ADF: Something wrong when artists face jail time

Monday, April 23, 2018
 | 
Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

Bill of RightsTwo artists from Arizona are headed to court today in ongoing an effort to defend their First Amendment rights and to literally stay out of jail in the future.  

Under threat of up to six months jail time, Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski, owners of the Brush & Nib Studio in Phoenix, are seeking to stop a sweeping city ordinance that would force them to create custom artwork that violates their beliefs.

The calligraphy shop owners make art for special events and various occasions, including weddings, says attorney Jonathan Scruggs of Alliance Defending Freedom, which is representing the Brush & Nib artists.

"Phoenix passed a law," he continues, "that basically says, Hey, because this art studio will make a sign endorsing or celebrating the wedding of an opposite-sex marriage, it also has to make a sign, write out words, celebrating a same-sex marriage. And so that's really the core issue of this case: Is that constitutional?"

Brush & Nib (calligraphy)After a heated public hearing, the Phoenix City Council voted 5-3 in 2013 to update a non-discrimination ordinance to include sexual orientation and "gender expression." 

The penalty for violating the discrimination ordinance includes up to six months in jail and up to $2,500 in fines.

With help from ADF, the two artists filed a pre-enforcement challenge to the law in 2016, meaning they were suing in light of the possibility of a future conflict with the ordinance.

A local newspaper pointed out at the time that Brush and Nib had yet to be sued for discrimination but the same story quoted a homosexual-rights activist who likened the Brush and Nib artists to Jim Crow racists and claimed ADF was "promoting an anti-gay agenda."

Scruggs

That same activist, an attorney, helped write the Phoenix ordinance, the story reported. 

The issue about free speech is not just for two Christian artists, says the ADF attorney, but for everyone who has a viewpoint. He gives the example of a homosexual web site designer forced to create a web site that criticizes same-sex marriage.

"No one should be compelled to convey messages they disagree with," he says, "and that's something that should really be a basic principle that Phoenix yet is still violating."

Scruggs tells OneNewsNow the case is currently before Arizona's appellate court, which is one step below the Arizona Supreme Court.

ADF appealed to the appellate court after losing its case in Maricopa County's superior court.

 

Consider Supporting Us?

The staff at Onenewsnow.com strives daily to bring you news from a biblical perspective. If you benefit from this platform and want others to know about it please consider a generous gift today.

MAKE A DONATION

Comments

We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article - NOT another reader's comments. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details

SIGN UP FOR OUR DAILY NEWSBRIEF

SUBSCRIBE

VOTE IN OUR POLL

What's your response to reports that the 2019 Scout Jamboree will make condoms and alcohol available to participants?

CAST YOUR VOTE

GET PUSH NOTIFICATIONS

SUBSCRIBE

LATEST AP HEADLINES

Judge: President can't block critics on Twitter
Latest: Bethea: New NFL policy 'not really a compromise'
Pompeo: Fate of US-NKorea summit rests with Kim Jong Un
Estimated 7,000 bodies may be buried at former asylum
Trump defends describing MS-13 gang members as 'animals'
Mexican Mafia busted for running crime in LA County jails
Trump seethes over Russia probe, calls for end to 'SPYGATE'

LATEST FROM THE WEB

School freaks over pro-Trump shirt, gets sued
The other America: The anti-gun Left is learning their tactics do not resonate in Santa Fe
Black students furious after Students of Color conference isn’t pro-black enough
NFL to players: Stand for anthem or stay in locker room
Sidestepping political debate, Super Bowl champion QB says he's honored to visit the White House

CARTOON OF THE DAY

Cartoon of the Day

REASON & COMPANY

NEXT STORY
At issue: Parsonage allowance – taxable or not?

cross on church steepleShould the government continue to offer a housing allowance for clergy? That's a decision coming up on federal appeal.