Christian florist Barronelle Stutzman’s faces losing everything if the Supreme Court does not weigh into her religious freedom case.
That’s according to her lawyer Kristen Waggoner from Alliance Defending Freedom, who is representing Stutzman in a legal battle over her refusal to participate in a “same-sex” wedding.
Appearing alongside her client on “FOX & Friends” recently, Waggoner said that in Masterpiece Cakeshop, the U.S. Supreme Court said the government can’t express hostility toward people of faith.
“We now need it to weigh in on the broader principle to say it can’t force creative professionals to create art or to have to participate in religious ceremonies”, said Waggoner
“We have clients right now that are facing jail time. Jack Phillips [Christian baker] is in his third round of litigation and Baronelle is basically faced with losing all she owns unless the Supreme Court weighs in in this case.”
Stutzman, who owns a florist business in the US state of Washington, said she had served Robert Ingersoll for almost ten years.
“When he came in to talk to me about his [same-sex] wedding, I just simply put my hands on his and told him I could not do it because of my relationship with Jesus Christ,” Stutzman said.
“Without any complaint from Rob ... the attorney general from the state of Washington sued me personally and corporately simply because I have a different viewpoint on marriage”.
Writing in an op-ed earlier this year, Stutzman wrote that:
Our ideals run up against each other. We disagree. Sometimes we debate. Sometimes we end up avoiding each other, or smiling and gently steering around the more sensitive points of disagreement. That’s how we respect each other’s freedom. That’s how we get along.
But sadly, my home state of Washington has chosen not to get along with me. In June, my state Supreme Court reaffirmed what it said just over two years ago: that I must use my skills as a creative professional to express messages and to celebrate and participate in events that violate my faith.
And that’s why I’m appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court once again. As a floral artist, I am required by law to use my soul and imagination, as well as my mind and hands, to design original floral arrangements that celebrate events and ideas I don’t believe in.
Waggoner finished the interview saying that a win for Baronelle is a win for everyone.
“If you think about it, it protects an atheist musician from having to perform at an Easter service or a Democrat speech writer having to write for a Republican,” said Waggoner.
“It’s about tolerance being a two-way street,” she added.
A teacher in the US who refused to refer to a “transgender” student by their preferred pronoun has been sacked.
The teacher Peter Vlaming had yelled out “Don’t let her hit the wall!” when he was supervising the student, to prevent her injuring herself. Vlaming was suspended the next day for not using the biological female’s preferred male pronoun.
He was subsequently sacked when he refused to refer to the student as male in future.
Mr Vlaming has taken legal action against the West Point School Board.
According to a filed complaint, the defendants gave Mr Vlaming an ultimatum: use male pronouns for the female student or lose your job.
But Mr Vlaming would not violate his conscience - and this cost him his job.
He says the school did not have any written policy about pronouns.
The complaint goes on to state that the school forced Mr Vlaming to “take sides in an ongoing public debate regarding gender dysphoria and use pronouns that express an objectively untrue ideological position”.
The complaint adds that “this is not the type of philosophical disagreement in which the government may compel individuals to take sides”.
A Christian actress in the UK sacked from an acting role due to a social media post on human sexuality is taking legal action.
Seyi Omooba secured the lead role in a stage version of The Color Purple. But one day later, she received a tweet with a screenshot of her Facebook post from five years earlier asking if she still stood by her comments.
In September 2014 she wrote on social media: “It is clearly evident in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 what the Bible says on this matter. I do not believe you can be born gay and I do not believe homosexuality is right…”
Omooba was subsequently sacked from the role and has had difficulty obtaining other work in the field.
“I’m heartbroken,” she said. ‘If I’m unable to get back to the stage, then I feel there is no point.”
“It’s the only thing I have ever wanted since I was a young girl.”
Omooba is launching a legal action with the assistance of the Christian Legal Centre.
Christian Concern, a UK-based advocacy organisation, said that “the case raised the question of whether Christians have the freedom to hold and express Biblical mainstream views in public.”
“It also raises the issue of whether, as a society, we are allowed to hold and express opinions and interpretations of art, literature and drama in ways that are contrary to LGBT ideology”, the group added.
A Christian doctor who refused to refer to a biological man as a woman has lost his court case, with a British court ruling that belief in the Bible is “incompatible with human dignity.”
Dr David Mackereth, a doctor with over two decades experience with the National Health Service, was dismissed by the Department for Work and Pensions on the grounds that refusing to call a patient by their preferred pronoun was “harassment” under the UK’s Equality Act.
Dr Mackareth has previously said that “Christians must be able to hold and express their faith in private and public and to uphold Biblical and scientific truths without fear of losing their livelihoods”.
But a British court ruled against the doctor.
