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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, February 27, 2015 - Volume 43 Issue 09
LETTERS: Barronelle Stutzman's action is sheer arrogance
Arts & Entertainment
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LETTERS: Barronelle Stutzman's action is sheer arrogance

To the Editor:

There's nothing humble about civil defendant Barronelle Stutzman, owner of Arlene's Flowers, in Richland, WA. Her failed civil disobedience to Washington's civil rights statutes, in refusing to do business with a Richland Gay couple, who were planning their lawful wedding, is sheer arrogance, under color of religion.

The Seattle Times editorial quoted from a 1878 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Reynolds v. United States. Let me quote from a much more contemporary Supreme Court decision, Employment Div., Dept. of Human Services of Oregon v. Smith (1990), where Justice Scalia wrote, for a unanimous (9-0) Court, 'We have never held that an individual's beliefs excuse him from compliance with an otherwise valid law prohibiting conduct that the State is free to regulate. ...the record of more than a century of our free exercise jurisprudence contradicts that proposition. ...the right of free exercise does not relieve an individual of the obligation to comply with a 'valid and neutral law of general applicability on the ground that the law proscribes (or prescribes) conduct that his religion prescribes (or proscribes).'

Ms. Stutzman is not fighting for freedom of religion. She's advocating license of religion. The latter is sheer arrogance.

Sincerely,

Steven L. Kendall
Seattle

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