Tags: Gay Marriage | Religion | Supreme Court | arizona | lgbt | religious liberty | discrimination

Ariz. Supreme Court: Artists Not Forced to Make LGBTQ Cards

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(Konrad K./AP)

By    |   Monday, 16 September 2019 05:00 PM

The Arizona Supreme Court on Monday ruled a Phoenix ordinance protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people from discrimination cannot be used to make artists create custom wedding invitations for same-sex couples. 

"Today's decision is not a win, but it is not a loss," Mayor Kate Gallego said, reports the Arizona Republic. "It means we will continue to have a debate over equality in this community."

The ruling overturned several lower-court rulings protecting the city's nondiscrimination ordinance concerning the city's LGBTQ community, but an attorney representing the city insisted the ruling did not strike down the city's law, but just concerned one company. 

Advocates, though, said they fear the decision opens the door for similar lawsuits.

The battle has been going on since 2016, when Breanna Koski and Joanna Duka, who own Brush & Nib Studio, sued the city, saying the ordinance was a violation of their federal and state constitutional rights. 

The women create handmade artwork and say their religious beliefs teach that marriage should be between a man and woman and if they create invitations or other artwork for same-sex couples, that would be as if they endorse their marriages.

They were represented by Alliance Defending Freedom, a Scottsdale-based legal group that has challenged similar laws nationwide.

Their attorneys argued the studio was not refusing to make invitations for the couples because of their sexual orientation, but because they believe the invitations are a form of celebrating the marriages.

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Artists will not be forced to create custom wedding invitations for same-sex couples, according to the Arizona Supreme Court on Monday.
arizona, lgbt, religious liberty, discrimination, court, ruling
Monday, 16 September 2019 05:00 PM
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