After nearly a decade of litigation, Christian florist Barronelle Stutzman has agreed to settle with the same-sex couple who sued her for refusing to serve their wedding.
The couple, Rob Ingersoll and Curt Freed, were apparently unable to find any other florists for their same-sex wedding and will be paid $5,000 in exchange for no longer pursuing any damages against Stutzman’s business or personal assets.
Stutzman, a 76-year-old grandmother, told Fox News that she’s retiring and leaving her business to its employees.
“We’re all in trouble – whether we’re religious or not – when we don’t have the freedom to live consistent with our faith and our beliefs, when I don’t have the freedom to run my business according to my beliefs, live my life according to my beliefs,” she said. “Rob and Curt have every right to live the way they do and the way they feel with their beliefs, and I’m just asking for that same [right].”
The case has been litigated since 2013. It seems likely that if Ingersoll and Freed had put 1/1024th the effort looking for another florist as they did trying to punish Stutzman for her beliefs they could have found one. Instead, they, with the help of the ACLU, seem to care more about attacking religious liberty.
Stutzman had asked the Supreme Court to take up the case, but the court declined. Stutzman then decided it was time to step aside and let other religious liberty cases make their way through the courts. Stutzman nevertheless maintains that her faith is “not for sale.”