Stop The Persecution Of Christian Small-Business Owners

“Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”

When LGBT advocates pushed for the recognition of same-sex “marriage,” New Yorker’s Family Research Foundation and many others warned that same-sex “marriage” would jeopardize religious freedom. At the time, our objections were dismissed as nothing more than fear-mongering.

We wish our warnings had been proven wrong.

Over the past several years, LGBT activists and their allies have weaponized American courts and human rights commissions to attack Christian businesses that conscientiously object to expressing pro-same-sex-sentiments or participating in same-sex ceremonies. Photographers, florists, bakers, and owners of event spaces have all been attacked for politely declining to provide services in connection with ceremonies that violate their deeply held beliefs. Last week, those attacks continued.

In Colorado, Christian baker Jack Phillips is being dragged into yet another legal battle. After being sued for declining to bake a custom wedding cake for a same-sex “wedding,” Jack won his case in the Supreme Court last year (see Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, 584 U.S. ___ (2018)). On June 5, a transgender activist sued Jack for declining to bake a custom cake celebrating his “gender transition.”

In the State of Washington, Barronelle Stutzman is in the midst of a six-year legal battle to defend her religious freedom. That battle will not be over anytime soon. Barronelle, a Christian florist, gladly created floral arrangements for a homosexual customer for 10 years. However, when that customer asked her to design a floral arrangement for his same-sex “wedding” in 2013, Barronelle declined to do so because of her Christian beliefs. Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson and the ACLU have been using the legal system to harass her ever since. On June 6, the Washington Supreme Court—having been directed by the Supreme Court of the United States to reconsider Barronelle’s case—ruled against Barronelle a second time. Barronelle’s attorneys will attempt to again appeal to the Supreme Court. It is time for the Supreme Court to do the right thing and put a stop to the dishonest use of LGBT anti-discrimination laws to persecute Christian small business owners.