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Thousands raised online for florist who refused same sex wedding

· Thousands raised online for florist who refused same sex wedding ·

(Photo:red prom dresses )

Thousands of dollars have been raised in online donations for another Christian business owner caught up in the US debate over same-sex marriage.
Nearly $150,000 has been donated on aGoFundMe account set up to help grandmother and Christian, Barronelle Stutzman, aged 70.
As owner of Arlene's Flowers in Richland, Washington, she was fined $1,001 by the state and faces another civil law suit after she refused to do flowers for a same-sex wedding ceremony.
A few days ago, donations were closed for the GoFundMe account of the Memories pizza restaurant after nearly $850,000 was raised. The Christian owners of the Indiana pizzeria shut up shop after they received death threats because of their opposition to gay marriage.
But the Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing Mrs Stutzman in Washington warned that it is the precedent not the cash that is the problem, WND reported.
Robert Ingersoll, one of the couple refused service by Mrs Stutzman, had asked her to do the flowers for his wedding a few months after same-sex marriage was made legal in Washington State. He told the Tri-City Herald that they had been shocked and hurt by the florist's refusal to serve them.
"It really hurt because it was somebody I knew," he said. "We laid awake all night. It was eating at our souls. There was never a question she'd be the one to do our flowers. She does amazing work."
Judge Alex Ekstrom said in his ruling that the "defendants and their officers, agents, servants, employees, and attorneys, and those persons in active concert or participation with them ... are permanently enjoined and restrained from violating the Washington Law Against Discrimination."
Mrs Stutzman has been on the receiving end of widespread criticism online.
"All GLBTQ people and their allies need to boycott this shop and shut it down. This homophobic idiot needs to learn there is such a thing as freedom from religious persecution too. Stop using your god as a weapon. Get up here in the new milennium with the rest of us," said one critic on Google Reviews.
She has also received many letters of support.
She said in a video message about her case: "It was a real struggle to decide what to do with that. My husband and I talked it over and, as much as I love Rob, I just couldn't, couldn't be a part of that. If I did Rob's wedding, it would be from my heart because I think he's a really special person, and I would want to make it really special for him. It wasn't something I flippantly said, 'Oh I'm not going to do Rob's wedding because he's gay.' When I talked to Rob, I did not think this would be something that would be a major issue. I was very surprised by that."
On the GoFundMe account, the person who set it up writes: "I am a friend of Barronelle Stutzman and work for the legal organisation helping Barronelle defend her constitutional rights. I am doing this campaign with her knowledge and cooperation.
"The funds will be held until the legal challenge has been resolved and the full extent of the need is assessed. Funds may be used to help cover any outstanding legal fees and costs imposed from the opposition. Funds may also be used to help replace the assets taken as a result of the legal challenges brought against Barronelle. The total cost to Barronelle is unknown because the legal challenges are ongoing. In the event the funds provided by donors exceed Barronelle's needs, the funds will be used to cover those same expenses for others who defend their constitutional right to live consistently with their faith.
"The highest priority is to protect Barronelle and her livelihood. The funds will either be paid directly to Barronelle, a trust established to assist Barronelle, or a non-profit organisation that will hold the funds to assist Barronelle and those in similar circumstances." Read more here:formal dresses uk

 



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