In an interview with conservative radio host Todd Starnes, Phoenix Arizona based artists Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski spoke about the opening arguments of their lawsuit for not agreeing to serve LGBT customers.
Duka and Koski own a business called Brush & Nib that creates handcrafted wedding invitations.
Lawyers went off against each other at the Arizona Supreme Court over whether the two Christian artists can refuse service to same-sex couples for religious reasons.
An attorney for artists Duka and Koski argued complying with Phoenix’s anti-discrimination ordinance would violate their clients’ free-speech and exercise-of-religion rights by forcing them to custom-make products for same-sex weddings.
Above: Brush & Nib Studio owners Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski, ADF Legal Counsel Kate Anderson
Duka and Koski believe a marriage should be between only a man and woman.
So far, two courts have upheld the constitutionality of the ordinance.
Phoenix’s non-discrimination ordinance was changed in 2013 to include the LGBT community.
The City of Phoenix offered the following statement on the matter:
“Phoenix’s non-discrimination ordinance is about access to goods and services on equal terms. The ordinance does not tell businesses what to write, what to think, or what to believe. The city’s legal team made this point to the Arizona Supreme Court. Four judges have already agreed that businesses in Phoenix must be open to everyone.
Those legal rulings protect all and confirm that everyone should be treated fairly and equally regardless of sexual orientation, race, gender, religion, or disability. The city of Phoenix will continue to observe these shared community values, allowing the non-discrimination ordinance to protect and respect the rights of all residents.”
Eric Fraser, an assistant Phoenix city attorney, argued that Duka and Koski, are not being asked to celebrate anyone’s wedding. “They are in the business of designing wedding invitations and similar items he told Tuscon. “And the Phoenix anti-discrimination ordinance they are challenging simply says if you provide a service to the public, you can’t refuse that service to someone based solely on sexual orientation.”
“Once Brush & Nib has decided to offer a particular type of invitation to the general public, the one thing it can’t do is when somebody calls making the request, they can’t have the sole test of whether they’re going to make the invitation be, ‘What sex is your spouse?’ or ‘What sex is your fiancé?’” Fraser told the court.
“And if that’s the one thing they need to know before they decide whether to make the invitation or not, then it’s not about the message,” he continued. “That’s about who the person is.”
The Phoenix ordinance makes it a crime to discriminate based on race, gender, religion or sexual orientation.
If you’re in the mood to watch faux right wing Christian outrage have at it below.