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Philadelphia case shouldn’t stop Supreme Court from taking floral artist case

Philadelphia case shouldn’t stop Supreme Court from taking floral artist case

© Greg Nash Proponents of religious liberty are celebrating the Supreme Court’s recent decision to hear Fulton v. City of Philadelphia . That case gives the court the opportunity to affirm the commonsense right of religious nonprofits, like Catholic Social Services, to act in accordance with their religious beliefs when placing children in foster homes. In a country founded on principles of religious freedom , Catholic Social Services should be headed for a decisive win. But when it comes to protecting religious liberty, the Supreme Court shouldn’t stop at Fulton . The time has come to take up the case of a Washington florist who has been persecuted by the state because she refused to use her expressive and artistic talents to create a message supporting a same-sex wedding that contravenes her sincere religious beliefs. Why all the drama about Catholic foster services and religious florists? It goes back to a promise the Supreme Court made in the landmark 2015 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges . That case famously found in the Constitution a right to same-sex marriage. But what’s often overlooked is the court’s insistence in that decision that people of faith who disagree with same-sex marriage could live by their faith without interference. Barronelle Stutzman took the court at its word. She’s the floral design artist at the center of Arlene’s Flowers v. Washington. Her sincere religious views lead her to oppose same-sex marriage — and Obergefell says that’s her right. Yet when she refused to put her expressive, artistic work to the cause of promoting a same-sex ceremony that contravened her faith, the State of Washington punished her with severe sanctions that threaten her livelihood. She defended herself in the Washington state courts and lost. Now she’s asking for the Supreme Court to uphold its promise. […]

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