WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the U.S. Supreme Court granted the petition for a writ of certiorari in the case of Arlene’s Flowers, Inc. v. Washington. The lower court’s judgment was vacated, and the case was remanded to the Washington state supreme court for further consideration in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins released the following statement:
“This is welcome news in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Jack Phillips’ case. However, Barronelle Stutzman of Arlene’s Flowers is still facing the same limitations on her freedom in Washington state. In an unprecedented show of religious hostility, the state’s chief law enforcer, Bob Ferguson personally disparaged her by comparing her biblical beliefs on marriage to racial discrimination. The state attorney general sought to severely punish her with crippling fines to drive her out of business and even sued her personally, which could result in her home being taken away.
“Our hope and prayer is that the lower court that ruled against Barronelle’s religious freedom will acknowledge the grave error in their previous ruling and restore Barronelle’s freedom to live out her deeply held convictions in her own business.
“The government has no authority to force Americans like Barronelle to engage in speech and events with which they morally disagree. Constitutional freedoms do not stop at the door of your local church, and instead extend to every area of a person's life. It is time the Washington state supreme court acknowledge that fact and remove the threat of crippling fines from Barronelle, imposed on her simply because she was following her deeply held beliefs,” Perkins concluded.