The Christian florist Barronelle Stutzman has been dealing with the long-term ramifications of the Supreme Court declining to rule on her case involving religious liberty and LGBTQ rights.
The case began in 2013 when Stutzman told her friend, Robert Ingersoll, that she would not create floral arrangements for their partner. When asked why Stutzmann referred to her "relationship with Jesus Christ." The state then sued Stutzman for violating Washington's "public accommodations law," a general policy that bans state residents from denying access to anyone based on race, sex, ancestry, religion, or disability.
In 2017, the Washington Supreme Court ruled that Stutzmann, owner of Arlene's Flowers, was bound by state law to use her artistic abilities to promote and celebrate a gay wedding, which Stutzmann believes immoral. In-State of Washington v. Arlene's Flowers, the court ruled that Stutzman has to abide by the public accommodations law. Stutzman's lawyers would attempt to take her case to the Supreme Court, only for it to be declined. At least three of the judges expressed interest in considering the case. However, the Supreme Court requires four judges to accept a case before the two parties make oral arguments.
Stutzman believes she has served everyone equally and has not discriminated in any substantial manner against the LGBTQ community. But that has not affected the court's judgment against her. And it certainly has not affected her willingness to stick by her convictions and faith in God. "Sure, I want to win, and yes, I want everything to go smooth, but He doesn't promise that," she told Fox News. "He just says be obedient and be faithful, and that's what we're supposed to do. I mean, it's just a trust level all the way around. If you don't trust in God's word, then you don't have anything to trust in."
Stutzman is one of many cases being considered on a court level regarding the relationship between religious conviction and LGBTQ rights. Jack Phillips of the Masterpiece Cakeshop case helped set a precedent on narrow terms. Now other lawmakers are hoping to better define the status of the law through additional legal rulings.
As Christians, Stutzman says that "we have to figure out where our line is that we won't cross, and I would say that to them.....if they do follow Christ, that He will supply all their needs and he will give them the strength and the courage and whatever it takes."