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Discussion Forum : News and Current Events : Washington Supreme Court Punishes Barronelle Stutzman. What Now?

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proudpapa
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Joined: 2012/5/13
Posts: 2703


 Washington Supreme Court Punishes Barronelle Stutzman. What Now?

After much anticipation, the Washington Supreme Court has punished Barronelle Stutzman for peacefully operating her business consistently with her faith. The court’s decision affirms a lower-court ruling that requires Barronelle to pay the attorneys’ fees that the ACLU racked up in suing her. Often, in cases like this, the attorneys’ fees for each side are hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not more.

Barronelle is a 72-year-old floral artist who owns and operates Arlene’s Flowers in Richland, Washington. She serves everyone in her community, regardless of their race, sex, religion, or sexual orientation. But even though she serves all people, she cannot use her artistic skills to celebrate all events. In particular, because of her beliefs about marriage, she cannot design custom floral arrangements for a same-sex wedding (although she would be happy to sell premade arrangements or raw flowers to couples planning such an event).

So while she has been glad to serve Rob Ingersoll, a gay man and one of her all-time favorite customers, for nearly a decade (and would be happy to continue doing so today), she could not use her artistic talents for one request—to create custom arrangements designed to celebrate his nuptials.

But the State of Washington (which first filed a lawsuit against Barronelle) and now the State’s highest court have declared illegal her practice of running her business consistently with her faith. Regardless of the fact that she has created dozens of floral arrangements for Rob, she must also produce artwork under circumstances that would violate her convictions.

Alliance Defending Freedom will continue to stand with Barronelle by appealing this ruling against her to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Barronelle’s story demonstrates a troubling trend—governmental agencies and officials that have grown increasingly hostile to religious freedom, particularly the freedom of people who believe that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. These widespread efforts to suppress freedom are rooted in a disdain for this particular religious belief—a belief that, in the words of the U.S. Supreme Court, is “decent and honorable” and held “in good faith by reasonable and sincere people.”

President Trump, who has promised to make religious liberty the “first priority” of his administration, has an opportunity to take a stand against the ongoing efforts to marginalize people of faith. Reports have surfaced suggesting that he is considering an executive order to protect religious freedom.

The leaked draft of the executive order shows that President Trump is contemplating specific protections for people who, like Barronelle, “act (or decline[] to act) in accordance with the belief that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman.” The document also makes clear that individuals “do not forfeit their religious freedom when . . . earning a living” or “participating in the marketplace” or the “public square.”

Signing such an order would send a strong message throughout the country—that people like Barronelle deserve religious freedom too.

But even though that order would be a significant step in the right direction, it would not solve all the problems facing Barronelle and many other ADF clients (such as Jack Phillips and Carl and Angel Larsen). Their state or local governments (as opposed to the federal government) are the bullies depriving them of their First Amendment freedoms. So even if the president sets a good example, much work remains to be done to secure freedom’s future.

In the wake of this decision, Barronelle needs your prayers. This ruling is devastating for her. Please join with us in praying for her during this difficult time.

And as we lament this ruling that denies freedom not only to Barronelle but also to millions of people of faith who share her beliefs about marriage, it is also important to encourage President Trump to sign an executive order protecting religious freedom. It won’t be a cure-all, but it would definitely be a step in the right direction.

https://www.adflegal.org/detailspages/blog-details/allianceedge/2017/02/16/washington-supreme-court-punishes-barronelle-stutzman.-what-now

 2017/2/17 9:29Profile
docs
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Joined: 2006/9/16
Posts: 1133


 Re: Washington Supreme Court Punishes Barronelle Stutzman. What Now?

This is likely the most liberal court district in the country. California - Washington - Oregon.


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David Winter

 2017/2/17 9:43Profile
dolfan
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Joined: 2011/8/23
Posts: 1551
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 Re:

The American church has yet to articulate a reason to oppose same sex marriage that does depends solely on our understanding of who God is. Who God is constitutes the core of our entire belief. Yet we keep framing our opposition in terms of commands and doctrines that may be explained without refernce to the essential nature of Whom we worship. As long as this is so, government is not forced to explicitly reject Him, and instead is allowed to do so under the guise of other legal principles related to religious freedoms.

The battle over same sex marriage and rights is done. But, if someone in this arena would cement their reasons for rejecting same sex marriage to the very nature of God then the governnment would have to overrule that belief as inconsequential. I would love to force that issue.


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Tim

 2017/2/17 15:08Profile
ccchhhrrriiisss
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Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4371


 Re:

I think that dolfan raises some interesting points. I doubt that a justice or group of justices would want to argue against exercising belief based upon the very nature of God (well, except the 9th Circuit).

I think that this case will be appealed and might even make its way to the Supreme Court. Depending upon the views of the new justice, this could be a decisive case regarding religious liberties since Reynolds v. United States.

Personally, I think that the Court would permit sole proprietors to keep and honor their own religious beliefs in instances where their business service might require participation of something that violates those beliefs.

Consider the following: The school is in session on a Friday. Yet, one child is a member of a certain religious sect that observes a religious holiday on that day. The school district allows that child to celebrate the holiday -- even if other students are still required to attend school. The school understands the First Amendment's Free Exercise Clause.

