Updated on April 12 at 11 a.m. to add defense fund information.
OLYMPIA, WA, April 10, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A Christian florist in Washington state could be slapped with hefty fines because she refused to provide a floral arrangement for a gay “wedding.”
Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed charges today in Benton County Superior Court.
On March 1 Barronelle Stutzman, owner of Arlene’s Flowers and Gifts in Richland, refused to sell flowers to Robert Ingersoll for his “marriage” to Curt Freed.
“He said he decided to get married, and before he got through I grabbed his hand and said, ‘I am sorry. I can't do your wedding because of my relationship with Jesus Christ,’” Stutzman said. She said it was the only wedding she had declined in 37 years.
But Ferguson said that stance violates the law.
“Under the Consumer Protection Act, it is unlawful to discriminate against customers on the basis of sexual orientation,” Ferguson said. “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 state of Washington is seeking $2,000 in fines for every reported violation, as well as a permanent injunction requiring the shop to violate its conscience or stop selling flowers for wedding ceremonies.
Some of her neighbors in this very liberal state agree she should be compelled to sell flowers regardless of her religion.
One resident told KEPR-TV, “She doesn't have the right to say no.”
The station reported Stutzman has received death threats after her simple testimony of faith went viral.
Click “like” if you want to defend true marriage.
Her attorney has responded that Stutzman does not hate homosexuals. “This is about gay marriage, it’s not about a person being gay,” J.D. Bristol said. “She has a conscientious objection to homosexual marriage, not homosexuality.”
The combination of legalizing same-sex “marriage” and odious “anti-discrimination” laws have faithful Christians saying their freedom of religion is being violated. And the court cases are piling up.
An appeals court in New Mexico found a Christian couple, Elaine and Jonathan Huguenin, guilty of “discrimination” for refusing to photograph a homosexual “wedding.” They were ordered to pay more than $6,600 in fines after denying their services.
Canadian homosexual activists demanded “born again Christian” florist Kimberly Evans of New Brunswick be taken to court for refusing to sell flowers for a gay “wedding.”
Victoria Childress of Des Moines also faced threats of legal action for refusing to bake a cake for a homosexual ceremony on the grounds that it violated her Christian faith.
Numerous other examples of Christians or conservatives facing legal action or fines simply for defending traditional marriage have occurred wherever gay “marriage” has been legalized.
On its Facebook page, the florist is asking supporters to make a donation to its defense fund:
1275 Lee Blvd
Richland, WA 99352