ACLU Sues 70-Year-Old Christian Flower Shop Owner for Refusing to Participate in Gay Wedding

The ACLU took in 63 million dollars in 2011. It has net assets of almost 300 million dollars. Anthony Romero, its Exec Director, takes in 342,858 dollars.

And like most bullies, the ACLU picked a target its own size, Barronelle Stutzman, a 70-year-old woman who runs a flower shop. For those who think that gay marriage can be folded on, the case of Arlene’s Flowers provides another sobering wake-up call.

Homosexual activists are not looking to live and let live. They are out to force their way on everyone else at any cost. Even shamelessly going after a 70-year-old woman who was only following her faith.

Robert Ingersoll and his partner, Curt Freed, had been buying flowers from Arlene’s for nearly a decade when Ingersoll asked Barronelle Stutzman to provide flowers for their upcoming wedding in September, according to the couple’s attorneys.

“When it came to doing his wedding, I said, ‘I could not do it because of my relationship with Jesus Christ.’ He thanked me and said he respected my opinion. We talked and gave each other a hug and he left,” she wrote.

Stutzman said she believes “biblically” that marriage is between a man and a woman.

“I have hired all walks of people in different circumstances, and had the privilege of working with some very talented people that happen to be gay.”

But Robert Ingersoll couldn’t do the decent thing and give Barronelle Stutzman what gay rights activists claim they want; tolerance.

“I have dealt with Rob several times. He’s a nice guy,” Barronelle Stutzman said.

But for Ingersoll, the rejection stung.

“We’re both passionate about seeing people succeed and that nobody should be hurt or in pain,” he said. “This is one of those things — it’s very hurtful. I probably haven’t felt this much pain since I was in high school and people called me names, and I’m 42.”

And after enough whining, Ingersoll decided to spread the pain that was eating at his soul and making him so very sad.

Ingersoll realizes that while much of the attention has been supportive, he and his partner also will face a backlash.

“People are going to hate us,” he said. “That is sad and makes me unhappy. I know people are going to come out of the woodwork and going to be hateful. I don’t say hateful things. I’m not that kind of person.”

Ingersoll sure is unhappy a lot and his response to unhappiness is to make other people unhappy. This is also known as liberalism.

And when liberalism rules, the jackboots sooner or later show up on your doorstep.

Robert W. Ferguson, the Attorney General for Washington State, has taken a break from fixing all the crime in the state, to targeting a 70-year-old flower shop owner.

“As Attorney General, it is my job to enforce the laws of the state of Washington,” said Ferguson.  “Under the Consumer Protection Act, it is unlawful to discriminate against customers based on sexual orientation.  If a business provides a product or service to opposite-sex couples for their weddings, then it must provide same sex couples the same product or service.”

The lawsuit seeks $2,000 in fines for each violation and an injunction requiring Arlene’s Flowers to comply with the state’s consumer protection laws, which prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

And there’s the problem in a nutshell. If gay rights trumps religion, then the two cannot co-exist. This is a clash between two religions. Christianity and Liberalism. We have a state church and it performs gay weddings and insists that everyone participate in them as well.

Not to be left out, the ACLU rushed in to join the assault on Barronelle Stutzman.

The American Civil Liberties Union also stepped into the fray, sending Stutzman a letter announcing it would file a separate civil suit for damages on behalf of the engaged couple unless she agrees to provide flowers without discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation, publish a letter of apology in the newspaper and donate $5,000 to a local youth center, in lieu of attorneys’ fees.

“Your refusal to sell flowers to Mr. Ingersoll and Mr. Freed for their wedding has hurt them very deeply. It is a disturbing reminder of the history of discrimination and disparate treatment that they and other gay men and women have experienced over the years,” ACLU attorney Michael R. Scott said in the letter.

Left unsaid is whether she would also be expected to abase herself or spend a night in the stocks. But while $5,000 may be a lot to an elderly small business owner, Anthony Romero and other ACLU executives could use it as toilet paper.

