BLOGCan the Government Take away This Grandma’s Religious Freedom?

By Sarah Kramer Posted on: | November 08, 2017

Barronelle Stutzman is a mother, a grandmother, a small business owner, and a Christian. She is also being sued for everything she owns. 

Over four years ago, one of her longtime customers came into her shop, Arlene’s Flowers, and asked her to design floral arrangements for his same-sex wedding. Because of her religious beliefs, however, Barronelle had to decline. She had served this customer for many other occasions in his life, such as birthdays and anniversaries. But because she could not in good conscience use her artistic gifts for this particular event, she recommended three other floral artists she knew would do a good job.

That was not enough for the State of Washington. The state’s attorney general sued her in 2013, not just professionally, but personally as well. And she has been fighting this legal battle for over four years – working to preserve her right to decline to express a message or promote an event that violates her beliefs.

Barronelle and her attorney, ADF Senior Counsel Kristen Waggoner, were on The Michael Medved Show recently to talk about her case. 



Barronelle’s case is pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. And the Court will be hearing a similar case out of Colorado in December. ADF will have the privilege of arguing before the court on behalf of cake artist Jack Phillips.

Barronelle and Jack are not alone. A custom art studio, two filmmakers, a graphic designer, and a photographer have all challenged similar laws where the government is trying to force artists to create artistic expression against their beliefs.

That is unconstitutional and undermines this country’s broad commitment to free speech and religious freedom. .


Learn more about how you can help preserve religious and artistic freedom for these creative professionals. In doing so, you help preserve these freedoms for yourself and for future generations. 

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Sarah Kramer

Digital Content Specialist

Sarah worked as an investigative reporter before joining the Alliance Defending Freedom team.

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