The Supreme Court of Washington has agreed to revisit the case against Barronelle Stutzman, the 70-year-old florist who was penalized for refusing to service a same-sex marriage because of her Christian beliefs. According to reports, Stutzman's legal representatives are questioning the fines imposed on their client due to the findings of the case.
As reported by the Washington Times, the lawsuit against the florist was filed in 2013 by her longtime client Robert Ingersol. During the same year, the court fined her for over $1,000, which includes attorney's fees.
At that time, the court ruled that Stutzman violated the state's anti-discrimination law by refusing to make custom floral arrangements for Ingersol and his male partner's wedding. In her defense, Stutzman noted that what her client was asking her to do directly goes against what she believes in and the sanctity of marriage.
"As a Christian, weddings have a particular significance," she said in a statement according to WND. "Marriage does celebrate two people's love for one another, but its sacred meaning goes far beyond that."
"Surely without intending to do so, Rob was asking me to choose between my affection for him and my commitment to Christ," she added. "As deeply fond as I am of Rob, my relationship with Jesus is everything to me. Without Christ, I can do nothing."
The Alliance Defending Freedom has agreed to assist Stutzman in her case and has submitted, on her behalf, the appeal to the Supreme Court. According to the organization's senior counsel Kristen Waggoner, like Stutzman, many Christian business owners in the country are willing to offer their services to anyone. However, they cannot be forced in participating in events that promote messages that go against their religious beliefs.
Stutzman is only one of the many professionals who are experiencing hardships for standing up for what they believe in. In 2013, a similar case was held in New Mexico against photographer Elaine Huguenin, who was sued for refusing to provide her professional services to a same-sex couple.
The court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs and ordered Huguenin to pay a total fine of $6,637.94.
Recently, it was also reported that a Christian baker in Texas refused to cater to a client's same-sex wedding.