After recently shutting down the fundraising page for persecuted Christian bakers in Oregon, the popular crowdfunding site GoFundMe has now removed a page for a Christian florist who is at risk of losing her business, home and/or life savings for declining to use her services for a same-sex “wedding.” The removal of the fundraising effort for Arlene’s Flowers came just 48 hours after the site had taken down the page for Sweet Cakes by Melissa, which had been ordered to pay $135,000 in “emotional damages” to two lesbian women that filed a complaint after the owners stated that they could not assist with their ceremony. As previously reported, Baronelle Stutzman of Arlene’s Flowers in Richland was leveled with a lawsuit in March 2012 by State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who claimed that she had violated the law by offering a referral rather than servicing the event herself.
Stutzman had been approached by one of her faithful customers, Robert Ingersoll, a homosexual, as he wanted her to supply the flowers for his upcoming ceremony with his partner, Curt. She states that she politely explained that she would not be able to help in regard to the event, but referred him to three other florists that may help. “I just took his hands and said, ‘I’m sorry. I cannot do your wedding because of my relationship with Jesus Christ,’” Stutzman told reporters. Weeks later, Ferguson issued Stutzman a letter advising that she must accommodate homosexual ceremonies or be subject to a lawsuit and heavy fines. He included with his letter a form that offered Stutzman the opportunity to recant and agree to comply with the law. She refused, and was subsequently met with a discrimination suit. MORE