In what may be the first such case, Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson has filed a lawsuit against a florist who refused to provide flowers for a gay wedding on the basis of her religious beliefs. Such lawsuits have been long and loudly predicted by anti-gay groups who regularly raised the issue during testimonies before state legislatures across the nation.
Ferguson had previously offered to let the florist sign a contract agreeing not to discriminate in the future, but that offer was refused. Lawyers for the florist contend that the state is violating the First Amendment and have vowed to take the case to federal court. They write in a letter to Ferguson: “Although gay ‘marriage’ may be legal in Washington for the time being, the concept offends the conscious [sic] of Ms. Stutzman and many others in Washington.” Ferguson acknowledges that he may be in for a “lengthy legal battle.”
And so another martyr to the Christianist movement is born.
Oh good Lord. And Joe reports that the wingnut responses are starting to pour in. Here, from the Washington Family Policy Institute:
No one notified Ms. Stutzman that under the new regime, kindness and understanding, while holding true to your convictions, cannot be tolerated. After all, we’re on a mission to make the world more tolerant. The suit asks the florist to promise to never again be so naughty and pay a fine of $2,000 for stepping out of line. Should a pacifist web designer be fined for telling the National Rifle Association he would rather not design their website? Should the Republican printer be required to print campaign literature for the Democrats?
I miss liberals. Back in the day, a liberal who was denied service from a business for reasons he didn’t appreciate might express his thoughts with his middle finger, which would be his right, but at the end of the day he would still appreciate the fact that in America people are free to be themselves even if he finds it annoying, inconvenient, or offensive. Now they believe they are legally entitled to someone else’s labor. Friends, you may not be a florist, and you may have made a different decision, but liberty is at stake for all of us. Draw your line in the sand right here. Don’t ignore the bully just because he hasn’t punched you in the mouth yet.
I don’t get it. Speaking as a person who has contributed to weddings (in the form of music) many times in the past, I know I’ve played more than my share of wingnut weddings. Indeed, I’m quite sure I’ve played for people who have voted against my rights in the past. I don’t count them as friends, but as clients. I’ll take their money. But there’s a greater principle here, and that’s that Arlene’s Flowers is not a church!
Joe also quotes NOM’s blog, where they’re whining that people who support tradishnul marriage are being “forced out of the public square,” which is, of course, not happening. They’re merely being asked to abide by the same rules as everyone else. And that is what is so offensive to them, because they truly think they’re above the rest of us, even though the majority of the country is trying to run away from them as fast as possible.