In the first court case since the ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court this week regarding an anti-gay baker in Colorado, the Arizona Court of Appeals has rejected the argument that businesses can discriminate against a customer based on their sexual orientation.
In 2013, the Phoenix City Council added sexual orientation and gender identity to an already existing non-discrimination ordinance making it illegal to discriminate in the areas of housing, employment, and public accommodations.
A small printing business in Phoenix, Brush & Nib Studio, which designs and prints wedding invitations, asked a judge to override the city's ordinance to allow them to legally discriminate against LGBTs.
It's important to note that NO gay couple had asked Brush & Nib for wedding services.
A three-judge panel today handed down an unanimous ruling citing several federal court rulings from across the nation which upheld laws similar to Arizona’s public accommodation laws.
In the ruling, Judge Lawrence Winthrop wrote, "In light of these cases and consistent with the United States Supreme Court's decisions, we recognize that allowing appellants based on sexual orientation would constitute grave and continuing harm.”
One of the court rulings referenced in today's decision is the one involving the Colorado baker who refused to create a wedding cake for a gay couple.
But the ruling from SCOTUS only concluded that the baker had not gotten a fair hearing before the Colorado Civil Rights Board. The high court never addressed the question of whether his religious beliefs allowed him to legally discriminate against same-sex couples.
Back in May 2016, blogger JoeMyGod noted that when the Phoenix lawsuit was filed the company didn't appear to have a physical address, and the artists' social media accounts were only months old, making it credible that the company might have been created just to file the lawsuit and challenge the city's ordinance.
The video below, titled "Getting to Know the Artists of Brush & Nib," was uploaded to YouTube just days before the lawsuit was filed, and the comments section is closed.
In the video, the two artists make a point to say their teaming up was a "God thing," "beautiful things just come from God," and how "special" they view their work on wedding invitations.
Interestingly, the video is listed as "Unlisted."
Now, why would a business have a "getting to know" video be "unlisted" on YouTube?