Now, some would argue that this is because such exercise doesn't harm someone else. In Reynolds v. United States, the Court argued against extending free exercise of religion to the practice of polygamy. They stated that they feared casting a wide net by interpreting free exercise to any manner of practice would legalize even harmful practices in the name of religious exercise.

In this case, the only "harm" is in "discrimination" against someone wanting to buy flowers for a homosexual ceremony. In this case, the florist is forced to abandon his religious faith because his business is a service -- and that service forces him to become a participant in something that violates his religious belief.

It's my opinion that this would be akin to forcing a Muslim woman to remove her hijab to work at a retail store. Think about this: Could Planned Parenthood -- a non-profit that receives federal and state tax protections (and even receives taxpayer funding) -- be sued because they rejected Christians for employment on the basis of their religious beliefs?

I wonder if the Supreme Court would rule that sole proprietors or some other businesses would be permitted to define and exercise their religious principles so that they aren't forced to violate them. They could rule that Barronelle Stutzman couldn't decide who to sell flowers to BUT also rule that she cannot be penalized for refusing to participate in something that clearly violates her faith (in this case, participating in a homosexual ceremony). In other words, she can't discriminate when selling flowers but in participatory service related to the sale of those flowers.

If I remember correctly, the Colorado bakery didn't refuse to sell a cake but refused to decorate it in the celebration of a homosexual "marriage" ceremony. Such a ruling would favor both the baker and the florist.

I'm interested in your response, Tim.


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Christopher

 2017/2/17 15:39Profile
Heydave
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Joined: 2008/4/12
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Online!
 Re: Dolfan

Quote: "I would love to force that issue."

Tim, Would you consider acting as a defence for such a case? I mean it seriously, you might be the person to state the position from this aspect!



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Dave

 2017/2/17 17:22Profile
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Joined: 2008/4/12
Posts: 1126
Hampshire, UK

Online!
 Re: Isaiah 24:7

I just read this.....

"The earth is also defiled under its inhabitants,
Because they have trangressed the laws,
Changed the ordinance,
Broken the everlasting covenant. "

"Therefore the curse has devoured the earth,
And those who dwell in it are desolate...."
Isaiah 24:5-6.

Take note of "Changed the ordinance". That is where we are today. An ordinance is a fixed law that God established for all creation, such as making male and female with divine purpose. To change that ordinance is a reproach to God and brings a devastating curse upon the earth and it's inhabitants!

This whole chapter is clearly talking of the final end time period of judgement, aka the Great Tribulation, so no need to guess where we are very close to today. Yes there has always been homosexuality and perversion, but I don't think that there has ever been a time when men put into law such things we are seeing today, denying God's set ordinance of male and female and setting up an alternate ordinance.



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Dave

 2017/2/17 18:12Profile
dolfan
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Joined: 2011/8/23
Posts: 1551
Alabama

 Re:

Dave, I would jump at it, I think. But, it isn't my state. And, I will soon be moving to another state where I may not even practice law there.


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Tim

 2017/2/17 18:40Profile
dolfan
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Joined: 2011/8/23
Posts: 1551
Alabama

 Re:

Haven't read the Washington Sup. Ct. opinion. I am sure they say that it is not a de minimis harm because other businesses could deprive homosexuals of a basic freedom under state human rights laws and that, given the weight of the state's thumb on the scales that balance interests, well ... the math just doesn't favor Barronelle's love for Jesus as much as it does Bob's love for Bill.

The balancing tests courts use are satanic, even in their most benign application. Judges can reach whatever conclusion they want because they are in control of the scales. Again not the rule of law, but the law of the ruler.


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Tim

 2017/2/17 18:52Profile
proudpapa
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Joined: 2012/5/13
Posts: 2703


 Re:

There is no consistency of logic with the Judges logic.

Many Musicians refused to offer there service's for Trumps inauguration because they realized that by doing so that it would have been a stamp of approval for his presidency in which they did not support.

If I went to a bakery owned by Jehovah Witnesses I would expect them to sell me there common pastry items no matter what I wanted to do with them.
But it would be absolutely absurd of me to expect them to custom make me a Christmas Cake.

 2017/2/17 19:15Profile
ccchhhrrriiisss
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Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4371


 Re:

Quote:
... the math just doesn't favor Barronelle's love for Jesus as much as it does Bob's love for Bill.

The balancing tests courts use are satanic, even in their most benign application. Judges can reach whatever conclusion they want because they are in control of the scales. Again not the rule of law, but the law of the ruler.



Very well said, Tim.

Despite the pushing-the-envelope use of executive orders over the last few years, I believe that the greatest power that a president exerts in this republic is the nomination of judges. This is especially important at the Supreme Court.

Recently, I listed to a discussion between Stephen Breyer and Antonin Scalia discussing their belief about the Constitution. I felt that Scalia did a great job explaining the basis of law under the Constitution. I found a clip from it:

http://tinyurl.com/breyer-v-scalia

I am prayerfully hopeful that Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch will not attempt to interpret the law on the basis of modern whims but on the framers' intent. I don't believe that ANY of the framers of the Constitution intended that the law could force a small business owner to violate the exercise of his or her religious faith. If this recent case goes to the Supreme Court, I hope that a Justice Gorsuch would agree.


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Christopher

 2017/2/17 19:56Profile





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