“These women of deep religious faith gladly serve everyone, including those in the LGBT community; their faith simply prevents them from expressing certain messages for anyone. So this case is not about whether businesses can decline to serve an entire class of people. It is about whether artists can freely choose which messages their own art conveys.”
(Tyler O’Neil – PJ Media) On Monday, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled that the City of Phoenix could not use a criminal law to force a Christian arts studio to make wedding invitations for a gay wedding. Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski, owners of Brush & Nib Studio, faced up to six months of jail time, $2,500 in fines, and three years of probation for each day the city would find them in violation of the law.
“The rights of free speech and free exercise, so precious to this nation since its founding, are not limited to soft murmurings behind the doors of a person’s home or church, or private conversations with like-minded friends and family,” Justice Andrew Gould wrote in the majority opinion for Brush & Nib Studio v. City of Phoenix. “These guarantees protect the right of every American to express their beliefs in public. This includes the right to create and sell words, paintings, and art that express a person’s sincere religious beliefs.”
“With these fundamental principles in mind, today we hold that the City of Phoenix cannot apply its Human Relations Ordinance to force Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski … to create custom wedding invitations celebrating same-sex wedding ceremonies in violation of their sincerely held religious beliefs,” Gould wrote.