friend identified as gay, yet happily served him for years; she just didn’t want to be involved in his wedding. But the ACLU and the Washington State government couldn’t stand this, and decided to make an example out of her,” Perkins said.

This would indeed seem to be the case. The very fact that that Stutzman knew these customers were homosexual and happily served them in the past is surely evidence that she did not discriminate against them because of their sexual orientation, but simply wished to not lend her services to an event and ceremony in direct contravention of her deeply held religious beliefs.

Trump’s Chance to Influence the Judiciary for Decades President left 118 federal court vacancies to stock with a new generation of conservative jurists

The Left has blurred the distinction between refusing to serve an individual because of his sexual orientation and refusing to do business with an individual in one specific instance because one does not agree morally with what that individual plans to do with the product. 

“The Washington State Supreme Court’s ruling tramples on our nation’s long-held tradition of respecting the freedom of Americans to follow their deeply held beliefs, especially when it comes to participating in activities and ceremonies that so many Americans consider sacred,” Perkins said.

“Cultural elites may succeed in convincing judges to strip away the livelihoods of people but the elites continue to face a losing battle at the ballot box and in the court of public opinion.”

point-counterpoint

Oregon Christian Bakers Wedding Cake Case Going to Court


waving flagby Breitbart News, 23 Feb 2016

Today, First Liberty Institute announced that, along with one of the most famous lawyers in America, it is now representing Aaron and Melissa Klein, the Oregon bakers who owned Sweet Cakes by Melissa—the bakery destroyed by the Oregon government because its Christian owners declined to bake a wedding cake celebrating same-sex marriage—and intends to take the case all the way to the United States Supreme Court.

In 2013, the Kleins were asked by a lesbian woman to bake a cake celebrating her marriage to another woman, even though same-sex marriage was not even legal in Oregon at the time.

The Kleins had many customers who are homosexual and were happy to sell them cakes and other baked goods, but do not make specialized cakes for same-sex weddings because they individualize each wedding cake to support and celebrate the marriage. The Kleins are Evangelical Christians who believe that marriage is only between a man and woman, and who run their business consistent with their faith as part of their Christian testimony and personal ministry to the community.

The Oregon government pursued the Kleins for two years. On July 2, 2015, Commissioner Brad Avakian, the head of Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI), ordered the Kleins to pay $135,000 to the women as a penalty for what he called the “emotional damages” of offending the women by declining to bake the cake for their non-legal “wedding.”

BOLI also imposed a gag order on the Kleins, telling them that they cannot say that they would decline to bake a same-sex wedding cake in the future, because BOLI contends this would be a form of “advertisement” that the bakers intended to “discriminate” against people on the basis of sexual orientation.

The Kleins informed Oregon that they wanted to appeal this ruling because it violated their First Amendment right to free speech to require them to give a message endorsing same-sex marriage, as well as their right to free exercise of their religion to run their privately owned company consistent with their religious beliefs.

After the Kleins shared this information with BOLI, the government seized the money in the Kleins’ bank accounts. That was not nearly enough to satisfy the judgment. Thousands of Christians across the nation sent small gifts to assist the Kleins, who then handed that money to the government to be set aside in an escrow-type account so that their appeal could move forward. Big Gay Hate Machine

During this time First Liberty came to assist the Kleins, representing them entirely free of charge, and are taking the Kleins’ case to the Oregon Court of Appeals. The legal team will be led by Ambassador Boyden Gray, a former law clerk to the late Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren, who later became White House counsel under President George H.W. Bush from 1989 to 1992, and then served as the U.S. ambassador to the European Union.

“America is a great nation because we celebrate diversity of thought,” Ambassador Gray said in a statement to Breitbart News. “Our right to free expression and religious liberty are some of our most cherished American freedoms. We must safeguard these rights for every American—including Aaron and Melissa Klein.”

“The past three years have been devastating,” Melissa Klein adds in the statement. “Just because we couldn’t participate in an event that violates our religious beliefs, we lost our business. We were committed to serving everyone, regardless of their circumstances, at all other times.”

“The government should never force people to violate their conscience or celebrate causes they don’t believe in,” said Kelly Shackelford, president and chief executive officer of First Liberty Institute. “As the Kleins’ new appellate team, we are committed to fighting for their First Amendment freedoms of religious liberty and free expression.”

Legal briefs will be filed over the next several months, and the Oregon Court of Appeals is expected to hear oral arguments in the Kleins’ appeal in late 2016. The lawyers add that there is a significant chance that this case may finally end up before the Supreme Court of the United States.

Information on the case is available at FirstLiberty.org/Kleins.

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