BLOGIf Floral Art Is Speech, as the WA Attorney General Admits, Then Why Punish Barronelle?

By Sarah Kramer Posted on: | February 17, 2017

In case you missed it, the attorney general for Washington State and the ACLU went after floral artist Barronelle Stutzman for politely turning down a request to use her artistic talents to create custom floral arrangements for a same-sex wedding. She stands to lose not only her business, but everything she owns.

It’s hardly disputed that artistic expression, such as floral art, is a form of speech entitled to First Amendment protection. As you’ll see in the video below, the Washington Attorney General admitted – in oral arguments before the state supreme court—that it is speech! 




So how is it that the Washington Supreme Court still ruled against Barronelle? How could they force her to create artistic expression that violates her beliefs?

It’s because the government is not concerned about protecting Barronelle’s speech. The state’s attorney general and the ACLU are more concerned about advancing their own agenda – at the cost of a 72-year-old grandmother’s business, retirement, home, and life-savings.

For them, this is about excluding religious beliefs from the public square. It’s also about forcing people of faith to express messages and promote events that violate their faith.

Here’s the bottom line: Barronelle shouldn’t be punished simply for declining to use her artistic talents to celebrate an event that violates her faith. She has a constitutional right to live and work consistently with her faith.

It’s also important to note that this ruling denies freedom not only to Barronelle, but also to millions of people of faith who share her beliefs about marriage, which is why it is important to encourage President Trump to sign an executive order protecting religious freedom.

When the government starts to punish business owners whose views it does not like, everyone loses. Who’s to say it won’t be your beliefs that they target next?

That’s why we should all stand with Barronelle. In doing so, we are defending all of our freedom.

To get updates on Barronelle’s case and the other cases ADF is working on, sign up for our newsletter.


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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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