A Christian florist in the US who was sued after declining to create flower arrangements for a same-sex wedding ceremony and subsequently spent eight years battling in the courts will pay a small settlement and retire, rather than seek another U.S. Supreme Court hearing.
“I am willing to turn the legal struggle for freedom over to others. At age 77, it’s time to retire,” Barronelle Stutzman, who owns Arlene’s Flowers in Richland, Washington state.
“I’ve never had to compromise my conscience or go against my faith. I’ve met so many, many kind and wonderful people, who’ve generously offered me their prayers and encouragement and support.”
In 2013, the florist declined to make flower arrangements for the same-sex wedding of long-time customer and friend Rob Ingersoll and his partner Curt Freed. She said that as a Christian, she believed such a union would violate her faith, and she could not make a floral arrangement for a same-sex wedding. Stutzman referred Ingersoll to several nearby florists.