Bridal flowers. Photo credit: Clotee Allochuku via Flickr CC BY 20 CNA 6 3 15
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Yakima, Wash., Jul 14, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- Flower shop owner Barronelle Stutzman is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to protect her from a Washington state court ruling that could destroy her financially because her religious beliefs prevented her from serving a same-sex wedding ceremony.
“If the government can ruin Barronelle for peacefully living and working according to her faith, it can punish anyone else for expressing their belief,” said Stutzman’s attorney Kristen Waggoner, a senior counsel with the Alliance Defending Freedom legal group.
“The government shouldn’t have the power to force a 72-year-old grandmother to surrender her freedom in order to run her family business. Anyone who supports the First Amendment rights that the U.S. Constitution guarantees to all of us should stand with Barronelle.”
“Our nation has a long history of protecting the right to dissent, but simply because Barronelle disagrees with the state about marriage, the government and ACLU have put at risk everything she owns,” Waggoner charged.
The attorney said the court decision not only endangered Stutzman’s business. It also endangered her family’s savings, her retirement fund, and her home.
Waggoner said her client, who is Southern Baptist, faced “burdensome penalties” simply for exercising a right of free expression.