Jack Phillips, a Christian baker from Colorado, and Barronelle Stutzman, a Christian florist from Washington, who have both come under fire for refusing to serve homosexual weddings, recently joined forces to clarify that they support the rights of homosexuals to live their lives the way they choose.
Phillips, Stutzman, as well as other Christian small-business
Despite the public perceptions of these business owners, they wanted to make clear they hate no one. Stutzman herself stated that such couples have "every right to live the way they believe," during a forum on religious liberty from The Heritage Foundation in early September. She expressed that Christian business owners are also asking for the same freedom.
Earlier this year, Stutzman found herself the defendant in court after she declined to create flower arrangements for the homosexual wedding of Rob Ingersoll, plaintiff and long-time client. Bearing no grudges toward him, Stutzman tearfully expressed that she’d be “so excited” if the man who sued her, and won, came back to her store.
"I would wait on him another 10 years. I would hug him and catch up on his life,” she stated.
After losing the 2013 lawsuit, Stutzman took her appeal to the Supreme Court. During the Heritage Organization panel, she revealed that she stood to lose her entire life’s savings if she lost again.
Phillips, who has received several death threats at his Denver-area bakery, explained his business would be in jeopardy if the Supreme Court did not decide favorably at his upcoming appeal.
Kentucky T-shirt company owner Blaine Adamson recently experienced victory and vindication in the Kentucky Court of Appeals, allowing him to refer t-shirt orders he is conscientiously uncomfortable with to a different vendor.
When asked for advice for other business owners, Adamson said:
"We all at some point in our lives will find ourselves at crossroads, where we have an issue of conscience, where we know there's something that we need to do. But whether it's out of fear or because it's the easy road, we decide to go against our conscience.
"When we make that choice, we lose something — in my case, what would have been
At the closing of the panel, Stutzman concluded:
"If we lose this case, we lose everything. We lose our business, our retirement, our life savings, everything we've worked for our kids and grandkids because the attorney fees are going to be well over seven figures."
"Our employees lose their job, the city loses its taxes, our suppliers lose our business, simply because we don't have the same idea of marriage..."