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Arlene’s Flowers v. State of Washington | Arlene’s Flowers v. Ingersoll

Description:  Rather than participate in a wedding ceremony that violates her faith, floral artist Barronelle Stutzman referred Robert Ingersoll, a friend and client for nearly 10 years, to several nearby florists when he asked her about creating custom flower arrangements for his wedding to Curt Freed. Stutzman and Ingersoll then discussed the wedding plans, hugged, and Ingersoll left. He never filed a complaint with the attorney general’s office, which brought an unprecedented action against Stutzman because of news reports based on social media posts. Later, Ingersoll and Freed sued Stutzman through attorneys with the American Civil Liberties Union.


Barronelle Stutzman
Thursday, Nov 18, 2021

KENNEWICK, Wash. – A settlement agreement secured by Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys with the ACLU ends a lawsuit brought against floral artist Barronelle Stutzman nearly a decade ago without forcing her to act against her religious beliefs or to pay potentially ruinous attorneys’ fees—a threat she has endured for years. Stutzman has chosen to retire so her beloved employees can run her business, Arlene’s Flowers. She will withdraw a pending petition for rehearing at the U.S. Supreme Court and make a payment of only $5,000 to the two men who sued her.

Stutzman, 77 and a great-grandmother, explained that she is at peace because the settlement allows her to finally retire with her conscience intact, and she knows that the legal effort to protect the artistic freedoms of creative professionals will continue in cases like 303 Creative v. Elenis, which the U.S. Supreme Court could decide to hear soon.

“I am willing to turn the legal struggle for freedom over to others. At age 77, it’s time to retire” and let others carry on the fight for religious liberty, wrote Stutzman in a letter announcing the settlement. “I’ve never had to compromise my conscience or go against my faith. I’ve met so many, many kind and wonderful people, who’ve generously offered me their prayers and encouragement and support. And I’ve been blessed with outstanding attorneys through Alliance Defending Freedom who’ve given me not only their legal skills, but their thoughtful friendship.”

“Most of all, I’m thankful that God’s love has sustained me through all of the trials and challenges of these last few years,” Stutzman continued. “There is a great deal of division at work in our country today, but God has shown me again and again that His love is stronger than the anger and the pain so many are feeling. And He’s given me countless opportunities to share His love with others along the way.”

“This settlement is an end to a lengthy court case, not a change in or surrender of Barronelle’s beliefs,” said ADF General Counsel Kristen Waggoner. “Over the last eight years, Barronelle stood for the First Amendment freedoms of all Americans, even those who disagree with her about a deeply personal and important issue like marriage. And in so doing, she’s inspired millions of others in their own public and personal battles to live their faith without government interference.”

“ADF is proud to have represented Barronelle—and many of us have formed deep friendships with her,” Waggoner continued. “She laid the groundwork that makes it possible for the Supreme Court to take a case like 303 Creative and definitively protect the rights of creative profes­sionals like Lorie Smith, Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop—who has now been sued for the third time—and many like them who have been victimized by officials demanding compliance with government orthodoxy. The Supreme Court needs to affirm the right of all Americans to speak and live consistent with their conscience.”

Rather than participate in a wedding ceremony that violates her faith, Stutzman referred Robert Ingersoll, a friend and client for nearly 10 years, to several nearby florists when he asked her about creating custom flower arrangements for his wedding to Curt Freed. Stutzman and Ingersoll then discussed the wedding plans, hugged, and Ingersoll left. He never filed a complaint with the attorney general’s office, which brought an unprecedented action against Stutzman because of news reports based on social media posts. Later, Ingersoll and Freed sued Stutzman through attorneys with the ACLU.

Stutzman asked the U.S. Supreme Court to take her case after the Washington Supreme Court ruled against her in June 2019. The U.S. Supreme Court vacated the state high court’s ruling and ordered it to reconsider in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018 ruling in another ADF case, Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The state court then issued essentially the same ruling. Stutzman again asked the U.S. Supreme Court to consider the cases, but the high court declined to hear the case over the objection of three justices, resulting in her rehearing request.

