State AG targets Wash. grandmother’s religious freedom and personal assets
WHO: ADF Senior Counsel Kristen Waggoner
WHAT: Available for media interviews following hearing in State of Washington v. Arlene's Flowers and Barronelle Stutzman
WHEN: Friday, Dec. 5, immediately after hearing, which begins at 1:30 p.m. PST
WHERE: Benton County Superior Court, Bldg. A, 7122 W. Okanogan Pl., Kennewick
RICHLAND, Wash. – Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Kristen Waggoner will be available for media interviews following oral arguments Friday in state court on behalf of Barronelle Stutzman, the owner of Arlene’s Flowers, who is being sued in her personal capacity for acting consistently with her faith and declining to use her creative skills to participate in and design custom floral arrangements for a long-time customer’s same-sex ceremony. The customer made the request a few months after Washington legalized same-sex marriage.
“In America, the government is supposed to protect freedom, not intimidate citizens into speaking and acting contrary to their faith under threat of severe punishment,” said Waggoner. “Plenty of other florists are willing to provide flowers for same-sex ceremonies, yet the state attorney general insists on going after not only her business, but her personal assets as well. It’s nothing more than a blatant attempt to strong-arm Barronelle into surrendering her freedom and livelihood.”
Several motions are pending before the court, including a motion to dismiss the claims against Stutzman in her personal capacity. The motion asks the court to stop the state from seeking to punish her personally when they are already pursuing a claim against her business.
Attorney Alicia M. Berry of Liebler, Connor, Berry & St. Hilaire is also serving as legal counsel and is one of nearly 2,500 private attorneys allied with ADF.
- Fact sheet: State of Washington v. Arlene's Flowers and Barronelle Stutzman
Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.
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