Barronelle Stutzman, the Richland, Washington florist who faces
two lawsuits over her refusal to supply flowers for a gay wedding,
says she filed a lawsuit against the state because she “had to take
The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) filed the lawsuit in May on
behalf of Stutzman, the owner of Arlene's Flowers & Gifts.
The lawsuit is in response to two actions against the florist.
State Attorney Bob Ferguson filed a consumer protection lawsuit
against Arlene's Flowers & Gifts and the American Civil Liberties
Union (ACLU) filed a separate lawsuit on behalf of Robert Ingersoll
and Curt Freed, the gay couple who were denied service.
Stutzman explained in March that providing the service would be a
violation of her faith.
In a Christian Broadcast Network (CBN) interview – part of which
was broadcast Tuesday – Stutzman expanded on her reasoning.
“And you have to make a stand somewhere in your life on what you
believe and what you don't believe,” she said. “And it was just
a time I had to take a stand. And everybody will have to come to
that same time in their business.” (The video is embedded on this
our video library for more videos.)
Dale Schowengerdt, senior legal counsel with the ADF, said
Stutzman had a right to refuse service based on her religious
“In America, the government is supposed to protect freedom, not
use its intolerance for certain viewpoints to intimidate citizens
into acting contrary to their faith convictions,” he
said. “Family business owners are constitutionally guaranteed
the freedom to live and work according to their beliefs.”
The state's lawsuit seeks fines against the business, while the
ACLU suit seeks damages on behalf of the plaintiffs, Ingersoll and