Blog Post 4 – Florist Discriminated Against Gay Couple, Washington Supreme Court Rules
This article is about a gay couple being denied a purchase of flowers for their wedding. The owner of the shop, Barronelle Stutzman, had sold them flowers for a long time and new that they were gay. However, due to her religious beliefs, when it came to their wedding she would not sell them flowers.
This case was recently closed with the ruling that Barronelle is not allowed to proclaim religious beliefs in this situation. It was ruled as discriminatory and an infringement on Robert and Curt’s human rights.
Clearly there is an ethical dilemma in this case. I can see it both ways. On the one hand, Robert and Curt have the right to be married. The fact that they cannot get flowers for their wedding because they are gay is against the law. Despite Barronelle’s religious views, she needs to follow the Supreme Court Law. She is infringing on other people’s human rights, which is unethical. If no one followed the laws, the world would be chaos. So they cannot rule that this was fine without getting tremendously negative blowback from the public.
On the other hand, we as citizens have the right to our religious beliefs. Barronelle has sold them flowers before, so she is not just discriminating against gay people all the time. She only drew the line when it infringed upon what she thinks is right. If these are her morals, and she thinks that this is unethical, who is to say that she is wrong for that? She stuck to her moral principles, so she kept her integrity intact. If she is forced to give up her religious beliefs, that could be also be seen as wrong.
The point of integrity is to stick to what you believe. It does not necessarily mean that you are just or unjust, ethical or unethical. It is possible to see this case from two angles. It is important to keep an open mind when dealing with cases that have a grey area.