Barronelle Stutzman hailed by Georgians for her steadfast faith


Barronelle Stutzman respondes to questions alongside her attorney, Matt Sharp, on Friday, April 21 at the James "Sloppy" Floyd Building in Atlanta. GERALD HARRIS/Index

Barronelle Stutzman was in Atlanta last Friday and hailed as a hero of the faithful. She is the 72-year-old woman from Arlene’s Florist in Richland, WA who has been targeted by Washington state’s Attorney General Bob Ferguson for discrimination against a same-sex couple who wanted Stutzman to arrange the flowers for their wedding.

Baronnelle indicated that she had been in the floral business for 47 years. “I want customers throughout every experience of their lives. We are concerned about our customers, and we want our shop to be a mission field.”

It should be pointed out that Stutzman has always been happy to sell flowers to gay people. Through the years she has sold re-arranged flowers, vases, or anything from the store that they would want to use for their wedding. She has employed people who identify themselves as gay. She just wasn’t comfortable being part of the event and decorating custom arrangements that she felt would express her personal support for it.

The Washington florist indicated that one of her favorite customers was Rob Ingersoll, a gay man who had been a regular customer for nine years. In addition, he was also a personal friend.

She stated, “When I found out that he was going to get married, I felt certain that he was going to ask me to be responsible for arranging his flowers and I knew that I would have to tell him that I could not assist with his wedding because of my relationship with Jesus Christ.

“He was gracious, but his partner indicated on social media that they were disappointed that we could not arrange the flowers for their wedding, because our faith would not allow us to be involved in a same-sex wedding.”

'The state's interests'

Attorney General Bob Ferguson saw the comment on social media and took it upon himself to go after Stutzman claiming, “The state’s interests always overrides the interests of individuals.”

Although Stutzman said that she was exercising her First Amendment rights, a lower court ruled against her for denying service to a gay couple. The case went to the Washington state Supreme Court, and they ruled against Stutzman 9-0 saying that she violated the state’s anti-discrimination laws.

In essence Stutzman was told, “You can have your faith, but you can’t practice it.”

The Washington high court ruled that the claim of discrimination based on “sexual orientation” cancels Mrs. Stutzman’s claim to religious liberty. If allowed to stand, this is an extremely dangerous precedent that paints a target on every Christian-owned business.

Robert Knight, writing for Townhall, declares. “You have heard of fake news. This is fake justice.”

Stutzman concluded, “We are now asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear our case. If we lose, we will lose our business, our home, and our retirement. If they want to take it all way, they may do so, but we still have Christ. And, He is enough.”

Finding righteousness

Seven hundred years before Christ, Isaiah prophesied that we would experience the very things described in this news article. The prophet wrote, “Our courts oppose the righteous, and justice is nowhere to be found. Truth stumbles in the streets, and honesty has been outlawed” (Isaiah 59:14 New Living Translation).

Georgia Baptist Public Affairs representative Mike Griffin addresses the crowd Friday, April 21 at Liberty Plaza across from the state capitol building. GERALD HARRIS/Index

According to Isaiah, before the return of Christ the leaders of government will no longer want justice around. The innocent will be seen as the guilty, and the guilty will be set free.

Righteousness can only stand and look from a distance. Her voice is not easily heard anymore. She still speaks, but from a distance. Those who want to hear her must leave the popular places and go out to where she is.

And in the place where truth used to be received and accepted, she is no longer wanted.

In other words, the majority is saying they don’t like truth. They hate how she is so sure and absolute about things. They say, “We won’t listen to her. We will weaken her and knock her down!”

Virginia Galloway, Regional Field Director of Faith and Freedom Coalition, concluded the meeting by saying, “For the political left it is not about love, equality, or fairness, but it is about subjecting your beliefs to their values.”

Barronelle Stutzman, florist, gay marriage, religious liberty, Washington


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