The ACLU’s letter informs us that;

Mr. Freed was born and raised in the Tri-Cities area. He has been on the faculty of Columbia Basin College since 1994, where he is currently Vice President of Instruction. Mr. Ingersoll was raised in Colorado and New Mexico, and moved to Washington State in the late 1990s. In the last five years, he has worked at Goodwill in Richland, where he is currently an Operations Manager.

To no one’s surprise, neither part of the “happy couple” actually works for a living outside the academic/non-profit sector. The lawyers claim, hilariously, that they are shy private people.

Mr. Freed and Mr. Ingersoll are private people; they have led a very quiet life together. Although they were initially reluctant to speak publicly about your refusal to serve them, they decided it was important to speak up

Yes, it was vitally important for them to persecute the 70-year-old owner of a small flower shop. A principle was at stake. The Goodwill manager felt sad. And blue. And down in the dumps.

Now that he’s beating up on a 70-year-old woman he feels empowered.

And Freed and Ingersoll’s demands include;

You agree to write a letter of apology to Mr. Freed and Mr. Ingersoll to be published in the Tri-City Herald.

What repulsive cretins.

Arlene’s Flowers has set up a donation account to help with the defense against Ferguson, Freed, Ingersoll, he ACLU and the rest of the gang.

We have set up a deposit only account with our local Key Bank, 1275 Lee Blvd, Richland, WA 99352 phone # 509-392-4638 The account number is 470761007272

  • gee59

    And here I thought that business owners had the right to refuse service to anybody. I wonder where her rights are under the Constitution?

    • Daniel Greenfield

      They only have the right to refuse service to Republicans.

    • JacksonPearson

      "And here I thought that business owners had the right to refuse service to anybody."
      Those are exactly my thoughts. So now the government have the right to force a person, against their will, or religious beliefs, to perform services, and if not, they sue you into servitude?

      • poetcomic1

        Not since 1964 Civil Rights Act in which we gave away Freedom of Association, one of the most essential freedoms.

        • JacksonPearson

          There's been many things happened in this country since passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

          We The People didn't give that away, as much as it was them the social engineering democrats that were in control of congress and I believe LBJ in the white house!

        • tagalog

          The Civil Rights Act of 1964 didn't give away the right to freedom of association; it gave away the right to freedom of contract. The Boy Scouts' case decision on freedom to refuse to admit homosexuals enforces the right to freedom of association. Although that freedom remains under attack.

          The First Amendment still gives a defense against the ACLU's lawsuit, though, since the First Amendment not only says that government can't estabish a religion, it also says that government can't prohibit the free exercise of religion. Accordingly, a cogent case can be made for a court to dismiss the ACLU's lawsuit on the ground that the court has no jurisdiction (as an arm of the state) to hear it, since it will inevitably involve the establishment of religious belief, or have some effect on free exercise.

    • Mary Sue

      oh no, and the precedent for that is "Well we don't allow coffee shops to say "Whites Only".

      • tagalog

        Not only that, it's illegal to post a sign that says "We Reserve the Right to Refuse to Serve Anybody." They don't have such a right.

        See, for example, Katzenbach v. McClung, a Supreme Court case from the early days of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

    • BS77

      Have you ever seen a sign in a restaurant that explains their right to REFUSE service to anyone….??? So I guess now, with the twisted logic in this case, they will have to serve everyone, drunks, bums, troublemakers…..YOU CANNOT DISCRIMINATE !!!!!
      The ACLU is one of the most deranged organizations in the US.

      • NOrm

        relax, idiot-anti-discrimination laws protect EVERYONE-you really ok with no blacks? no jews? where do you draw your bigotry line?

    • Radioman

      Think the Constitution is going to protest you? Think again! In today's world the Constitution is nothing more than a dry up, old piece of worthless paper. America is dead and gone.

  • Goemon

    That law WA state has barring discrimination against homosexuals is discriminating against Christians and againsts Islam.

    • nOrm

      no, dummy-that same law protects religious discrimination too

  • objectivefactsmatter

    Like I always say, it's always all about hurt religious feelings.