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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Legal Documents

AG complaint: State of Washington v. Arlene’s Flowers
ACLU complaint: Ingersoll v. Arlene’s Flowers
Answer to ACLU complaint: Ingersoll v. Arlene’s Flowers
Answer to Washington AG and countersuit against AG: State of Washington v. Arlene’s Flowers and Arlene’s Flowers v. Ferguson
Complaint: Arlene’s Flowers v. Ferguson
Defendants’ motion for partial summary judgment on claims against Barronelle Stutzman in her personal capacity: State of Washington v. Arlene’s Flowers and Ingersoll v. Arlene’s Flowers
Trial court ruling on personal capacity: State of Washington v. Arlene's Flowers and Ingersoll v. Arlene's Flowers
Motion to stay: Arlene's Flowers v. Ferguson
Stay order: Arlene's Flowers v. Ferguson
Trial court summary judgment ruling: State of Washington v. Arlene's Flowers and Ingersoll v. Arlene's Flowers
Notices of appeal: State of Washington v. Arlene’s Flowers and Ingersoll v. Arlene’s Flowers
Statement of grounds for direct review by Washington Supreme Court: State of Washington v. Arlene's Flowers and Ingersoll v. Arlene's Flowers
Opening brief filed with Washington Supreme Court: State of Washington v. Arlene's Flowers and Ingersoll v. Arlene's Flowers
Reply brief of appellants filed with Washington Supreme Court: State of Washington v. Arlene’s Flowers and Ingersoll v. Arlene’s Flowers
Washington Supreme Court order granting review: State of Washington v. Arlene’s Flowers and Ingersoll v. Arlene’s Flowers
Friend-of-the-court briefs filed with Washington Supreme Court: State of Washington v. Arlene’s Flowers and Ingersoll v. Arlene’s Flowers
Washington Supreme Court opinion (2017): State of Washington v. Arlene’s Flowers and Ingersoll v. Arlene’s Flowers
Petition for writ of certiorari (2017): Arlene’s Flowers v. State of Washington and Arlene’s Flowers v. Ingersoll
Amicus briefs filed with U.S. Supreme Court (2017): Arlene’s Flowers v. State of Washington and Arlene’s Flowers v. Ingersoll
Petitioners' reply brief: Arlene’s Flowers v. State of Washington and Arlene’s Flowers v. Ingersoll
Brief of appellants on remand: State of Washington v. Arlene’s Flowers and Ingersoll v. Arlene’s Flowers
Amicus brief filed with Washington Supreme Court by multiple state attorneys general: State of Washington v. Arlene’s Flowers and Ingersoll v. Arlene’s Flowers
Reply brief of appellants: State of Washington v. Arlene’s Flowers and Ingersoll v. Arlene’s Flowers
Appellants’ response to amici curiae: State of Washington v. Arlene’s Flowers and Ingersoll v. Arlene’s Flowers
Washington Supreme Court opinion (2019): State of Washington v. Arlene’s Flowers and Ingersoll v. Arlene’s Flowers
Petition for writ of certiorari (2019): Arlene’s Flowers v. State of Washington and Arlene’s Flowers v. Ingersoll
Amicus briefs filed with U.S. Supreme Court (2019): Arlene’s Flowers v. State of Washington and Arlene’s Flowers v. Ingersoll
Reply brief filed with U.S. Supreme Court (2019): Arlene’s Flowers v. State of Washington and Arlene’s Flowers v. Ingersoll
Supplemental brief of petitioners: Arlene’s Flowers v. State of Washington and Arlene’s Flowers v. Ingersoll
Petition for rehearing: Arlene’s Flowers v. State of Washington and Arlene’s Flowers v. Ingersoll
Joint stipulation to dismiss: Arlene’s Flowers v. State of Washington and Arlene’s Flowers v. Ingersoll

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ABOUT Kristen Waggoner

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.