The Arizona Supreme Court ruled Monday that the owners of an art studio are not required to make wedding invitations for LGBTQ couples.
The legal battle began in 2016 when Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski, owners of Brush & Nib Studio, sued Phoenix — arguing that the nondiscrimination ordinance violates their First Amendment and Arizona constitutional rights to free speech and religion -- the Phoenix ordinance that protects lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from discrimination.
"Today's decision is not a win, but it is not a loss. It means we will continue to have a debate over equality in this community," Mayor Kate Gallego said.
But LGBTQ activists are concerned that this decision is a precursor of lawsuits to come. Legal experts say it's only a matter of time until a similar challenge comes back before the U.S. Supreme Court. And given the Arizona Supreme Court's decision, could be used to forge further arguments in its favor.
The two artists argue that making wedding invitations and other artwork for LGBTQ people goes against their beliefs that marriage is between a man and woman, and their work would, therefore, endorse a lifestyle they don't agree with.