Freedom is what America is all about. Bar none. Full stop. Period.
At the onset of this societal experiment this fact was made expressly clear; we are guaranteed a right to pursue happiness through, among other things, the freedoms of speech and religion. You do you, and, as long as you’re not harming anyway in the process, you’ll be left alone.
Even in 2019, with a litany of social justice warriors parading around with manufactured authority, these freedoms are self-evident and inalienable.
In Arizona, this has been put to the test after the city of Phoenix passed an ordinance making it illegal to refuse service to same-sex couples on a basis of religion. While that sort of discrimination clearly flies in the face of the idea that all are created equal, that doesn’t mean that it’s not legal…at least according to the AZ Supreme Court.
The free speech rights of two Christian artists who make wedding invitations were violated by an anti-discrimination ordinance in Phoenix that makes it illegal to refuse service to same-sex couples for religious reasons, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled Monday.
The 4-3 decision reversed lower-court rulings favoring the city.
The state Supreme Court said its ruling is limited to only the creation of custom wedding invitations by Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski and isn’t a blanket exemption from the ordinance for all their business operations.
The artists, who believe a marriage should be between only a man and woman, had argued that the ordinance would violate their religious beliefs by forcing them to custom-make products for same-sex marriage ceremonies.
The decision was not unanimous.
“Duka and Koski’s beliefs about same-sex marriage may seem old-fashioned, or even offensive to some,” the court majority wrote. “But the guarantees of free speech and freedom of religion are not only for those who are deemed sufficiently enlightened, advanced, or progressive. They are for everyone.”
In the dissenting opinion, the court’s minority said the case doesn’t concern the content of custom wedding products but instead pertains to the identity of customers.
“Today’s decision is also deeply troubling because its reasoning cannot be limited to discrimination related to same-sex marriage or based on the beliefs of any one religion, but instead extends more broadly to other claims of a ‘right’ by businesses to deny services to disfavored customers,” the opinion states.
Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego reiterated after the ruling that the anti-discrimination ordinance remains in effect.
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