Barronelle Stutzman, the Washington
state florist who refused to serve a gay couple, has appealed her
case to the U.S. Supreme Court.
According to the Washington
Blade, Stutzman filed her appeal on Friday.
In February, Washington's highest court
unanimously ruled that Stutzman had discriminated against a gay
couple when she refused to provide flowers for their wedding.
Stutzman, the owner of Arlene's Flowers
& Gifts in Richland, in 2013 refused to serve Robert Ingersoll
when he attempted to purchase flowers for his upcoming marriage to
now-husband Curt Freed. Stutzman said that providing the service
would be a violation of her faith.
In 2015, Stutzman was found guilty of
violating the state's anti-discrimination and consumer protection
laws and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine, plus $1 for court costs and
fees. She appealed the ruling.
Stutzman is represented by the Alliance
Defending Freedom (ADF), a Christian conservative legal group opposed
to LGBT rights.
ADF summit, Jeff Sessions promised DOJ guidance on “religious
In a statement, Stutzman said: “[T]he
state is trying to use this case to force me to create [an] artistic
expression that violates my deepest beliefs and take away my life's
work and savings, which also harm those who I employ.”
Lawyers defending Stutzman argue that
providing flowers to a same-sex wedding is an endorsement of such
unions, an argument Washington's highest court did not buy.
“As Stutzman acknowledged at
deposition, providing flower for a wedding between Muslims would not
necessarily constitute an endorsement of Islam, nor would providing
flowers for an atheist couple endorse atheism,” the court said in
The Supreme Court has already agreed to
hear a similar case involving a Colorado baker who refused to serve a
gay couple. ADF is also representing the owner in that case.
Court will hear case of baker who refused gay couple.)