April 11, 2015 4:00 pm -


The 70-year-old woman who owns a flower shop in Spokane says being forced to service a gay wedding prevents her from being a good Southern Baptist.

Barronelle Stutzman of Arlene’s Flowers refused the couple in 2013, and her actions were among the first in what has become a nationwide quandary for bakers and others who believe same-sex marriage conflicts with their religious beliefs.

“I’m a little grain of sand,” Stutzman told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from Richland, about 145 miles southwest of Spokane.

In a February ruling, Benton County Superior Court Judge Alexander Ekstrom found that Stutzman’s refusal to provide flowers because of sexual orientation violated Washington’s anti-discrimination and consumer protection laws. She has been fined $1,000, plus $1 in court costs and fees.

Stutzman believes the judge’s decision prevents her from practicing her Southern Baptist faith.

She plans to appeal the decision, which could leave her liable for legal fees and court costs that reach over $1 million, her attorney said. More than $85,000 has been raised in a crowdfunding campaign to help Stutzman pay legal bills.



D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

46 responses to Florist: Providing For Gay Wedding Prevents Me From My Faith

  1. Larry Schmitt April 11th, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    I have no sympathy for her, but I don’t understand why people who are in the market for flowers or cakes for a wedding wouldn’t just find another place who would welcome their business. If I were in that situation, I would find another florist, another bakery, and then make it public that I was turned down by the other place. But I wouldn’t spend my time or money taking them to court. It’s just not worth it. Make their bigotry public, and they will pay where it hurts, in the pocketbook.

    • rg9rts April 11th, 2015 at 4:25 pm

      It doesn’t work like that…someday you may run out of options to go elsewhere…imagine the teabagger ideal where store owners are now afraid to sell to the untouchables… It can happen… and has…

      • Larry Schmitt April 11th, 2015 at 4:53 pm

        I understand that, but in Spokane, there are lots of florists and bakers who would be more than happy for the business. I’m just saying what I would do in that position.

        • rg9rts April 11th, 2015 at 5:07 pm

          There were in Berlin too….the baggers just have a american flag lapel pin and not a swastika …same mold same mentality and downright terrifying..

          • granpa.usthai April 12th, 2015 at 1:29 pm

            agree. been saying that from day 1.

            (must be because I fully qualify to be a PROPHET OF GOD?).

          • rg9rts April 12th, 2015 at 2:20 pm

            What did She say??

          • rg9rts April 12th, 2015 at 2:56 pm

            Who listens to old farts any way….I’d like a nickle for every time I’ve heard …I should have listened to you….and they were PAYING me too…

        • Stan Ubeki April 12th, 2015 at 10:42 am

          What you’re really saying Larry, is that you don’t understand the issue.

    • whatthe46 April 11th, 2015 at 4:53 pm

      what if its a small town?

      • Larry Schmitt April 11th, 2015 at 4:54 pm

        See below.

  2. rg9rts April 11th, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    Would it interfere with her faith if she did a gay funeral??

    • granpa.usthai April 12th, 2015 at 1:27 pm


      are you trying to throw Westboro Baptist (church two houses down from the RAINBOW HOUSE) into a tizzy?

      of course she would do a ‘gay’ funeral.

      it’s their fundamental religious belief party!

  3. StoneyCurtisll April 11th, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    If this woman refuses to comply with the law, she should have her business license revoked.

    • rg9rts April 11th, 2015 at 4:26 pm

      You don’t need a license to be a florist.. just the publicity will kill her business

      • StoneyCurtisll April 11th, 2015 at 4:36 pm

        I dont know..
        Most cities require a license to operate a business..

        • rg9rts April 11th, 2015 at 4:50 pm

          All they want is a tax ID number

  4. OldLefty April 11th, 2015 at 4:32 pm

    Allow me to repeat a post from a Quaker;

    Get Your Fake Conscience Objections Off My Lawn

    Posted on 26 November, 2013 by annalee

    The Green Family, owners of the Hobby Lobby chain of craft stores, has asked the US
    Supreme Court to grant them ‘conscience protection,’ exempting them from their
    obligations under the Affordable Care Act. They claim that their religious
    convictions don’t allow them to cover employees’ birth control.

