An Arizona judge has ruled against a
Phoenix wedding store's attempt to invalidate a city ordinance that
protects lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from
Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski, owners
of Brush & Nib Studio, which specializes in custom wedding
invitations, last year filed a lawsuit against the city, claiming
that the city's ordinance conflicts with their religious beliefs and
violates their freedoms of speech and religion.
Maricopa County Superior Judge Karen
In her 11-page
order, Mullins said that Phoenix's ordinance “does not hinder
in any way plaintiff's independent exercise of [their] religious
belief by attending the church of their choice, engaging in religious
activities or functions, and expressing their beliefs on their
business website and literature or in their personal lives.”
Mullins earlier denied Duka and Koski's
request to block Phoenix's ordinance from taking effect, The
Arizona Republic reported.
The owners are represented by the
Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). ADF is also representing a
Colorado baker before the Supreme Court who refused to serve a gay
couple. The high court is expected to hear arguments in the case on
December 5. This week, the Trump administration asked the Supreme
Court for time to argue in defense of the baker.
admin asks to argue for Colorado baker who refused gay couple.)
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton applauded
this week's ruling, calling it “a victory for civil rights.”
ADF has promised to appeal the order.