Friday, May 13, 2016

Wedding Artists Challenge City's Public Accommodation Anti-Discrimination Ordinance

Two owners of an upscale hand painting and calligraphy business filed suit in an Arizona state court yesterday challenging the provision in the Phoenix city code, adopted in 2013, that bars public accommodations from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The 88-page pre-enforcement complaint (full text) in Brush & Nib Studio, LC v. City of Phoenix, (AZ Super. Ct., filed 5/12/2016), contends that plaintiffs' free speech, free exercise and equal protection rights are infringed by requiring them to produce wedding invitations and similar wedding art for same-sex marriages. It also asserts that the statutory provision barring advertisements or notices that suggest discriminatory practices prevents plaintiffs from explaining their religious and artistic reasons for refusing to create custom art for same-sex weddings. An ADF press release announced the filing of the lawsuit.