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FIRST ON FOX: Christian florist Barronelle Stutzman has agreed to settle with the same-sex couple that sued her for refusing to serve their wedding – capping off nearly a decade of litigation in one of the most iconic First Amendment cases this century.
On Thursday afternoon, Stutzman’s attorneys sent the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) an agreement to withdraw her Supreme Court petition in exchange for them declining to pursue further legal action. The 76-year-old grandmother told Fox News that she’s retiring and leaving her business, Arlene’s Flowers, to its employees.
The article goes on to state the following:
As part of the agreement, Stutzman will pay the couple – Rob Ingersoll and Curt Freed – $5,000 and they will cease pursuing damages against her business and personal assets.
“No one should walk into a store and have to wonder whether they will be turned away because of who they are,” Ria Tabacco Mar, an ACLU lawyer representing the couple, declared in July.
The case started in 2013, when Robert Ingersoll, a longtime friend and customer of Stutzman, walked into her shop and asked her to create the floral arrangements for his same-sex wedding.
Due to her Christian beliefs, Stutzman politely refused. Instead of simply going to a different floral shop, the couple sued her.
“After Curt and I were turned away from our local flower shop, we cancelled the plans for our dream wedding because we were afraid it would happen again. We had a small ceremony at home instead,” Ingersoll said.
TODAY: WA floral artist Barronelle Stutzman reaches settlement preserving her conscience, 303 Creative v. Elenis awaits Supreme Court review
Stutzman: ‘I’ve never had to compromise my conscience or go against my faith’https://t.co/4da9yNlzIb
— Alliance Defending Freedom (@AllianceDefends) November 18, 2021
Stutzman, 76, shared a moving video statement on Thursday, announcing the settlement and her decision to retire from her florist business.
“I’m a Christian and I believe the Bible to be the word of God,” she said, noting that the Bible teaches that marriage should be between one man and one woman.
“From the beginning, I have asked no more than the freedom to act on accordance with my religious belief and personal convictions,” she said.
“I hope my case has helped drawn some attention to the dangers this growing intolerance poses on all of us,” she added.
WATCH HER EMOTIONAL MESSAGE BELOW:
Ryan Anderson, president of Ethics and Public Policy Center, tweeted, “Barronelle Stutzman is a model of courage and grace. Today’s announcement is tragic.”
“Watch this moving video from Barronelle to get a sense of what has happened here. Travesty of justice. Barronelle is a hero. “I’m thankful that God’s love has sustained me through all of the trials and challenges of these last few years.””
Watch this moving video from Barronelle to get a sense of what has happened here. Travesty of justice. Barronelle is a hero.
“I’m thankful that God’s love has sustained me through all of the trials and challenges of these last few years.” https://t.co/OJZqSftpXc
— Ryan T. Anderson (@RyanTAnd) November 18, 2021
Barronelle Stutzman: A hero for First Amendment freedom is transitioning to post-retirement fight. The Seattle-area florist joins @GRiceShow @939KPDQ with @KWaggonerADF of @AllianceDefends for an update on her 8-year battle in the courtshttps://t.co/jk4JG8H9Wo pic.twitter.com/nvEAjdQJ25
— The Christian Outlook (@TCOutlook) November 18, 2021
Replace same-sex couple with unvaccinated couple and tell me how they are different.https://t.co/CSzW7fS7VZ
— It is about your liberty! (@TriggeredLiber7) November 18, 2021
In 2019, Stutzman posted an open letter in USA Today about her experience.
— Alliance Defending Freedom (@AllianceDefends) October 23, 2019
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