  • Johnconrad

    If she were an Islamist, the ACLU would be very quiet. I'm donating today

  • Toni_Pereira

    I don't know if this is meant to hurt religious feelings or enhance narcissism…

  • Edward Cline

    This has little or nothing to do with her faith. This is an issue of three empowered entities going after a hapless citizen who refused to knuckle under the gay marriage mantra: the state, the ACLU, and the gay "couple." Her reasons for refusing to cater to the "couple" are immaterial. But it's mostly the state throwing its weight around against a single individual. I'm an atheist, and I'd have refused to take the gay marriage business. It also seems that gays won't hesitate to call in the state to punish "anti-gay" offenders.

    • Norm

      no, idiot-its about anti-discrimination laws in WA that protect gender, race, religion and orientation-own a business, OBEY the law!

  • Mary Sue

    Makes me wonder what would happen if the Ontario lesbian woman who wanted a mannish haircut at the Terminal barber shop (run by Muslims who think nonrelated girls have cooties) had instead tried to get a haircut from similar muslims in a similar barber shop in Washington State…

    • Toni_Pereira

      It would be considered a sinfull attack on multiculturalism. And as penance she would be forced by the ACLU to go annoy barbershops run by devout Christians…

  • http://www.adinakutnicki.com AdinaK

    The demented fruits of liberalism, as it has gone off the rails into coercion. Well, let them sue, and see if a person's private business has ANY rights left in America, most of all religious freedom. After all, where it it written that a PRIVATE owned company has to serve ALL customers, even if it goes against their religion? Maybe in Obama's Amerika… http://adinakutnicki.com/2012/07/01/leftist-dogma

    This case must be handled by a top flight firm which handles these types of pro bono cases. Onward and upward…

    Adina Kutnicki, Israel http://adinakutnicki.com/about/

  • F.K. Juliano

    Daniel Greenfield makes a great point when he says there is now an official religion. It's not a distinct faith from that imposed on Russia by the Bolsheviks. At the most, it's a different denomination but with the same basic beliefs. And make no mistake: this the kind of thing that happened in the USSR under Stalin. The only difference is that in Obama's America dissidents (for now) are being prosecuted in civil rather than criminal court. Their lives are still being ruined, even if they're getting away with only losing their livelihood instead of being sent to a labor camp.

    Does anybody else think things have gone too far and must come to a head? Coexistence with the ilk of Freed, Ingersoll and their ACLU buddies doesn't seem possible anymore.

  • poetcomic1

    This battle was lost in the 1964 Civil Rights Act. America gave away our fundamental Freedom of Association. The immediate result was massive ethnic cleansing of America's Northern urban whites, particularly Italians, Irish and Catholics. And where will it end? Grinding old ladies into dust in the name of 'love'.

  • http://twitter.com/shloimo @shloimo

    …but to sue shop owner based on her religion, is it not against Cosntitution?

    • Norm

      no it is not-in the PUBLIC sphere-business-there are rules to follow-look at it like this-what does selling flowers have to do with her religion? NOTHING-she isn't a church

  • jay

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"

    Wasn't this extended to the states as well? I'd ask Barry, but I don't think it was the US constitution he was teaching…

    • Norm

      still working on that GED huh? anti-discrimination laws in public sphere TRUMP individual liberties

      • jay

        Typical liberal with the insults. All laws are trumped by the constitution. Thus the term, "supreme law of the land". So if someone is allowed to freely exercised their religion completely unhindered from government interference, and the religion dictates that there is no recognition of same sex marriage, the law cannot compel her to violate tenets of her religion.

        You went to public school, didn't you?

  • DiverKitty

    It's time for some active countermeasures.

  • MissyJ

    I'm sending this story to the ACLJ, maybe they can help, this is illegal period, I don't care what side of the spectrum your on.

