Calligraphers Face Fines, Jail Time for Declining to Create Same Sex Wedding Invitations

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Not so far away, in Phoenix, Arizona two calligraphers are facing jail time and/or fines for refusing to take part in promoting same-sex weddings. Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski are two calligraphy artists who together run a business, Brush & Nib Studio. According to Life Site News, the two Christian women “face up to six months in jail, $2,500 in fines, and three years of probation for each day that there is a violation of Phoenix City Code 18-4 (B).” More from Life Site News:

Not only are the Christian women threatened jail time and fines should they refuse to create artwork celebrating gay “marriage” because of the Phoenix law, they could also be prosecuted for publishing a statement on their website explaining that their religious convictions prohibits them from doing so.

The city of Phoenix passed the public accommodation law in 2013. ADF filed a pre-enforcement challenge to the law on behalf of Duka and Koski in 2016, arguing that the ordinance violates the Arizona Constitution and Arizona’s Free Exercise of Religion Act.

Phoenix officials have used the law to try to force Joanna and Breanna to participate in same sex events and create art which is contrary to their religious beliefs. Joanna and Breanna challenged the law however, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Karen Mullins ruled against the two women last October saying that the Phoenix ordinance was constitutional.

The two women, represented by Alliance Defending Freedom, are asking the Arizona Supreme Court to hear their case challenging the Arizona law. “Artists shouldn’t be forced to create artwork contrary to their core convictions, and certainly not under threat of criminal fines and jail time,” said ADF Senior Counsel Jonathan Scruggs.

The artwork that Joanna and Breanna create is reflective and celebratory of their religious beliefs. In their appeal, Alliance Defending Freedom noted that their wedding invitations “include language that is celebratory of the wedding,” and have referred to marriage in their previous artwork as the joining of “one flesh” in marriage.

“The government must allow artists to make their own decisions about which messages they will promote,” Scruggs said. “Breanna and Joanna are happy to design custom art for all people; they simply object to being forced to pour their heart, soul, imagination, and talent into creating messages that violate their conscience. 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,” Scruggs said.

(8) Comments

  1. Sometimes I wonder what would happen if that had just grabbed a ball-point pen (medium point, blue), and written “Hi, come to our “wedding””
    How can people insist that artists make things they don’t like? Do they expect to get a beautiful result?

    Reply
  2. Perhaps we should start asking homosexual artists to promote Biblical values on marriage and see how they like it….just a thought. Is freedom and “tolerance” only for Liberals?

    Reply
  3. As a gay person I find it offensive that people from my own community would force there beliefs and views on others who do not agree with them. If we expect people to respect us and our beliefs ,we must do the same.

    Reply
  4. I just saw this story air this morning on Fox five which I do like watching. I am a Christian and I am also an artist. I also disagree with Christian’s responding the way that they are in not making art, cakes, maybe working on a car, just because a couple is in love with each other and our/gay or trans gender etc. etc. yes we do have rights in this country and yes we are protected by the amendments yada yada yada. But I really think That all people that come to you for service no matter who they are what their gender is or what their color is if they’ve told you to do a product for them they should be granted that product. For her it seems like now no matter if you’re religious or not people want to keep prejudiced going. So it’s like saying if your white I don’t want to do something for you, if you’re black I don’t want to create something for you, if your Spanish I don’t wanna do anything for you I can go on and on. It’s just very sad how that all people that come to you first service no matter who they are what their gender is or what their color is if they’ve told you to do a product for them they should be granted that product. Or it seems like now no matter if you’re religious or not people want to keep prejudiced going. So it’s like saying if you’re a white I don’t want to do something for you, if your black I don’t want to create something for you, if your Spanish I don’t wanna do anything for you I can go on and on. It’s just very sad how we are all tweeting each other. You can believe what you want to believe in your religion but everybody has their own interpretation. I wanted to young woman had stated that she was taught as a child to believe The way that she believes. And that’s fine but that’s how everybody has an interpretation because everybody was taught differently. But that doesn’t give someone a right to be prejudiced against someone. One day we all stand before God. And will we be called the good and faithful servant. Sometimes we need to think and just do the right thing and be kind and be loving and so are Christiana day towards others. And yes I have a gay child and I would never ever thrown my child away or disown my child or not love my child four God gave me my child

    Reply
    • Bobbi,

      As an artist, will you create art for anyone no matter what the message a individual wants to promote using your art? Can you think of a group or a message you would not want to promote with your art? Now think of a Christian artist that is being asked to promote a message that mocks Jesus, or contradicts one of Jesus’s teachings. If a Christian artist refuses to create art to promote a message he doesn’t agree with, is he violating that person’s right to service? The answer is no. Artists should not be forced to create art to promote messages they disagree with. These artists don’t want to participate in celebrating a marriage ceremony that violates their Christian beliefs. No one should be forced to promote or celebrate ideas or events they don’t agree with. It is that simple. I can think of no other context where someone should be forced to participate in celebrating something. Can you?

      Reply

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *