In a case similar to the ongoing Ashers bakery debacle, an Evangelical Christian in Washington has been fined and ordered to provide flowers for gay weddings after refusing service to a same-sex customer.
Florist Barronelle Stutzman (pictured above) was ordered to pay a fine of $1,000 (€922) plus $1 for court costs and fees after she refused to sell flowers to long-time customer Robert Ingersoll for his wedding to partner Curt Freed. She refused, telling Ingersoll it would go against her “relationship with Jesus Christ.”
Stutzman was originally ordered to pay $2,000 (€1,842) but refused, reports Gay Star News. She may be forced to pay more in damages to the rejected customers.
She was ordered by a judge to abide by Washington State’s non-discrimination law and sell all products to gay couples “including but not limited to goods, merchandise and services for weddings and commitment ceremonies”.
“You are asking me to walk in the way of a well-known betrayer,” Stutzman said likening her position to that of Judas, “one who sold something of infinite worth for 30 pieces of silver. That is something I will not do.”
“My primary goal has always been to end illegal discrimination,” Attorney General Bob Ferguson said in a statement. “I’m pleased that today’s ruling clearly prohibits discrimination against same-sex couples.”