Rob Ingersoll had been her customer and friend for nine years when same sex marriage became legal in Washington. Rob and his partner wanted to get married, and asked Barronelle to prepare their wedding flowers.
Barronelle felt that celebrating a same sex marriage in that way would violate her religious beliefs and refused the request.
She was astonished at the resulting onslaught:
- The state attorney general is suing her.
- The ACLU is suing her.
- The same sex couple is suing her business.
- The same sex couple is also suing her as an individual.
- The media is intentionally distorting her story.
- And Baronelle is inundated with vile hate mail and threats.
Baronelle’s choice was based on her faith and her belief about marriage, not bigotry. She had lovingly and kindly served Rob for nine years, but to her, marriage between a man and a woman represents the sacred relationship of Christ and his church. It’s a sacred covenant.
As much as she loved Rob, Baronelle believed she should respectfully decline his request. He had dozens of other florists who happily offered to prepare flowers for his wedding. But nothing short of forcing Baronelle to violate her religious convictions would satisfy Rob.
As a result of refusing to do one same sex wedding, Baronelle is in danger of losing her business, her home, and everything she has worked for -- for almost forty years.
And Americans are in danger of losing a precious God-given right, enshrined in the Constitution for over two hundred years.