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The Supreme Court on Friday announced it had declined to review the case of a Christian florist in Washington state involving same-sex marriage, again punting on major constitutional questions involving religious freedom.
Article by Fred Lucas from Daily Signal.
Justices Neil Gorsuch, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito expressed support for hearing the case, but to take a case requires the votes of at least four of the nine justices.
In declining to hear the case of Arlene’s Flowers v. Washington, it effectively upholds the Washington state Supreme Court’s ruling that Christian florist Barronelle Stutzman, now in her mid-70s, violated Washington’s anti-discrimination law by refusing to design a floral arrangement for the same-sex wedding of Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed.
>> Learn more about Barronelle Stutzman:
Before the lawsuit, Stutzman and Ingersoll were friends.
“Although the outcome of this case is tragic, the critical work of protecting the First Amendment freedoms of all Americans must continue,” said Kristen Waggoner, general counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, a religious liberty public interest law firm that represented Stutzman.
“No one should be forced to express a message or celebrate an event they disagree with,” Waggoner said in the public statement, adding:
A government that can crush someone like Barronelle, who kindly served her gay customer for nearly a decade, but simply declined to create art celebrating one sacred ceremony, can use its power to crush any of us, regardless of our political ideology or views on important issues like marriage.
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Thankfully, other courts have recognized that the Constitution does not allow this. Unlike the Washington Supreme Court in Barronelle’s case, the Arizona Supreme Court and the 8th Circuit have ruled that the government cannot force creative professionals to create artistic expression that violates their religious beliefs.
We are confident that the Supreme Court will eventually join those courts in affirming the constitutionally protected freedom of creative professionals to live and work consistently with their most deeply held beliefs.
The decision not to hear the case “confirmed that LGBTQ people should receive equal service,” said Ria Tabacco Mar, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union, who represented the couple.
“Planning a wedding was a joyful time for Rob and Curt until they were refused service at their local flower shop. No one should walk into a store and have to wonder whether they will be turned away because of who they are,” the ACLU lawyer said. “Preventing that kind of humiliation and hurt is exactly why we have nondiscrimination laws. Yet, 60% of states still don’t have express protections for LGBTQ people like the kind in Washington state. Our work isn’t over yet.”
Since its 2015 ruling in favor of same-sex marriage in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court has issued narrow rulings regarding religious liberty in cases like Stutzman’s in pursuit of obtaining a broad court consensus.
Last month, the high court ruled 9-0 in the case of Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, giving a Catholic social service agency in Philadelphia the right to continue a government-funded foster care program while not being forced to compromise its beliefs about marriage. However, the high court did not make a broader ruling on religious freedom.
Similarly, in a 2018 case, the Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission had been hostile toward cake shop owner Jack Phillips’ Christian faith in trying to compel him to create a wedding cake celebrating the marriage of two men.
However, the high court crafted its decision in a way that did not set a broad precedent for freedom of speech and religion.
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In the Obergefell ruling, the majority opinion by then-Justice Anthony Kennedy said the view that marriage is between a man and a woman is based on “decent and honorable” premises, noted Emilie Kao, director of the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation.
“Yet, we see government authorities around the country punishing people for living according to this belief,” Kao told The Daily Signal, the news outlet of The Heritage Foundation. “They have misused the law to try and force foster care and adoption agencies, bakers, photographers, and florists to change their views on marriage.”
Barronelle Stutzman serves everyone, including the gay customer in this lawsuit. Her beliefs about marriage are a sacred part of her Christian faith, so she cannot create custom art for a wedding celebration that would violate her religious beliefs.
The progressive left insists that every florist and baker celebrate same-sex marriages, in conformity with their orthodoxy, even though there is no shortage of providers.
It’s intolerant for governments like Washington state to punish people over disagreement on the nature of marriage.
The Supreme Court should address these violations of religious freedom swiftly and comprehensively.
New Conservative Network Seeks Crowdfunding Help
They say we have to go big or go home. We’re trying to go big and bring the patriotic truth the the nation, but we need help.
Readers may or may not realize that over the past year, we’ve been bringing more conservative news and opinion outlets under our wing. Don’t take our expansion as a sign of riches; all of the “acquisitions” have been through sweat and promises of greater things to come for all involved. As a result, we’ve been able to bring together several independent media sites under a unified vision of preventing America from succumbing to the progressive, “woke,” Neo-Marxist ideologies that are spreading like wildfire across America.
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The slow and steady reopening of America is revealing there was a lot more economic hardship brought about from the Covd-19 lockdowns than most realize. While we continue to hope advertising dollars on the sites go up, it’s simply not enough to do things the right way. We are currently experiencing a gap between revenue and expenses that cannot be overcome by click-ads and MyPillow promos alone (promo code “NOQ” by the way).
To overcome our revenue gap and keep these sites running, our needs fluctuate between $3000-$7000 per month. In other words, we’re in the red and hemorrhaging.
The best way you can help us grow and continue to bring the truth to the people is by donating. We appreciate everything, whether a dollar or $10,000. Anything brings us closer to a point of stability when we can hire writers, editors, and support staff to make the America First message louder. Our Giving Fuel page makes it easy to donate one-time or monthly. Alternatively, you can donate through PayPal as well.
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Yes, We Need Your Help
I hate being “that guy” who asks people to donate because I think our conservative news network is so crucial, but here I am…
When I left my cushy corporate job in 2017, I did so knowing that my family would have to make sacrifices. But I couldn’t continue to watch the nation slip into oblivion and was inspired by President Trump’s willingness to fight the good fight even at his own personal expense. What I didn’t realize then is that conservative media would be so heavily attacked, canceled, and defunded that the sacrifices would be extreme.
Many in this nation are struggling right now even though we weren’t struggling just a few years ago. I’m not alone. But I wake up every morning and operate the sites we’ve been able to build because there’s really no other choice. I refuse to be beholden to Big Tech like so many other conservative news outlets, which is why you won’t see Google ads here. With that said, it’s often challenging to pay the bills and it’s even harder to expand so we can get the America First message out to a wider audience.
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I would even be willing to entertain investments and partnerships at this stage. I’ve turned them down in the past because editorial purity is extremely important. I’ll turn them down again if anyone wants us to start supporting RINOs or avoid “taboo” topics like voter fraud, vaccines, or transgender supremacy. But I’d talk to fellow America First patriots who want to help any (or all) of our 10 news sites. Hit me up at jdrucker (at) substack (dot) com if you’re interested.
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