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Christian Calligraphers Sue Over Being Forced To Serve Hypothetical Gay Couples

The judge in the case, however, was not impressed with their bigoted beliefs.

A pair of calligraphers are fighting for the right to discriminate against same-sex couples, but an Arizona judge is unimpressed with their cries for religious freedom.

Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski, the Christian co-owners of the Brush & Nib calligraphy studio, partnered with the anti-LGBT group Alliance Defending Freedom in order to fight Phoenix’s ordinance that states business owners can’t discriminate against people based on their sexual orientation in public accommodations.

The women have never even been asked to design wedding invitations for a same-sex couple, but filed the suit out of fear that they someday would be forced to do so.


Judge Karen Mullins is shutting down their claims that serving potential same-sex couples violates their freedoms of speech and religion, however, rejecting their claim that it would constitute compelled speech.

She explained that Duka and Koski are able to express their religious views towards same-sex marriage, but they just can’t discriminate against the couples in their business.

“Any conceivable endorsement of same-sex marriage that might be conveyed would be conveyed by the act of the marriage itself, and not by the creator or printer of the physical invitation itself,” Mullins said. “It is absurd to think that the fabricator of a wedding invitation for a same-sex couple has endorsed same-sex marriage merely by creating or printing that invitation.”


Mullins also wasn’t having their complaints that creating the invitations would violate the artists’ religious beliefs, saying that the women “failed to assert even an incidental burden on the exercise of their religion.”

“The printing of names does not hinder in any way Plaintiffs independent exercise of its 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,” she wrote.

ADF is considering an appeal, but for now, Duka and Koski are forced to sin by writing the names of two people of the same sex on a wedding invitation.

h/t: Think Progress

Adam Salandra is a writer, performer and host in Los Angeles. When he's not covering the latest in pop culture, you can find him playing with his French Bulldog puppy or hovering over the table of food at any social gathering.
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