Christian artists just want freedom of expression
Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski are evangelical Christians and owners of Brush & Nib Studio – and they believe God designed marriage as the union between one man and one woman. They plan to appeal a court ruling released Wednesday that allows the city of Phoenix’s non-discrimination ordinance to stand. The ordinance prohibits public accommodations from discriminating against persons based on sexual orientation and gender. (See earlier story)
Those who violate the ordinance face thousands of dollars in fines and jail time, but the business partners’ attorney – Alliance Defending Freedom‘s Jonathan Scruggs – says no creative professional should be threatened with punishment for expressing a point of view the government doesn’t favor.
“Breanna and Joanna are happy to create art for all people,” says Scruggs. “They just object to being forced to pour their heart and imagination, their talent and their soul into creating messages that violate their consciences.”
The legal group explains the ordinance also includes a “censorship” provision that could impose jail time, a $2,500 fine, and three years of probation on Duka and Koski if they publicly explain their position on marriage and how that position affects their artwork.
Scruggs says Phoenix must allow them and other artists like them to make their own decisions about what messages they promote and what messages they can’t promote. And that, says the attorney, is why they intend to file an appeal in this case.
The city attorney’s office in Phoenix didn’t respond to OneNewsNow’s request for comment.