The legal battle between the Christian florist and the same-sex couple whose wedding she refused to arrange is over

The legal battle between 76-year-old Christian florist Barronelle Stutzman and Rob Ingersoll and Curt Freed, the same-sex couple whose wedding Stutzman, on religious grounds, refused to arrange, is over.

Fox News reports Stutzman, Ingersoll, and Freed have reached a settlement agreement that will put an end to almost ten years of litigation. 

The terms

Stutzman indicated her agreement with the settlement offer in a letter that her attornies sent to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on Thursday. The ACLU has been representing Ingersoll and Freed in the legal battle.

Stutzman, for her part of the agreement, will have to pay Ingersoll and Freed $5,000, which is significantly less than Ingersoll and Freed were asking for. In their lawsuit, they were targeting both her personal assets and her business, Arlene’s Flowers.

In addition to this, Stutzman has to withdraw her petition to have the case heard before the U.S. Supreme Court. The downside, here, is that this means that the lower court decisions, which went against Stutzman, will stand.

In exchange, Ingersoll and Freed have agreed to drop their lawsuit against Stutzman.

Stutzman explains

Stutzman explained her decision to settle the case in a statement to Fox News. The outlet reports that Stutzman indicated that “it was time for her to step aside as other religious liberty cases made their way through the courts.”

Stutzman, in the statement, made it clear that her faith is “not for sale.”

“We’re all in trouble – whether we’re religious or not – when we don’t have the freedom to live consistent with our faith and our beliefs, when I don’t have the freedom to run my business according to my beliefs, live my life according to my beliefs,” she said. “Rob and Curt have every right to live the way they do and the way they feel with their beliefs, and I’m just asking for that same [right],

Stutzman, who is a grandmother, told Fox that she now plans to retire. She said that she will leave Arlene’s Flowers to its employees.

Ingersoll and Freed’s victory speech

The same-sex couple released a statement in which they celebrated their settlement with Stutzman as a victory.

The statement read:

We took on this case because we were worried about the harm being turned away would cause LGBTQ people. We are glad the Washington Supreme Court rulings will stay in place to ensure that same-sex couples are protected from discrimination and should be served by businesses like anyone else. We are also pleased to support our local PFLAG’s work to support LGBTQ people in the Tri-Cities area. It was painful to be turned away and we are thankful that this long journey for us is finally over.

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