Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Anti-Christian Phoenix Law Challenged in Court

Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski, owners of Brush & Nib Studio, have sued the city of Phoenix in Maricopa County (Arizona) Court over a new "gay rights" ordinance that restricts their freedom of religion to operate their calligraphy business, which includes wedding invitations, according to their Christian conscience (e.g.: marriage is the union of one man and one woman).
“Artists shouldn’t be threatened with jail for disagreeing with the government.  The government must allow artists the freedom to make personal decisions about what art they will create and what art they won’t create.”
-- Jeremy Tedesco, Senior Counsel, Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF)
For background, click headlines below to read how "gay rights," including same-sex "marriage," are inherently anti-Christian:

Illinois Fines Business $80,000 for Being Christian

Homosexuals Force Closure of Iowa Christian Wedding Chapel

Lesbians Attack Ohio Christian Videographer over 'Gay Wedding'

New York Christian Farmers Guilty & Fined over 'Gay Wedding'

ACLU Sues Christians for Refusing 'Gay Marriage'

Also read Michigan Christian Business Trashed by Homosexualists

And read Student Booted for Being Christian from Missouri State Univ.

-- From "Phoenix Is The Latest LGBT Battleground No One Is Talking About" by Casey Harper, Daily Caller 5/15/16

Lawyers for Brush & Nib, a calligraphy studio run by two Christian women who sell hand paintings and calligraphy for weddings and events, filed a lawsuit Thursday challenging the Phoenix LGBT non-discrimination ordinance. The city’s ordinance prohibits businesses from refusing service based on sexual orientation. The lawsuit claims this could be used to punish Brush & Nib by forcing them to service a same-sex ceremony, thus violating the owners’ consciences and religious freedoms. The business argues that since calligraphy is art, it should be considered free speech that cannot be censored or compelled by government.

“The Phoenix non-discrimination ordinance protects fundamental civil rights for everyone, and we will defend it aggressively,” Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton [who voted for the ordinance] said in a statement.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Religious artists file lawsuit over Phoenix LGBT non-bias law" by Dustin Gardiner, The Arizona Republic 5/13/16

The lawsuit could reignite a fiery debate about the intersection of constitutional freedoms and Phoenix's ordinance prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Opponents want the city's law overturned to allow business owners to deny service to LGBT people if it conflicts with their religious beliefs.

Duka and Koski directed a request for comment to their attorneys. Their representatives at the Alliance Defending Freedom said the plaintiffs cannot comment because they worry they could be violating the city's ordinance if they explain their desire not to do work for same-sex weddings.

Duka and Koski's lawsuit asks the court to declare the city's ordinance unconstitutional under the Arizona Constitution's Free Speech Clause and Religious Toleration Clause, among other areas of the law, so they and other artists can create art that "reflects their beliefs, not the government's."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "No Gay Wedding Invitations, Please" by Jamie Ross, Courthouse News Service 5/17/16

The city ordinance says service cannot be denied due to sexual orientation. Violations are punishable by up to a $2,500 fine, six months in jail and three years probation for each day of violation. It also prevents businesses from displaying information about why they will refuse such service.

"Joanna and Breanna believe Jesus commanded Christians to love their neighbors no matter who they are, what they believe, or what they do," the complaint states. "To love their customers, Joanna and Breanna believe they must be upfront and honest with their customers and respectful toward their customers and their customers' time."

They say in the 86-page lawsuit that they do not object to selling artwork to customers of any background, except for same-sex marriages, because it violates their religious beliefs.

The City Council adopted the anti-discrimination ordinance in 2013 to stop discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender residents by privately owned businesses.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Jail time for Phoenix artists who disagree with government?" posted at Alliance Defending Freedom 5/12/16

[ADF Senior Counsel Jeremy Tedesco said,] “Just because an artist creates expression that communicates one viewpoint doesn’t mean she is required to express all viewpoints. It’s unjust, unnecessary, and unlawful to force an artist to create against her will and intimidate her into silence.”

The lawsuit is known in legal circles as a “pre-enforcement challenge,” a lawsuit that allows citizens to challenge a law—in this case, a law that threatens First Amendment freedoms—before the government enforces it against them. Organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood routinely file such lawsuits against laws they oppose.

“Phoenix has already investigated another business for declining to promote a same-sex wedding ceremony for religious reasons and issued a formal report saying [the ordinance] requires businesses like Brush & Nib—those that create expression—to promote same-sex wedding ceremonies if they promote opposite-sex wedding ceremonies,” the ADF complaint explains.

“We simply value art too much to let Phoenix invade the artistic process as if Phoenix were regulating widgets…,” the ADF brief contends. “And make no mistake. Phoenix is playing favorites. It allows artists to speak and create in favor of same-sex marriage yet threatens to incarcerate artists if they speak or create only for opposite-sex marriage. We should all be concerned when the government tries to eradicate a particular idea by silencing adherents and forcing dissenters to profess orthodoxy. When the government manipulates the artistic marketplace and commandeers artists’ minds to squelch an idea, no idea is safe. Everyone eventually loses.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read how Religious Liberty is in the Homosexualists' Crosshairs because they say that the Gay Agenda will be Complete once Christians are Muzzled.

Even so, the 'Gay Marriage' Battle is NOT Over in Some States