  • Samuccaya

    THIS IS THE ACLU
    YOU ARE IN VIOLATION OF THE
    SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE
    DROP YOUR BIBLES AND
    COME OUT PEACEFULLY
    THE PUBLIC DISPLAY OF CROSSES AND
    THE TEN COMMANDMENTS IS ILLEGAL
    RESISTANCE IS FUTILE
    SURRENDER YOUR FREE RIGHTS
    AS CHRISTIANS AND NOBODY WILL GET HURT
    This is from my site Declaration of Independence II @ http://www.thedarwinpapers.com/Declaration.html

    • tagalog

      Fortunately, they won't be armed.

  • jacob

    And I firmly believe this ACLU has been allowed to go too damned far and it is time to rein it in
    And by the way, why is its head knocker earning such salary ????
    Shouldn't his job be a"pro bono" one for him, given the prestige it carries…?????
    Shouldn't the retarded who donate to ACLU look into the matter…?????

  • thomas_h

    Mr. Greenfield,

    I appeal to all, but to you in particular not to use word gay in connection with homosexuality.

    I believe the proper word for a homosexual is, and should remain, “homosexual”. I think by using the word “gay” we are unwittingly participating in a deception intended not only to hide the morbid nature of homosexuality, but to present it as something attractive, glad and cheerful, and desirable.
    Just as the nature of cancer is to metastasize, so the nature of corruption is to corrupt. Corruption of language follows in a most natural way after corruption of sexual act.

    Homosexuality have hideously distorted sexual act and emptied it from its proper meaning and value. Until some years ago the correct definition of homosexuality kept it firmly moored in reality and that sordid business could not cross the line dividing pathology and health, deviance and normality, sexuality and filth. It has always been a tumour, but it was constrained in its place through correct and unsentimental classification.

    But that was then. Today, with the loss of religion and following it relativisation of morality our increasingly confused culture lost its gumption, confidence and good sense needed not only to discriminate between moral and unmoral, natural and perverted, but to demand that each shall remain on its side of the division line. We don’t have to criminalize homosexuality in order to protect children from that malady. But we must never equate toleration, (which is lenience or indulgence), with respect. They have nothing to do with each other. When we do equate them the “division line” becomes fuzzy and eventually is obliterated – or actually drawn somewhere else. Definitions lose meanings, moorings snap, perversion becomes gay and the tumour is free to spread. When homosexual activists stole “gay”, that old, lovely and innocent word was defaced beyond recognition. It was an act of violence against language, but also against truth itself. It was inevitable that demands for homosexual “marriage” would follow in its wake.
    The usurpation was perhaps one little step for a single homosexual, but a giant step for homosexuality – a cancer which indeed devours our civilization.

    I appeal to all who love truth and decency and grieve for that sweet, beautiful and chaste word to never, never use it in connection with morbid corruption of homosexuality. Let’s start fighting back with what is available to us right now. Let us try to free "gay" from its sad captivity.

    You, Mr. Greenfield, by virtue of being a journalist read and appreciated by hundreds of thousand of people are in a unique position to influence many, many readers. Wouldn’t you want to do so?

    Respectfully,

    Thomas H.

    • Norm

      Dear Thomas. Please go to hell. Thank you! Norm

      • thomas_h

        Dear Norm. I'm quite comfortable here. Otherwise, thank you. Thomas H.

  • Flowerknife_us

    Nothing worse than a Woman scorned-unless their Gay.

    Sooooo…… Who IS doing their wedding now? Has every Florist denied them service? In an industry with a high % of Gay Males as owners and employee's?

    Business is Business. Some is just too pricey to acquire.

  • BS77

    OOOOOHHHH BOOOOOO HOOOOOOO cannot buy FWOWERS….oooooh baby going to CWYYYYY!!!!

    • Norm

      said the bigot-what if it was gas at a gas station and the next closest gas station was 50 miles away? that ok?

  • Radioman

    Isn't it funny how many of those 60s radicals, who where so vehemently against the government, what it stood for and "the man" are now in the government, are "the man" and using that government to do things they claimed to be so opposed to all those years ago?

