Arlene’s Flowers v. State of Washington | Arlene’s Flowers v. Ingersoll
Description: A longtime customer of floral artist Barronelle Stutzman asked her to design and create custom floral arrangements for his same-sex ceremony. She politely told him that she couldn’t participate in the ceremony because of her religious beliefs, and she referred him to three other local florists. After the customer’s partner described the conversation on his Facebook page, other media outlets started to report on the situation. After learning about the situation in the media, the Washington state attorney general filed a lawsuit against Stutzman, claiming that state law required her to create custom floral art celebrating same-sex ceremonies or give up her wedding business. Shortly after that, the American Civil Liberties Union also sued her on behalf of the same-sex couple.
Decision not to review floral artist’s case isn’t end of road for artistic freedom
The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom General Counsel Kristen Waggoner regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision Friday not to review the Washington Supreme Court’s decision against floral artist Barronelle Stutzman in Arlene’s Flowers v. State of Washington and Arlene’s Flowers v. Ingersoll:
“Although the outcome of this case is tragic, the critical work of protecting the First Amendment freedoms of all Americans must continue. No one should be forced to express a message or celebrate an event they disagree with. 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. 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.”
Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.
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- More than just a client: Kristen Waggoner and Barronelle Stutzman's friendship (2:11)
- Meet Barronelle Stutzman (4:40)
- Media statement on Washington Supreme Court decision (2017-02-16) (2:43)
- Report on oral arguments (2016-11-15) (4:17)
- Press conference following oral arguments before Washington Supreme Court (2016-11-15) (6:56)
- Oral arguments before Washington Supreme Court (2016-11-15) (1:10:17)
- Report: Barronelle Stutzman and the ADF team prepare for Washington Supreme Court (2016-11-15) (2:52)
- Report: Barronelle Stutzman faces the Washington Supreme Court (2016-11-07) (3:43)
- The Barronelle Stutzman story (7:06)
Previous News Releases
Kristen K. Waggoner serves as general counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom. In this role, Waggoner oversees the U.S. legal division, a team of 100 attorneys and staff who engage in litigation, public advocacy, and legislative support. ADF has represented the prevailing parties in multiple U.S. Supreme Court victories, including Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission and Uzuegbunam v. Preczewski, which she argued at the Supreme Court. She also served as counsel in the free speech victory the Supreme Court handed down in National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra. She is a Peer Review Rated AV® Preeminent™ attorney in Martindale-Hubbell, who clerked for Justice Richard B. Sanders of the Washington Supreme Court after law school and served in private practice in Seattle for nearly 20 years. Waggoner is admitted to practice in multiple states, the Supreme Court, and numerous federal district and appellate courts.