“Belief in Genesis 1:27, lack of belief in transgenderism and conscientious objection to transgenderism in our judgment are incompatible with human dignity and conflict with the fundamental rights of others, specifically here, transgender individuals”, said the court.
The court went on to say that “in so far as those beliefs form part of his wider faith, his wider faith also does not satisfy the requirement of being worthy of respect in a democratic society, not incompatible with human dignity and not in conflict with the fundamental rights of others.”
Dr Mackarth said he was not alone in being disturbed by the court’s decision.
“Staff in the NHS, even those who do not share my Christian convictions, are also disturbed as they see their own freedom of thought and speech being undermined by the judges’ ruling.
“No doctor, or researcher, or philosopher, can demonstrate or prove that a person can change sex.
“Without intellectual and moral integrity, medicine cannot function and my 30 years as a doctor are now considered irrelevant compared to the risk that someone else might be offended”, he added.
Andrea Williams, the chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, said that “it is deeply disturbing that this is the first time in the history of English law that a judge has ruled that free citizens must engage in compelled speech”.
Dr Mackereth says he will appeal the decision.
“I believe that I have to appeal in order to fight for the freedom of Christians – and any other NHS member of staff – to speak the truth.
“If they cannot, then freedom of speech has died in this country, with serious ramifications for the practice of medicine in the UK,” he said.
International experience reveals protection for doctors, but not for patients.
A Dutch court has cleared a doctor who performed euthanasia on a woman with dementia.
Medical Express reported that the “patient was given fatal doses of drugs despite some indications she might have changed her mind since declaring in writing that she wanted euthanasia.”
According to Medical Express:
The court ruled that in rare cases of euthanasia that were being performed on patients with severe dementia—and who had earlier made a written request for euthanasia—the doctor “did not have to verify the current desire to die.”
Judges at The Hague District Court ruled that the doctor met all criteria for carrying out euthanasia under the Dutch law legalizing mercy killing by physicians.
The doctor was accused of not acting with due care because, prosecutors alleged, she made insufficient efforts to find out whether the patient still wanted to die. To carry out the euthanasia, the physician drugged the patient’s coffee without her knowledge and then had family members restrain the woman while delivering the fatal injection.
Euthanasia Expertise Center spokesman Steven Pleiter approved of the decision.
“It feels good for people in the Netherlands that this is a clear view of the judges and court that it is possible to give euthanasia to a person who is not mentally competent any longer,” he said.
While a spokesman for the prosecution department said that they would carefully consider the judgment before deciding whether to apply to have it overturned.
Medical Express further reported that:
Under Dutch law, people are eligible for euthanasia if they make a considered, voluntary request for it and if their suffering is hopelessly “unbearable.” Patients can draw up a written request for euthanasia to be performed sometime in the future, in an advance directive, which should specify the conditions determining when they want to be euthanized. Doctors must also seek the advice of at least one other independent physician before killing the patient.
Dutch investigators began scrutinizing the case last September, marking the first time a doctor was criminally investigated for euthanasia.
The 74-year-old woman had renewed her living will about a year before she died, writing that she wanted to be euthanized “whenever I think the time is right.” Later, the patient said several times in response to being asked if she wanted to die: “But not just now, it’s not so bad yet!” according to a report from the Dutch regional euthanasia review committee.
In announcing the verdict, the court said the patient no longer recognized her own reflection in the mirror.
Suzanne van de Vathorst, an ethics professor from Erasmus University, disapproved of the decision.
“There’s a living, breathing person in front of you who is not aware that you’re performing euthanasia,” she said. “This is a very difficult thing to do and we cannot oblige doctors to do this.”
This international example of dangerous bias in euthanasia ‘protections’, may also be driving the euthanasia agenda of the WA Labor Government, according to FamilyVoice WA Director Darryl Budge,
“Amber-Jade Sanderson, who authored the WA Government’s parliamentary report on euthanasia, claimed on Flashpoint on Channel 9, ‘We can provide a safe and compassionate system that will protect doctors and also provide dying people a choice of how they will die,’” Mr Budge said.
“However, WA Health Minister Roger Cook told Parliament, ‘The [VAD] bill does not require any regulations to be made.’ He then added, ‘It is not anticipated that any regulations will be made under this bill.’
“However, Ms Sanderson told Flashpoint, ‘We don’t write regulations until bills are passed’, leaving viewers to assume that patient protections will be strengthened, despite the Health Minister denying any plans to do so.
“Therefore it appears that the WA government has prioritized legal protection for doctors. The emphasis seems to be on the autonomy of patients, without much regard for the many avenues for abuse, doctor steering, and ignorance of patients’ mental health,” Mr Budge concluded.
FamilyVoice Australia upholds Christian values and the family: permanence of marriage, sanctity of human life, primacy of parenthood and limited government.
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