By Zack Ford
The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the anti-LGBTQ hate group that defended the Colorado baker Jack Phillips in the U.S. Supreme Court case Masterpiece Cakeshop, was just handed a big defeat for one of their other clients. And the decision cited Masterpiece Cakeshop throughout to actually make the point that the anti-LGBTQ discrimination the group is advocating for is impermissible.
The Arizona Court of Appeals for Division One ruled Thursday that Brush & Nib, a calligraphy studio in Phoenix, could not violate the city’s nondiscrimination protections because of the owners’ religious beliefs. The case was one of ADF’s several preemptive challenges challenging LGBTQ protections in states and cities across the country. The studio did not discriminate against any clients, but it wants to, and it believes Phoenix’s ordinance prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation should either be overturned or should simply not apply because of their religious beliefs.
And though ADF has been claiming victory all week in Masterpiece Cakeshop, the Court actually referred repeatedly to that decision to explain why Brush & Nib should not be permitted to discriminate. “We recognize that a law allowing Appellants to refuse service to customers based on sexual orientation would constitute a ‘grave and continuing harm,’” the decision states, referencing Obergefell, the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision. The judges then cite a rather long excerpt from Masterpiece Cakeshop that reasons that while some may have religious objections to same-sex couples marrying, “it is a general rule that such objections do not allow business owners and other actors in the economy and in society to deny protected persons equal access to goods and services under a neutral and generally applicable public accommodations law.”
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