Florist Punished for Refusing Gay Wedding Will Appeal to Supreme Court

It was a win for Jack Phillips and his Masterpiece Cakeshop last year when the Supreme Court invalidated a judgement against him by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. But while that judgement was brought on account of Phillips’s refusal to bake a cake for a gay wedding, the Supreme Court ruling did not actually address whether or not the Christian baker had the right to make that refusal. Rather, the ruling held the CCRC accountable for extremely bigoted remarks that were made by the councilmen on the commission. Phillips took it as a victory, but it solved nothing as far as other business owners were concerned. The state of free speech and freedom of association is still very much up in the air.

Barronelle Stutzman hopes to change that.

From the Daily Caller:

A florist who refused to create floral arrangements for a same-sex wedding will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court after a Washington state court ruled Thursday that she violated the state’s civil rights law.

The case presents the high court with an opportunity to decide whether conservative religious believers can use the First Amendment as a defense against laws requiring accommodation of LGBT people, a question the justices ducked in the 2018 Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling.

“I could lose my business and life savings simply because I declined to celebrate and participate in a sacred event that violates my faith,” the florist, Barronelle Stutzman, said following Thursday’s decision. “No artist or creative professional should be forced by the government to create custom work that conflicts with their deeply held beliefs. That’s why I will appeal my case to the U.S. Supreme Court.”

We’ve been over these cases so many times that it feels like we’re endlessly repeating ourselves, but there is simply no place in this country for policies that force a business owner to express ideas with which they vehemently disagree. Yes, this is about religious freedom to a degree, but it’s more fundamentally about freedom of speech. To force a business owner to implicitly endorse gay marriage – whether through the baking of a cake, the creation of a T-shirt, the renting of property, or the arrangement of flowers – is an egregious abuse of government authority.

This has nothing to do with discrimination against gays and lesbians. None of these business owners are accused of turning away customers because of their sexual orientation. Gay weddings, an event, is not and cannot ever be a “protected class” under the law. It’s high time that this was settled by the Supreme Court. Hopefully, they will take up Stutzman’s case and end this insanity once and for all.

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