In a recent court case, an Arizona judge has ruled that two women must provide wedding invitation services to same-sex couples, despite their own personal religious beliefs.
Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski are two Christians that own Brush & Nib Studio, a company that creates custom wedding invitations. The two women argue that creating art that goes against their religious beliefs violates their freedoms of speech and religion.
An ordinance created to protect the LGBT community in Arizona was expanded in 2013. Judge Karen Mullins wrote in her order, “The government may permissibly regulate the sale of goods and services by businesses that sell those goods and services to the general public. This is true even if the goods and services at issue involve expression or artistic creativity.”
While Brush & Nib Studio has not been commissioned by a same-sex couple to create wedding invitations, their goal was to be proactive to protect their own religious rights if a couple came forward.
The city of Phoenix, Arizona can currently prohibit Christians who don’t want to work with customers based on sexual orientation from refusing the work. Duka and Koski do not believe that they should have to print wedding invitations for same-sex couples. Despite the Judge’s ruling, the two women are going to file an appeal.
The Alliance Defending Freedom filed the initial lawsuit on behalf of the business and plans to appeal the decision of the Arizona judge. Attorney for Alliance Defending Freedom Jonathan Scruggs stated, “People shouldn’t be forced to promote views that they disagree with.”
The Trump administration has made a statement regarding another case where a Christian baker Jack Phillips refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple because it was against his religious beliefs. According to the White House, the Supreme Court should rule in favor of the Christian baker because he should not have to create art that goes against his religious beliefs.
Jack Phillips famously refused to make a wedding cake for same-sex couple Dave Mullins and Charlie Craig back in 2012. He has spent the last five years appealing the case, believing his religious freedoms have been violated. He has since stopped making wedding cakes for all couples, because he does not want to be forced to make wedding cakes that go against his religious beliefs. Phillips has taken a huge hit in his business, but stands by his religious beliefs.
In yet another similar case out of Washington state, a florist was found guilty of discrimination because she would not be the florist for two men who were getting married to each other. She has appealed to the Supreme Court after receiving the decision.
Baronnelle Stutzman is locally known as the “Christian grandma florist,” and she is begging the Supreme Court to preserve her liberties. The Alliance Defending Freedom made a statement, “For more than four years, Barronelle has endured litigation in this case with unwavering grace, humility and faith.”
All aforementioned business have been burdened with legal proceedings because the same-sex couples in question simply couldn’t opt for another service.
In the case of Brush & Nib Studio, they aren’t breaking any laws because no same-sex couples have come forward to request their services. The two women have made it clear what their religious beliefs are, and they want their religious rights protected. In an effort to prevent future discrimination suits, the owners have tried to work with the city of Phoenix to ensure their own religious freedom.
With same-sex marriage now allowed throughout the United States, more Christian business owners are likely to come forward to fight for what they believe is right.
So much is changing in the world, and for those that have faith in God, their beliefs play a pivotal role in all of the decisions they make. Whether it’s deciding not to make a same-sex wedding cake, or refusing to print wedding invitations, business owners and consumers alike should have the right to stand by their own religion.
~ 1776 Christian