A Christian florist who does not support same-sex marriage – and has received an arson threat for her stance – is being sued by the US state of Washington.
Barronelle Stutzman received hate mail as well as the threat to burn down her shop after she declined to provide flowers for a gay wedding.
Now Washington State’s Attorney General, Bob Ferguson, has filed a complaint with a court over the issue.
But Mrs Stutzman’s lawyer said the state is attempting to make an example of her, and that the case is about freedom of expression.
JD Bristol said: “This is about gay marriage, it’s not about a person being gay”.
He added: “She has a conscientious objection to homosexual marriage, not homosexuality. It violates her conscience.”
Mr Bristol commented: “I one hundred percent believe this is a freedom-of-expression and free-exercise-of-religion issue”.
“What the government is saying here is that you don’t have the right to free religious exercise”, he commented.
The Attorney General claims Mrs Stutzman has broken a law which makes it unlawful to discriminate against customers on the basis of sexual orientation.
The hate mail and arson threat came after Mrs Stutzman declined to provide flowers for a long-standing customer’s same-sex wedding.
She took Robert Ingersoll, who she has known for nine years, by the hand and said: “I’m sorry I can’t do your wedding because of my relationship with Jesus Christ.”
Mr Ingersoll wrote about the incident on his Facebook page, and it went viral across the internet.