    As it happens, I know a little something about conscience protection. I’m a Quaker–one of the groups for whom the first conscience protection laws were created.

    Back in 2011, I wrote:

    As a Quaker, I believe in Conscience Protection. I believe people should have the
    right to refuse work that violates their principles. If a draft were called
    tomorrow, I would wholeheartedly support people’s right not to serve.

    But if someone serving in the military came to me and said they wanted me to defend
    their right to refuse military service, but that they also wanted to keep their
    job and be paid as if they were actually serving in combat, I would laugh in
    their face.

    A pharmacist demanding the right to keep their job even if they refuse to
    dispense legal medication is like a Marine demanding to keep their job even if
    they refuse to follow lawful orders. That’s not “conscience protection,” that’s
    a handout to someone who wants to be paid not to work.

    I feel the same way about Hobby Lobby’s Affordable Care Act stunt.

    I will refrain from asking where Hobby Lobby gets the nerve to claim ‘conscience’ when
    their shelves are full of products from countries with appalling labor laws. I
    won’t even ask which version of the bible they’re reading where Matthew 25.36 reads “I was sick and you sued not to cover my medical care.”

    Instead, I want to know exactly where they’re getting the idea that conscience
    protections are a consequence-free exemption from legal obligations.

    During World War II, men who refused conscription for reasons of conscience didn’t get
    to go back to their normal lives. They were conscripted instead for difficult,
    dangerous jobs. They served as forest fire fighters (including smoke jumpers),
    psych ward orderlies, and subjects in medical testing.

    That program formed the basis of the Alternative Service Program used during the
    Korean and Vietnam wars. If a draft were called tomorrow, the Alternative
    Service Program would start right back up again.

    And Alternative Service applies to work that people are required to actually carry
    out themselves, not to things they’re only required to pay for.

    Every year, I pay taxes to the United States government. I tell myself that I’m
    paying for roads and schools; food for hungry families and head start programs.

    I am, of course. But I’m also paying for Guantanamo Bay.

    I’m paying for two wars, and for racist immigration laws.

    I’m paying for drone strikes, including those that kill and maim children.

    I’m paying for federal executions, and for lawyers to argue that the government is
    not obligated to provide comprehensive medical care to Chelsea Manning.

    I’m paying for the prison industrial complex.

    All of those things violate my religious beliefs.

    And if I refused to pay my taxes because of that? I would go to jail.

    There are Quakers whose consciences really won’t permit them to pay federal taxes.
    Many of them manage that by making sure they don’t make enough money to incur
    tax liability. They live on far less than they could earn if they were willing
    to pay taxes, but they’re willing to make that sacrifice, because their conscience demands it.

    Now along comes Hobby Lobby, demanding a consequence-free exemption to paying for birth control on the grounds that it violates their conscience.

    Back in 2011, I wrote:

    If your conscience prohibits you from dispensing legal medication, then your conscience
    prevents you from being a pharmacist. Full stop.

    If your conscience prohibits you from performing abortions, then your conscience
    forbids you from taking a position where abortions are part of the job. Full

    I know firsthand that it can be hard to pass up opportunities that violate your
    conscience. But that is the price you pay for conscientious objection.

    If you’re not willing to pay that price, you’re not a Conscientious Objector. Full stop.

    If the Green family’s conscience really forbids them from meeting their legal
    obligations under the Affordable Care Act, then they have the option to arrange
    their lives so as not to incur those obligations. They can choose not to run a
    two billion dollar corporation.

    But if they’re not willing to make those sacrifices–if their ‘conscience’ only compels
    them so far as they can follow it for free–then they are not conscientious objectors.

    And they and their fake conscience objection can get the hell off my lawn.

    I would update her piece to add;

    If your conscience prohibits you from the baking for gays the same cakes you bake for everyone else, then your conscience prevents you from being in public business. Full stop.

