The Arizona Supreme Court had the opportunity to protect the First Amendment freedoms of two Christian artists who faced criminal penalties if they didn’t comply with a “non-discrimination” ordinance. And it did.
Studio artists Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski, owners of Brush & Nib Studio, filed a lawsuit against the city of Phoenix over an ordinance they said would force them to use their artistic talents to provide services for homosexual “weddings.” Their case reached the state’s highest court, and the court ruled this week in their favor. The ordinance violates the state’s Free Exercise of Religion Act.
From their legal counsel, Alliance Defending Freedom (emphasis added):
“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,” the court wrote in its decision in 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.”
This judge sounds like he understands the creeping tyranny of the present age, where the homosexual lobby has convinced the government to use its power to penalize Christians who oppose the homosexual lifestyle and the profaning of marriage. It’s as though the constitutionally enumerated right to religious freedom has been rendered meaningless, trumped by the “right” to normalize sexual deviancy and avoid any negative criticism.
Christians must continue to fight and challenge coercive “non-discrimination” laws.