28 May More on the “Price of Citizenship”
Just how far will government and government agencies go to enforce complete acceptance of gay marriage from everyone? The story of the Washington State based florist, Barronelle Stutzman illustrates the measures taken to enforce someone to accept and participate in gay marriage.
In March of 2013, Baronelle Stutzman, owner of Alrene Flowers, refused to do wedding arrangements for her longtime friend and customer, Robert Ingersoll and his partner. Although Stutzman always had friendly working relationships with her homosexual customers, she felt that her religious beliefs prevented her from participating in same sex weddings.
Washington Attorney General, Bob Ferguson heard the story in the media. Without receiving a complaint from Ingersoll or his partner, the Attorney General took it upon himself to make an example of Stutzman and file a lawsuit on behalf of the State of Washington. However, one lawsuit that would force a business to participate in same sex weddings was not enough. Attorney General Fergusen and the ACLU decided to sue Barronelle Stutzman personally. With the duel lawsuits, Stutzman risks losing her business, home and all of her personal assets.
Instead of honoring the US constitution’s guarantee of religious freedom and freedom of speech, some judges, Attorney Generals, and other state and federal agencies are using non-discrimination laws and ordinances to enforce every citizen to accept and embrace gay marriage. Like the Judges on the New Mexico Supreme Court , many in the government want acceptance of gay marriage to be the “Price of Citizenship”.