It's getting personal in state of Washington

Friday, January 9, 2015
 | 
Charlie Butts (OneNewsNow.com)

Attorneys representing a Washington state flower shop owner are awaiting court rulings before deciding how to proceed to protect her personal livelihood. 

Barronelle Stutzman owns Arlene's Flowers, where she declined to create a flower arrangement for a same-sex wedding ceremony in 2013.

Washington's attorney general is suing her, alleging that she is violating the state's anti-discrimination and consumer protection laws. 

"If a business provides a product or service to opposite-sex couples for their wedding, then it must provide same-sex couples the same product or service," Ferguson said of the lawsuit

Alliance Defending Freedom Vice President Kristen Waggoner notes that Attorney General Bob Ferguson is going after both the flower shop and Stutzman's personal assets, too.

"We view that as nothing more than a blatant attempt to strong-arm her into surrendering her freedom, and it's an unprecedented attack on her," Waggoner tells OneNewsNow.

Stutzman, Barronelle (Arlene's Flowers)Benton County Superior Court Judge Alex Ekstrom has ruled that the state has the legal authority to file the case under those laws and pursue Stutzman in court.

On its website, ADF argues that Stutzman (pictured at right) set up a legal corporation in Washington and her personal assets are protected under state law. 

ADF is waiting for further decisions by the court, since a trial date has been set for March 23.

But if the judge grants a summary judgment motion from the state and the ACLU, then there will be no trial – only a court decision.

If that is the court's decision, Waggoner says, the ruling will be immediately appealed.

Stutzman is also being sued by the homosexual men, who are represented by the ACLU. 

The two men were long-time customers of Arlene's but Stutzman said she told them she couldn't make the arrangment "because of my relationship with Jesus Christ." 

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