  • Concerned gramma

    It is quite surprising to me that they state they do not want to hurt anyone and yet there is a law suit going. Does this not hurt? Keep up the good work Baronelle and God Bless.

    • Norm

      Its to protect OTHERS from this bigot, you dumb old coot! what if the person was jewish? that ok dumdum?

  • Dmw

    The Christophobic, childish, hypersensitive and narcissistic attitude of the plaintiffs sickens me. Since when did a difference of opinion or disagreement of a lifestyle equal hatred?

  • Norm

    So much ignorance here…OK, this is for all of the anti-gay bigots.
    In most states, there are anti-discrimination laws that protect people based on race, gender, religious belief and sexual orientation. This applies to ANYONE who operates a business in the public sphere. This does NOT apply to churches. This woman violated this law-(yes, bigots-the same law also protects religious kookery!). So she will pay for it.
    Furthermore, this vile, hateful woman did business with these so called sinners for a decade so her religious beliefs are actually nonsense. Selling flowers isn't religious at all-she is choosing how to discriminate.
    She must be made to pay-what if she refused servcie to jews becasue they killed Christ? ask yourself how deep your bigotry goes.
    Bottom line-follow the law or go out of business. It wont be tolerated anymore!

    • Beema

      Dear Thomas, I have been using the word homosexual for some time now as I am with you in the misuse of the word Gay which is something totally unrelated to homosexuality. I don't care who replies to me, as they have done to you. Queers are so often spiteful and petulant. The truth is the truth homosexuality is what is is and to be gay is something entirely different. Thank you and I will pass this message on to many of my friends and colleagues who do in fact believe that homosexuality is a perversion, and given that there is no scientific evidence to date for its existence, then that is what I believe. You are not alone.

    • Pilgrim

      Listen to yourself Norm, you come across as vile and hateful. A case of the pot calling the kettle black. But that is sooooooo like homosexuals.

  • Shelia

    She did not decline to sell them flowers…..she has done that for 10 years……she declined to participate in a wedding, on religious grounds……she has that right!!! They are being intolerant of her religious rights by prosecuting her ……. similar to suing a photographer for not photographing something they disagree with….such as legal pornography….or beastalia….or even desecrating a cross or other symbol…..because it is against their beliefs…..can you MAKE them participate??? NO…..she would sell flowers, but not participate in a wedding…….she should NOT be punished for such. You can take your photos to CVS and they have to develop them….but a photographer does NOT have to take them!!! They can deny service that makes them uncomfortable….it is THEIR right!! CVS will develop, but they will also turn over to police anything that is illeagal…… ……People should find a florist that is willing….NOT push their own opinions on others who are NOT willing to participate…that is BULLYING……You must do it my way or suffer……WHY do people PUSH their way on others…..that is NOT tolerance….

  • Emily

    Woah, woah, woah…Daniel Greenfield, it seems that you are very confused about all of this. Allow me to clarify some finer points that you seem to misunderstand:

    1. Denying a customer's business based solely on his or her sexual orientation is discrimination.
    2. The owner of the floral shop refused to provide service for this couple's wedding because they are gay.
    3. Religion has no place in this particular lawsuit.

    Therefore, discrimination + religious claim = invalid.

    • Shelia

      she did not deny service because they ARE gay….she sold flowers to them for 10 years!!!! She refused to participate in a homosexual wedding, because it goes against her religious beliefs…..she has a RIGHT to her own religion and to stand on it…She choose to NOT do the WEDDING…..she never declined to sell them flowers! To Christians, a wedding is a HOLY ceremony before God…..she would have done a dinner party, or other event, as she had served them for 10 years…….they dont like her opinion, so they are suing her!!! Since when can we not refuse service??? Shall we be forced to lie??? I have other plans that day, sorry, you will have to find another florist…….Why cant she stand on her faith?? This is HER right!!

      • Shupe

        So, should she be allowed to check for a straight couple's church membership card to make sure that they are practicing Christians before she sells to them? I mean, screw the fact that legal marriage is a secular institution — let's force everyone to convert!

