A Washington state florist who refused to make a flower arrangement for a same-sex couple has agreed to settle a lawsuit brought against her, just as the Supreme Court was considering a petition to hear the case.
Barronelle Stutzman “has chosen to retire so her beloved employees can run her business, Arlene’s Flowers,” attorneys for the Alliance Defending Freedom said in a statement. “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.”
Her lawyers released a statement saying she is “at peace” with the settlement because she can “finally retire with her conscience intact, and she knows that the legal effort to protect the artistic freedoms of creative professionals” will continue in other challenges.
In 2013, Barronelle Stutzman, 77, refused to sell Curt Freed and Robert Ingersoll, a gay couple, a flower arrangement for their wedding due to her religious beliefs. Ingersoll and Freed published an op-ed in the Seattle Times explaining how being turned away from Stutzman’s business made them feel.
“We were reminded how discrimination works: Individuals are categorized, depersonalized, labeled,” they wrote. The couple went on to explain why they proceeded with their lawsuit because they didn’t want the state of Washington, “to become a state where gay and lesbian couples had to fear being turned away simply because of who they are.”
According to CNN, the couple said they will donate the $5,000 settlement money to a local advocacy group that provides peer support, education and advocacy to LGBTQ+ people, their parents and allies.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: KTVZ.COM
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