    • StoneyCurtisll April 11th, 2015 at 4:36 pm

      I bet if she was in business just several decades ago, she would refuse to provide flowers to “negros”..(just cause)

  5. majii April 11th, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    She can refuse to serve gay persons. It’s her right, but she shouldn’t be permitted to use services paid for by their tax dollars to benefit her business. I’d like to see her do without the postal system, bridges, highways, etc., which are public entities/services she uses to operate her business. If she were barred from access to these, she’d be hopping mad and screaming about having been “done “wrong. Hypocrite. She wants the right to refuse service to some Americans, but she never thinks about the benefits she receives for her business from their tax dollars. She reminds me of what it was like living in the South under Jim Crow laws. Although my parents were homeowners and paid real estate taxes for the upkeep of public parks and swimming pools in our city, we could not use them. This is the kind of America Stutzman and her ‘religious freedom’ buddies want to return to—the right to discriminate against some Americans while enjoying the benefits their taxes provide to them.

  6. Chris April 11th, 2015 at 6:35 pm

    The nice lady needs to get acquainted with what it means to be an American after the lunch counter kerfuffles in the Civil Rights movement.

    If you provide a public service, you cannot refuse service based on who the customer is if they pose no behavioral obstacle.

  7. mfr4 April 11th, 2015 at 6:48 pm


  8. Suzanne McFly April 11th, 2015 at 6:52 pm

    She is a Southern Baptist in Spokane Washington? Doesn’t her location prevent her from attending her church more so than a gay couple who want some flowers?

  9. fedele April 11th, 2015 at 7:28 pm

    When you’ve turned down the divorced, adulterers, fornicators, thieves, coveters, those that have used the lords name in vain, idol worshippers, money changers, murderers, those who don’t love their neighbors as their selves…. when you’ve eliminated all these sinners from your list of those you will serve, then and only then will you be following your faith, otherwise you’re just another hypocrite.

    • Dwendt44 April 12th, 2015 at 1:18 am

      I got a dollar that says she wears mixed fibers, tips a few on occasion, and wears her hair up and wears jewelry.

      • burqa April 12th, 2015 at 1:32 am

        Those things are in the Jewish doctrine, not the Christian doctrine. The woman is a Christian.
        Your criticism would be germane if she was a Jew – – – like Alan.

        • Dwendt44 April 12th, 2015 at 2:51 am

          But, like a lot of ‘christians’ they use the old Testament when it supports their opinions, and ignores it when it doesn’t support their opinion. Jesus never mentioned homosexuals or same sex marriages.

          • burqa April 12th, 2015 at 3:26 am

            There are thousands of Christian sects just in America, and they cite many, many different sources to support their various beliefs.
            Neither they, nor you, are able to put those commentaries into the Christian doctrine.
            You and they can pretend all you want, but just because you imagine something does not change reality.

            Your statement that Jesus does not mention same sex marriages or homosexuality places you on the road to understanding and then agreeing with my point. You just need to continue that line of thinking, that’s all.

          • burqa April 12th, 2015 at 3:54 am

            Lots of people say lots of things. There are thousands of Christian sects just in the U.S., and Lord knows how many worldwide. They cite many different sources for the things they believe that set them apart from other sects.
            No matter what they or you say or imagine, it does not change the fact that you are referring to the doctrine given to the Jews. They are the ones you have a problem with. Why not be honest and say so? There are plenty of other Jew-haters who will welcome you to their ranks.

            If you are going to speak of the Bible, at first learn the most fundamental ABCs of what parts are addressed to Jews, what parts are addressed to gentiles, and what parts are addressed to Christians. Trying to make it up as you go along in order to satisfy your bigotry just looks silly and is more obvious than you realize.
            Learn the stuff in there about love and forgiveness and you can walk away from the need to remain in the gall of bitterness altogether.

            You are on the right path with your statement about Jesus not mentioning gays or gay marriage. You just need to continue that thought, that’s all.

        • Stan Ubeki April 12th, 2015 at 10:44 am

          Is there something wrong with being a Jew?

          • granpa.usthai April 12th, 2015 at 1:21 pm

            why would Ari Shaffir (you tube – THE AMAZING RACIST) deny being a JEW if there wasn’t?

          • burqa April 12th, 2015 at 4:42 pm

            There is something wrong with blindly hating them, just as there is something wrong with hating an entire race, an entire ethnic group or everyone in a faith other than Judaism.
            I have been making this point for quite some time now, here, but there are others who are insistent on expressing their bigotry.
            This is one example of scores, if not hundreds of occasions here where pretty much the same point has been made regarding elements of the Jewish doctrine.
            But hating Jews openly is widely seen as the loathesome practice that it is, but some people just can’t rid themselves of the hatred that burns within them, so they seek to hate someone else. When they find a herd in which such bigotry is tolerated, out it comes.

