Supreme Court To Mull Phoenix's Discrimination Ordinance
Lawyers are scheduled Tuesday to argue at the Arizona Supreme Court over the constitutionality of Phoenix's anti-discrimination ordinance that bars businesses from refusing service to same-sex couples for religion reasons.
Two Christian artists who operate a business that makes invitations and other wedding-related items argue that the ordinance will violate their religious beliefs by forcing them to custom-make products for same-sex marriage ceremonies.
So far, two courts have upheld the constitutionality of the ordinance and rejected the arguments made by the artists, who believe a marriage should be between a man and woman.
The Arizona Court of Appeals ruled this summer that while the ordinance may have an incidental effect on free speech, its main purpose is to prohibit discrimination. The appeals court concluded the ordinance regulates conduct, not speech.