After a judge ruled last week that Washington florist and Christian grandmother Barronelle Stutzman violated the law when she refused to provide arrangements for a same-sex wedding, Stutzman rejected a tempting settlement offer that would have spared her from losing her home and business, because it would have forced her to turn her back on God.
As Stutzman was found guilty of violating Washington's non-discrimination law last Wednesday for declining to service the wedding of Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed in 2013 due to her Christian belief of marriage, Stutzman runs the risk of losing not only her business but her house and life savings once a summary judgement is reached.
Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson offered the 70-year-old Stutzman, the owner of Arlene's flowers, a settlement on Thursday that would have spared Stutzman the high, bankrupting legal costs that she could incur as a result of the summary judgement. more >>
As the hometown of world-renowned Evangelist Billy Graham, Charlotte N.C., prepares to vote on whether to allow transgenders the right to use the public restrooms that are designated for the opposite sex, his son, Franklin Graham, is questioning the judgement of the city council for even considering such a proposal.
"I cannot see why City Council would even consider this. It is not only ridiculous, it's unsafe," Graham, the 62-year-old president of Samaritan's Purse humanitarian organization and Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, said in a statement.
"Common sense tells us that this would open the door, literally, to all sorts of serious concerns including giving sexual predators access to children. It violates every sense of the privacy and decency for people." more >>
A West Virginia school has agreed to remove crosses that were part of a memorial honoring a teacher who died in 2004 following a complaint from an atheist organization.
Ravenswood Middle School, part of the Jackson County School District, was the site of a memorial that included crosses and angels.
In a vote taken Thursday, the Jackson County School Board decided to remove the crosses following a complaint from the Madison, Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation. more >>
Putting florist, grandmother and devout Southern Baptist Barronelle Stutzman out of business was not enough for some Washington state officials. She could lose her home and life savings as well after a Washington superior court judge ruled that she violated the state's anti-discrimination law because she declined to provide flowers for a same-sex couple's wedding due to her religious convictions.
After Benton County Superior Court Judge ruled on Wednesday that Stutzman violated the law when she refused to provide floral arrangements for the wedding of Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed in 2013, the possibility became real that Stutzman can lose her business, home, savings and other personal assets once a summary judgement is reached, according to Stutzman's lawyer Kristen Waggoner.
"The lesson from the court's decisions is that you put your home, your family business, and your life at risk by daring to defy a government mandate that forces you to promote views you believe are wrong," Waggoner, an attorney with the Alliance Defending Freedom, said in a statement. "A government that tells you what you can't say is bad enough but a government that tells you what you must say is terrifying." more >>
A Texas county court legally married two women under a one-time court order on Thursday, despite the fact that the state currently has a ban on same-sex marriages.
After Travis County Probate Judge Guy Herman ruled on Tuesday that Texas' ban on same-sex marriages is unconstitutional, state District Judge David Wahlberg, two days later, issued an order for Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir to grant a marriage license to an Austin lesbian couple due to medical urgency.
After Sarah Goodfriend, who has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and Suzanne Bryant were issued their marriage license by the court on Thursday morning, their 72-hour required waiting period was waived and they were later joined in matrimony by Rabbi Kerry Baker in front of the county clerk's office building, The Austin American-Statesman reported. more >>
A traditional marriage group has called upon Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to recuse herself from a case regarding the constitutionality of state-level gay marriage bans.
The National Organization for Marriage demanded that Ginsburg recuse herself from Obergefell vs. Hodges due to recent comments that appeared to indicate she had already decided how she would rule even though the Court has not heard the arguments from either side.