Mike Huckabee, February 22, 2017
During the campaign for same-sex marriage rights, religious people were repeatedly assured that they were just being stubborn and paranoid because it wouldn’t infringe on anyone’s religious freedom rights. But the Washington State Supreme Court just ruled that a Christian grandmother and florist who declined a job providing flowers to a same-sex wedding ceremony violated the state’s anti-discrimination law. Amazingly, the Court ruled that the state law “does not compel speech or association” so it doesn’t “infringe any constitutional protection.” So a woman who refused to violate her Constitutionally-protected religious beliefs by being compelled to associate with a same-sex marriage ceremony is liable for hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and ACLU legal fees and could lose her business, her pension and her home.
The Alliance Defending Freedom, which took her case, will appeal to the US Supreme Court and is soliciting donations to cover those costs. In the meantime, her defenders are calling on President Trump to sign an executive order protecting religious business owners from ruinous lawsuits and state legal actions for refusing to violate their religious beliefs. In other words, we now need an executive order to tell us what the First Amendment already says. As the President of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention put it, “A government that can bully consciences into participating and celebrating what the conscience finds immoral is a government that can do anything.”