The florist from Washington state who refused to provide floral arrangements for a same-sex wedding has announced she is appealing to the US Supreme Court.
Baronelle Stutzman’s case has previously been dismissed by the Washington State Supreme Court and a county court, with both finding that she violated state discrimination laws.
The florist was approached by long-time customers Rob Ingersoll and Curt Freed in 2013 who asked if she would provide her services for their wedding. Stutzman refused, saying her “commitment to Christ” as well as her “creativity” just wouldn’t allow her to provide flowers to them for the occasion.
Stutzman is being represented by conservative Christian charity—the Alliance Defending Freedom—who have released a statement saying that the 72-year-old deserves to exercise her religious freedom.
“For more than four years, Barronelle has endured the litigation in this case with unwavering grace, humility, and faith – even as she faces losing everything she owns,” the statement reads.
“Now she will take her last stand before the US Supreme Court, asking it to preserve her religious freedom and her right not to be forced to speak a message about marriage that violates her beliefs.
“It’s hardly disputed that artistic expression, such as floral art, is speech,” the statement continues.
“If the government can demand that we speak a certain message or be punished, that should concern us all. That puts not just Barronelle’s freedom at stake, but everyone’s.
The appeal comes just weeks after it was announced that the Supreme Court would be taking on the case of Jack Phillips—a Colorado baker who refused to make a same-sex wedding cake.
The Alliance Defending Freedom represents both Phillips and Stutzman and is petitioning to consider both cases simultaneously.
“Reviewing the two cases together would aid this Court in deciding the important First Amendment questions presented,” the petition says. “
The American Civil Liberties Union—that represents Freed and Ingersoll—is yet to comment on Stutzman's petition.