An extremely concerning story out of Washington State, where same-sex marriage has been legalised. A florist, Baronelle Stutzman, is being sued by the State. What for? She refused to decorate a same-sex wedding based on a conscientious objection.

As her attorney said:

Attorney JD Bristol called the notion that his client was guilty of discrimination “nonsense.”

“Arlene’s Flowers has catered to all patrons, including homosexuals, for many years,” Bristol wrote in his reply to the Attorney General. “Arlene’s Flowers has had openly gay employees.”

He told The Seattle Times that he believes the state is trying to make an example of the flower shop.

“This is about gay marriage, it’s not about a person being gay,” he told the newspaper. “She has a conscientious objection to homosexual marriage, not homosexuality. It violates her conscience.”

This just goes to show that all the concerns about same-sex marriage limiting religious freedom and freedom of conscience are entirely justified. There would certainly be other florists more than happy to service same-sex union ceremonies in the local area, and yet the State is determined to persecute this one business owner because of her moral and religious beliefs.

Blaise Joseph is a third-year commerce student at the University of New South Wales with a strong interest in social policy. Blaise is originally from Canberra, the centre of politics and the public...