Do You Know this Woman? You Should.

Alliance Defending Freedom
Gentleness in the face of threats and abuse
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If you’ve been following Barronelle Stutzman’s continuing fight to defend her religious freedom, you know that she is down to her final appeal.

Last year, the Washington Supreme Court ruled that the state can force Barronelle to create custom floral arrangements to celebrate same-sex ceremonies.

The court got it wrong. For five years, the state and the ACLU have pooled their vast resources for a coordinated legal assault on Barronelle. They are determined to crush her for standing up for religious freedom.

But ADF promised Barronelle that we would defend her all the way to the United States Supreme Court, and that’s what we have done.

There is no other option. Barronelle must be defended because freedom for all of us is at risk.

Barronelle was targeted because of her beliefs

You probably know her story. Barronelle is a Christian floral designer — and a grandmother — who lives in Richland, Washington. This kind and loving soul is the last person you would ever expect to be at the center of a legal firestorm.

But that’s where she found herself after she made a simple decision to follow her conscience in 2013.

You see, Barronelle had a longtime friend and customer named Rob. Barronelle and Rob always had a warm and cordial friendship. She designed arrangements for him for nearly a decade. She knew that he was in a same-sex relationship, but that never mattered to her because Barronelle serves everyone.

But while Barronelle loved working with Rob, she couldn’t craft custom floral art to celebrate his same-sex marriage. Because of her commitment to biblical truth about marriage, she knew she had to decline that request. In a spirit of gentleness, Barronelle recalls that she put her hands on Rob’s and told him she couldn’t do his wedding because of her relationship with Christ. At the time, Rob seemed to accept Barronelle’s decision.

  
“He was very gracious,” she remembers. “He said, ‘I understand,’ and we talked about his mom a little bit, and about how he got engaged. And then we hugged each other, and he left.”
In a truly free society, that would have been the end of the matter.

But the Washington Attorney General saw things differently. Even though Barronelle had referred Rob to several other florists that she knew would do a good job for his wedding, the attorney general filed a lawsuit against her when he found out what had happened through social media.

Barronelle became the target of hateful letters, phone calls, emails, and even death threats. Then the ACLU stepped in to sue her.

But, through it all, Barronelle refused to surrender. The stakes are far greater than just her freedom. As she explains:

“Does anyone really believe that a government that gives itself the power to force people to believe (and not believe) things … will only use that power to bend one small-town florist to its will — and then leave everyone else alone?”

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Barronelle Stutzman was living out her faith when she found herself targeted for punishment.
  
If the authorities can punish a kind and gentle person like Barronelle, who will be safe?

We’d all like to believe that cases like Barronelle’s are the exception, but the truth is that harassment, intimidation, and punishment of Christians is becoming more and more common.

With God’s blessing and your help, Alliance Defending Freedom can ensure that Barronelle won’t have to stand alone as she makes her final appeal for religious freedom. And it is absolutely essential to defend her, because if Barronelle loses, we all lose.

To make matters worse, the ACLU is demanding that if she loses, Barronelle must personally pay the fees of the ACLU attorneys who have been prosecuting her. That amount will be hundreds of thousands of dollars – maybe even more. Everything she owns could be taken from her as a result of this lawsuit.

Do not be misled: If these bullies can crush her, then none of us are safe. The ACLU and their allies will be relentless. Their aim is to punish and silence Christians who hold biblical beliefs about marriage.

Your gift today can make a crucial difference

We’ve promised to defend Barronelle all the way to the United States Supreme Court if that’s what it takes to protect her religious freedom. And that’s where the case stands today as we wait to learn if the Court will accept her appeal.

Please help today.

Thank you so much for your prayers and support.