Friends, at a time in our nation’s history when fundamental religious liberties are being usurped by cities, states and our federal government, we rejoice when our state’s highest court affirms our religious freedom as it did today. The Arizona Supreme Court issued its opinion in Brush & Nib, et al v. City of Phoenix, stating in its opening paragraphs:
“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. 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 (the “City”) cannot apply its Human Relations Ordinance (the “Ordinance”) to force Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski, owners of Brush & Nib Studios, LC (“Brush & Nib”), to create custom wedding invitations celebrating same-sex wedding ceremonies in violation of their sincerely held religious beliefs. Duka, Koski, and Brush & Nib (“Plaintiffs”) have the right to refuse to express such messages under article 2, section 6 of the Arizona Constitution, as well as Arizona’s Free Exercise of Religion Act (“FERA”), A.R.S. § 41-1493.01.”
You may read the entire 78-page Decision, which includes the appendix with pictures of wedding invitations, here:
https://www.azcourts.gov/Portals/0/OpinionFiles/Supreme/2019/Brush%20and%20Nib%20Filed.pdf.Also, there are other decisions forthcoming from our nation’s highest court and other decisions from state courts around the country that our firm will be blogging about in the near future. So, stay tuned.