Two Christian business owners will appeal a court ruling compelling them to use their artistic talents to create invitations for a gay wedding.
A judge ruled that graphic designers Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski, who refused to create invitations for gay weddings, must comply.
The ruling also prevents them from explaining to customers and the public why they only create art consistent with their beliefs about marriage.
Duka and Koski run a stationery company called Brush & Nib Studio – which makes invitations for weddings and other events.
They launched a pre-enforcement challenge against city laws after being threatened with a $2,500 fine and possible imprisonment for refusing to endorse same-sex marriage.
After the designers’ challenge, Judge Karen Mullins of Maricopa County Superior Court ruled that the ordinance is constitutional.
She claimed that “the printing of same-sex persons’ names on wedding invitations does not hinder in any way plaintiffs’ independent exercise of (their) religious belief”.
Duka and Koski will appeal the decision with the support of the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a religious liberty group.
Jonathan Scruggs of the ADF said: “Breanna and Joanna are happy to create custom art for all people; they simply object to being forced to pour their heart, imagination, and talent into creating messages that violate their consciences.
“Phoenix must allow them and any other artists to make their own decisions about which messages they will promote. That’s why we intend to appeal this decision.”