Arizona Supreme Court Rules For Christian Hate Group, Legalizes Discrimination
The Arizona Supreme Court ruled in favor of two Christian business women who refused to create wedding invitations for same-sex couples, according to Phoenix New Times.
Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski, owners of Brush & Nib Studio, were assisted in their case by the Alliance Defending Freedom — a legal advocacy and training group concerned with “religious freedom” that has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for its anti-LGBT ideology.
The court ruled in a 4-3 decision that Phoenix’s anti-discrimination law violated the women’s free speech and ability to exercise their religious beliefs.
“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 for the majority.
"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.”
Phoenix City Code 18-4(B)(1)-(3) has been in place since 2013 and “prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or disability.”
The court’s decision overturned an earlier ruling by Maricopa County Superior Judge Karen A. Mullins, who had determined the ordinance did not violate the studio’s rights. Her decision was later upheld by the Arizona Court of Appeals.