Activist Group Says WA Residents to Blame for Arlene’s Flowers Situation – Are They Right?
The Family Policy Institute of Washington makes a very interesting point about how we arrived at the dispute between the WA Attorney General and Arlene's Flowers.
Under the statutes of the Consumer Protection Act, AG Bob Ferguson is suing Arlene's Flowers of Richland for discrimination because of her refusal to provide floral services for a same-sex couple who are getting married.
The story has made nationwide news, and brought up a plethora of issues and discussion. But the Family Policy Institute asks something nobody else has brought up:
Who's to "blame" for the situation?
The institute says for many, the obvious choice is the Attorney General, using taxpayer dollars to go after a business owner and their convictions about what constitutes marriage. It is shaping up to be a case involving legal, religious and philosophical core beliefs. But focusing on the AG is missing the point, says FPI. The picture is much bigger than that.
The FPI goes on to make a very valid point:
But the attorney general has not acted alone here. During the debate over same-sex "marriage", situations like this were foreseen. In an attempt to prevent them, amendments were offered in both the House and the Senate that would have clarified that an individual or a small business owner has the legal right to make decisions in their lives and businesses based on their beliefs about marriage without fear of legal consequences.
Those amendments were rejected during the last legislative session. The FPI says ultimately is there's any real "blame" to be assigned, it should be on the citizens of Washington state. Before you shoot blood out of your eyeballs, consider what the FPI went on to say in their Monday press release:
Who is responsible for how the legislature responds? We are, of course. If we dislike the fact that the Attorney General is acting at the prompting of the legislature to harass small business owners because they don't embrace government dogma, then the people who put them into office to make decisions on our behalf need to evaluate how well they're doing at supervising those who work for them.
The FPI says if citizens are upset over decisions made by the AG, laws passed by the legislature, or other government policies, they need to do something about it. Contact your legislators and voice your opinion. Start petition drives or initiatives to change the laws. And VOTE. FPI says if you voted for those who encourage policies you don't agree with, or you don't vote at all, then you probably shouldn't complain.
This is a basic tenent of citizen-run government. If you don't take an active part in the process, then how can you complain that things aren't the way you want them to be?
The FPI is a non-profit group that has become one of - if not the largest - supporter of traditional family and marital values in Washington state. They were among the first to pledge their support for the owner of Arlene's Flowers.