        • MerryKate

          Nice straw man you're tilting at – this has nothing to do with their church membership or lack thereof. It has to do with the ceremony they wanted her to service. She can't in good conscience participate because of her religious beliefs. She did not require *them* to cancel the wedding because of her religious beliefs; she simply declined to participate. Considering the number of florists in Washington state, they could probably walk down the block and find someone else to do it. This is simply a tantrum on the part of the couple, and doubtless a fine test case for the bullying club they represent to impose their will on anyone who disagrees with their lifestyle.

    • Tony

      The Bill of Rights makes Religious convictions valid because freedom is priceless.

    • Holosim

      You are wrong, ma'am. She did not refuse service because they are gay. Ingersoll himself admitted he did business there all the time. She refused service because her beliefs, regardless of their source, did not recognize gay marriage, an institution that, as yet, is still not federally recognized. I don't know whether or not Washington state recognizes gay marriage, but that is actually immaterial. To force a person to honor something that goes against their beliefs is no different than Nazi SS troops who forced Jews to eat unkosher food, or our own troops who prevented muslims from praying at Gitmo. It was wrong then, it would be wrong now. The ACLU is simply beating up on an old woman to serve their political agenda. The $2000 suit brought by Ingersoll isn't enough for them. The ACLU wants to bend her over a chair and force her to say that she likes it.

  • Guy Macher

    Dear Mr Freed and Mr Ingersoll
    I am sorry you are so confused about how men are supposed to act, in deed, designed by God to function. People who are normal think your life is disgusting. We want you to know something better than psychological upheaval and physical sickness.

    You can't bully folks all your life. Boys grow up. Apologize to Mrs Stutzman. Do it with a $5000 cheque, just so we know you mean it.

  • Shupe

    Daniel Greenfield would like it to be made know that he is in favor of unrestricted discriminatory practices in ANY business, for ANY reason. Don't want to sell flowers to a woman in a hijab, or a man in a yamulka, or a black kid with glasses — just because you happen to not like "towel-heads, k*kes and ni**ers?" Hey, that's just FINE by Daniel — because he (and the troglodytes who follow him) all wistfully remember the days of Jim Crow days as America's Guilded Age. I'm sure you Baronelle supporters all agree.

  • Tony Turko

    This sounds also like forced labor? A florist is not a life saving service. Why ask for someone who defines a same sex marriage as religious mockery, to creatively critique the arrangements in what they believe to be a offensive activity. If it's true the florist offered to sell them the flowers, leaving the same sex couple the option to have friends and family do the arrangements themselves. This is just a liberal mind control stunt! And the ACLU is really pushing fascism against opposing views. The internet is loaded with wedding planning and flower ideas. Lets all find better solutions than feeding hungry lawyers.

  • hjoyce

    How sad that the LGBT community is all about tolerance but they show no tolerance towards christians and how they feel about gay marriages.

  • George

    And she shouldn’t have to either since it is her First Amendment right of freedom of religion and not to prohibit the free exercise thereof. And the Lord God is against the sin of sodomy and marriage is only to be between a man and a woman in Romans 1 much is given on this subject as well as others. And the State of Washington should not be doing this and I suppose they don’t need buisnesses in Washington State either when they act like this there. And God did something about all of this sin and others by sending his only begotten Son to die for all of our sins on the cross, he was buried, and rose from the dead the third day, was seen of men, and went back up to heaven. And all who will repent of their sins against God and trust the Lord Jesus as their personal Saviour and ask him to forgive their sins and save their souls can have new life in Christ and the forgiveness of sins as well as a home in heaven. But outside of him is only having no hope and without God in the world and an eternity in hell after death. This is found in the word of God , the Authorized King James Holy Bible . And read Romans 1 and 10 Chapters in it as well as John 3 , 1 John 5. And may the Lord God bless this woman and her stand for God and may the Lord trouble those who trouble her and stand with her in this time. And bless her also. Sincerely ;

  • Tony Capo

    I am sick to death of these rabid insatiable f@g$