Recent cases have forced Christian business owners to violate their principles in order to stay in business. In addition, state legislation that upholds business owners’ religious convictions are under attack.
As examples, Christian florist Barronelle Stutzman was fined $1001 by a Benton County, WA Superior Court judge after being found guilty of violating the state’s nondiscrimination law by declining to provide flowers for a same-sex wedding. In addition, a furor has erupted over Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, set to take effect July 1, which prohibits laws that “substantially burden” a person’s freedom of religion unless the government can prove a compelling interest in imposing that burden. San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray are even banning city-funded travel to Indiana, in addition to other boycott threats against the state.
As a result, Christian business owners are raising many important questions. What are Christian business owners’ rights? How can they legally remain true to their principles and stay in business? How can Christian businesses protect themselves and their ministries now for the tidal wave of legislation that’s sure to follow?
These questions and many others will be addressed at the Religious Liberty General Session at CBA’s International Christian Retail Show in Orlando, FL June 28. Special Counsel Craig Parshall will keynote the event, with panelists Doug Napier, senior counsel, executive VP, chief alliance officer for Alliance Defending Freedom, and Daniel Blomberg, attorney and legal counsel for The Beckett Fund.