Civil Rights Clash Pits Business Owners' Religious Rights Against Phoenix Law Protecting LGBTs. Will Fight 'All the Way To Jail'

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January 24, 2019

'LGBTQ rights vs. Religious Freedom' is at the core of a blockbuster case before the Arizona Supreme Court this week. Two owners of a wedding invitation design company are taking their complaint to the highest court in the state, claiming that the City of Phoenix’ enforcement of a new law is violating their rights.

Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski said Wednesday “they're prepared to go to jail if the Arizona Supreme Court rules against them in a case to determine if a city ordinance meant to protect LGBT couples from discrimination violates their free speech and religious rights.”

The 'Brush and Nib Studio' owners are taking preemptive action to forestall the possibility of suffering the same devastating fate a Colorado baker endured when he refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple.

The fascinating case has been going on for months, and the business partners actually lost twice already. Both the Maricopa County Superior Court and the Court of Appeals ruled against the artistic team. But, they are persisting. And the Arizona Supreme Court has agreed to hear their case.

According to Duke and Koski’s lawyer Jonathan Scruggs, “the lawsuit alleges that Phoenix is violating the rights of Duka and Koski and their business under the Arizona Constitution and the Arizona Free Exercise of Religion Act by compelling them to create art they object to, and by stopping them from discussing their artistic and religious beliefs with others.”

The ladies say they are willing to fight this case all the way to a jail cell, if necessary.

“I mean that's that's a possibility that we're hoping we won't have to face. We're hopeful that the Arizona Supreme Court will affirm some rights of artists that will never violate our beliefs and our conscience,” Duka told radio host Todd Starnes.

"The City of Phoenix is trying to use jail time/fines to force Christians Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski to violate their faith. Join us at the AZ Supreme Court this Tuesday, 1/22, at 10am to show your support for free speech and religious liberty."

There's no telling when the High Court will rule on the partners' argument, but suffice it to say that there will be a LOT of press coverage when it does. In the meantime, vocal social media users have gone on the various platforms to discuss the hotbed topic.

“No one had actually complained about Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski, who own Brush & Nib Studio..." 😶 If you don't know much about @GeneralBrnovich, taking such a challenge with a PEREMPTORY lawsuit should tell you about all that's necessary here.”

“Janna Duka and Breanna Koski thought they lived in a free country. Silly girls. – Liberals extinguish freedoms of any kind in their fascist belief system.“

“Two Christians, Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski filed a petition against the city of Phoenix, challenging an ordinance that could force their custom artwork business to service same-sex ceremonies. Obviously, Phoenix has never heard of the US Supreme Court.“

Whichever way the case turns out, one thing is for certain. You have to admire these two tenacious young entrepreneurs for their willingness to stand by their convictions and not turn their backs on their faith.

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