barronelle stutzman is stirring up headlines. the 70-year-old grandmother is the owner of Arlene’s Flower Shop in washington state, and identifies as a devout christian. she’s also opposed to gay marriage – so much so that she refused to provide flowers to a same-sex couple for their wedding.
this week a washington judge ruled that refusal was precisely what it sounds like – discrimination – and therefore, illegal according to the state’s consumer protection and anti-discrimination law.
washington state attorney general bob ferguson has made the decision to seek legal fees and penalties not only against the flower shop, but also against stutzman herself.
the law allows for penalties of $2,000 per violation, which means that for every gay or lesbian couple stutzman refuses to serve she could receive the hefty fine. according to stutzman’s lawyer, these fines, in addition to her attorneys’ fees and court costs for the pending appeal could reach well into seven figures.
still, the soon-to-be bankrupt granny is sticking to her guns by refusing to serve gay and lesbian couples. she’s digging in her heels – in her own words, ‘because of my relationship with Jesus Christ.’ Continue Reading…