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Go-Fund-Me Campaign Nets $98K (So Far) For Arlene’s Flowers

Arlenes flowers
Arlenes flowers (Arlene’s Flowers Facebook)

Every day, the total continues to climb.  The outpouring of support has been amazing.

On the heels of being fined $1,001 after a Benton County Judge ruled Arlene’s Flowers owner Barronelle Stutzman was guilty of breaking the state’s Consumer Protection Act, an online program has netted nearly $100K for her support.

Go-Fund-Me is a popular online program used to raise funds for a wide variety of causes; it’s utilized by nearly every Mid-Columbia high school sports program.

Although Stutzman was “only” fined $1,000 plus $1 for court costs after her legal tanglings with Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, the Go-Fund-Me site says the court rulings do allow the couple she declined to provide services to, as well as the state, can claim damages and attorney’s fees if they wish.

The Go-Fund-Me campaign for Stutzman sat at over $98K as of Monday morning.  Nearly 2,500 people have contributed so far.  The site says the money will be held in an account until the last of the legal proceedings are done, and will be used (if necessary) to help Stutzman preserve her business and personal bank accounts.  If the money is not needed, and she does not face extreme legal and financial costs, it will be used to help other businesses in similar situations.

Stutzman was the first business owner sued under the Consumer Protection Act since sexual orientation was added to the act eight years ago.  Because of her faith, she declined to provide flowers for a same-sex couple, but referred them to several other businesses who would, or were likely, to provide the services.  One of the couple had been a long-time customer of hers.

But despite this help, the state and the couple chose to sue her.

The direct link to the Go-Fund-Me account can be found here.

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