A Washington state florist says she may lose her business and her home after being ordered to pay a $1,000 fine, plus $1 in court fees, for violating Washington’s anti-discrimination and consumer protection laws when she refused to sell two grooms a bouquet of flowers for their wedding back in 2013.
Arlene’s Flowers and Gifts owner Barronelle Stutzman says the $1,001.00 fine will “financially devastate” her, as it will cause her to dip into her “retirement and personal savings,” and that’s simply not fair because she is a “70-year-old grandmother.”
Speaking to the Christian Post, Stutzman said the harsh punishment is a “threat to Christians” with a very specific message: “Surrender your religious liberty and free speech rights, or face personal and professional ruin!”
Again, she is being fined $1,001.00.
In Feburary, after spending nearly two years fighting in court, Stutzman was offered a settlement from Attorney General Bob Ferguson that wouldn’t have cost her quite so much, but she refused on grounds that settling the case would be a betrayal of Jesus H. Christ.
“I certainly don’t relish the idea of losing my business, my home, and everything else that your lawsuit threatens to take from my family,” Stutzman told Ferguson in a letter. “But my freedom to honor God in doing what I do best is more important.”
Stutzman has 60 days to fork over the $1001.00.