What This Florist Had to Say to Idaho Lawmakers

February 16

Barronelle Stutzman, great grandmother and florist, joined us in Boise last week to tell Idaho legislators how an “Add the Words” type of law upended her life.

The voice for freedom grew stronger in the state capitol this past week, and you helped play a big part in that! That growing voice is in response to a push by some Republicans to preemptively surrender Idahoans’ religious freedom in order to placate LGBT activist groups.

First, legislators are noticing your response to our action alert.

Multiple state senators told me they are receiving hundreds of emails opposing any “compromise” bill. Even the backers of this proposal are telling me that, and it’s clear that it’s having an impact.

Second, I reached out to our allies at Alliance Defending Freedom. You may recall that they successfully defended Colorado cake artist Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop before the U.S. Supreme Court last year.

In response, ADF joined us at the capitol last week along with their client, Barronelle Stutzman, who shared her story with lawmakers.  Barronelle (pictured above) is a Washington state florist. She was sued by the Washington attorney general and the ACLU under her state’s “Add the Words” law, simply for declining to custom create floral arrangements celebrating the same-sex wedding of a longtime friend and customer.  It was a friendly exchange – as their relationship had always been – and it ended with a hug and a referral to other nearby flower shops.

But, as Barronelle explained, she stands to lose everything she owns simply because she has a view on marriage that the government has chosen to disrespect. 

As we moved from meeting to meeting in the capitol, we also spoke to lawmakers about how similar laws in other states and municipalities violate women’s privacy and dignity by forcing them to share private, intimate spaces with men who identify as women – and how they empower the government to marginalize people who hold decent and honorable beliefs about marriage, sex, and what it means to be male and female.

No law should compromise the constitutionally guaranteed freedoms of any of its citizens, nor jeopardize the privacy and dignity of women. 

Let’s not let Idaho legislators inflict this type of law on all of Idaho! If you haven’t yet taken action, please make your voice heard today!

Yours for freedom,

John Paulton
Director of Advocacy

P.S. Much more is also happening at the capitol, including two important pro-life bills that are on the move. Last week, I testified in support of one of them – a bill from our good friends at Right to Life of Idaho. The bill, which would reactivate Idaho’s ban on gruesome partial-birth abortions, passed the Senate this week and is on the way to the House! Please stay tuned for updates on this and other key bills.