            It can get darkly amusing when they point out inconsistencies in others regarding their faith, but fail to see themselves as demonstrating the same sort of inconsistency. This is one of the ways bigotry functions – it tends to blind people to simple logic and when you point it out to them, they just give you a blank look and wait for the herd to give them an indication of how to respond. If the herd is silent, they are too.

        • granpa.usthai April 12th, 2015 at 1:10 pm

          it’s in the OT!
          applies the same as her professed false beliefs.
          nothing in the NT to back up her professed belief.
          so – Jew or not Jew, belief taken from same source = ALL OR NONE.

          says so, right there in the Book.

      • granpa.usthai April 12th, 2015 at 1:08 pm

        probably displays MIXED SEEDS grown in the same soil also.

        no wonder America will suffer the same fate as Sodom and Gomorrah.

        damn false Bible thumpers are running US straight into hell without even a water break.

    • granpa.usthai April 12th, 2015 at 1:04 pm

      WTH does EVERYONE forget MIXED FIBERS?


      (f’ing history repeating itself – SODOM – GOMORRAH! – does their wearing of MIXED FIBERS not ring any bells with anybody anymore?)

      fire, brimstone – utter destruction – even the precious innocent little ones who had no idea they were dressed in MIXED FIBERS?


      please get that through your heads and share it with the leaders of your local religious bigots factories.


      says so, right there in the Book.

      • fedele April 13th, 2015 at 12:38 pm

        I was trying to stick with the 10 commandments. Although the divorced and fornicators aren’t mentioned, it’s more in tune with the rest then fibers. I did forget, keeping the Sabbath day holy and honoring your father and mother.

  10. tracey marie April 11th, 2015 at 8:05 pm

    what that pos forgets is she is supposed to be a business woman in a secular country

    • Radio_Mime April 12th, 2015 at 3:20 pm

      And that her own religion tells her to leave her god’s judgment up to her god.

  11. burqa April 12th, 2015 at 12:22 am

    All she had to do was tell them she was busy that week and couldn’t fit in any more customers and that would have been that.

    • granpa.usthai April 12th, 2015 at 12:54 pm

      you think one of these ‘religious’ ones would actually contemplate telling a LIE?
      maybe if she sent in some anti-gay love offerings to 700 clubs?

      I’m sure they would pray away the gay customers that would want to shop at her ‘religious moral’ flower shop?
      $10 -ask GOD to keep away the gay paying customers
      $20 – have GOD to scare away the gay paying customers
      $30 – TELL GOD to keep the damn gay paying customers away.

      $100+ – kick GOD off his throne for allowing gays to exist and run the show for you.

      • burqa April 12th, 2015 at 4:33 pm


  12. pinballsdoll April 12th, 2015 at 9:55 am

    translation: maybe someone will start a gofundme page for us too

  13. illinoisboy1977 April 12th, 2015 at 11:45 am

    So, providing flowers will make a forcefield pop up in the doorway, the next time you try to go into the church? The pews will refuse to let you sit on them? You’ll burst into flames when you try to pray? How, exactly, does providing flowers to a paying customer prevent you from practicing your faith?

  14. granpa.usthai April 12th, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    denying nudist the right to travel freely in the USA with their own dress code violates their freedom to dress as they damn well please! – speaking of… WTF is this dress code for New Orleans streets?
    get with the program, lady, your’s ain’t the only religious/personal beliefs in America, and if we’re forced to live under your religious rules, you should be forced to live under their’s also. After all, we’re all Americans here, with the same constitution and laws + EQUAL JUSTICE (or so our worldwide propaganda proclaims).

    makes you wonder why RepubliCONs HATE the USA so much when we tell the world how ‘free’ we are.

  15. allison1050 April 12th, 2015 at 2:35 pm


  16. Radio_Mime April 12th, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    Cast the first stone, lady. You can’t, can you?

    • allison1050 April 12th, 2015 at 3:36 pm

      Is it me or does she look like a man?