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Persecution: USA – US artists forced to make gay invites

August 2018

Two Christian business owners have been told by a US court they must use their artistic talents to create invitations for a gay wedding.

The Arizona Court of Appeals ruled against graphic designers Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski, who run a stationery company that makes invitations for weddings and other events.

The two owners of Brush & Nib Studio have been accused of violating city non-discrimination laws in Phoenix, because they refuse to create invitations for same-sex weddings.

In 2017, the graphic designers launched a pre-enforcement challenge against the laws last year, after being threatened with a $2,500 (£1,890) fine and possible imprisonment.

Their challenge was dismissed by Judge Karen Mullins of Maricopa County Superior Court in October and that ruling has been now upheld at the Arizona Court of Appeals. Writing for the court, Judge Lawrence Winthrop ruled the pair could not ‘discriminate against potential patrons based on sexual orientation’.

Religious liberty group ADF International is working with the designers to appeal the decision to the Arizona Supreme Court. Jonathan Scruggs, ADF spokesman, said: ‘Artists shouldn’t be forced under threat of fines and jail time to create artwork contrary to their core convictions.

‘The court’s decision allows the government to compel two artists, who happily serve everyone, to convey a message about marriage they disagree with. This contradicts basic freedoms our nation has always cherished’.

Last month, Evangelical Times reported on the victory achieved by Jack Phillips, a Christian baker who was victorious in his US Supreme Court case, in which he argued he should not be forced to violate his religious beliefs with a cake decoration.