The ACLU Care$

, Malcolm A. Kline, 2 Comments

adf-video-barronelle-stutzmanYour grievances could be worth millions, to the ACLU.

The legendary “public interest” lawyers are suing a florist from the state of Washington for refusing to do floral designs for an “alternative” wedding. “The attorneys’ fees in the case alone come to one to two million dollars,” the florist, Barronelle Stutzman, said in the other Washington—D.C.—last week at a conference sponsored by the Alliance for Defending Freedom (ADF), which is representing her.

Of course, the case could bankrupt Mrs. Stutzman and her husband.  By the way, ADF works pro bono, or free.

“Barronelle Stutzman, the sole owner of Arlene’s Flowers in Richland, Washington, has for her entire career served and employed people who identify as LGBT,” according to the ADF. “Despite this, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Washington attorney general allege that she is guilty of unlawful discrimination because she acted consistent with her faith and declined to create custom floral arrangements for one same-sex ceremony of a long-time customer and friend.” He was a “customer and friend for ten years,” according to Mrs. Stutzman, who still considers him to be.

“Barronelle lost at the Washington state trial court level and asked for a direct appeal to the Washington Supreme Court,” according to the ADF update. “Her case will be argued before the Court on November 15, 2016.”

You can watch the ADF event from CSPAN at the following link HERE.

 

2 Responses

  1. Oshtur

    November 5, 2016 6:23 am

    In 1968 another business owner claimed their religious prejudice should allow them to ignore a customer’s civil rights and they were found wrong and it was unanimously agreed by the US Supreme Court they were responsible for prosecuting attorney fees. (Newman v Piggie Park Enterprises)

    Arlene’s Flowers LLC engaged in illegal conduct against a customer’s recognized civil rights solely due to the instruction of the business owner. This negated the owner’s corporate liability protections as per the Washington state Consumer Protection Act. Exposing their personal assets to judgement is a direct result of the owner’s illegal practices.

    The business was generously fined the minimum which was reduced in court to just a single dollar on the condition that the business owner promised to subsequently operate legally. Point of fact the business has been operating legally and in compliance with the owner’s ‘conscience’ after the single infraction, over 3½ years so far. If the business owner were truly concerned about fees one wonders why they didn’t pay the dollar and continued operating legally?

    One correction, it is the business owner being sued, not any particular florist working there. Any employee of Arlene’s Flowers LLC could have requested religious accommodation from having to personally handle this order, even the owner acting as an employee. That doesn’t relieve the business of its obligation to respect the customer’s civil rights and treat them legally. There were other employees that didn’t share Stutzman’s religious prejudice that would have gladly taken care of this order but were ordered not to by the business owner.

    Every problem the owner has is because they have chosen to operate illegally. The Washington state constitution says that liberty of conscience is not an excuse for acting without regard for the rights of others, in this case the customer’s civil rights. These rights have been recognized by legislature and confirmed by popular vote.

    Using religion as an excuse to discriminate against the customer’s civil rights didn’t work in 1968 and won’t almost 50 years later. Just as Piggie Park Enterprises lost so will Arlene’s Flowers, the state Supreme Court really has no other choice in the matter.

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