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Judge quashes lawsuit against Phoenix nondiscrimination rule

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PHOENIX — An Arizona judge has rejected a wedding shop’s challenge to a Phoenix ordinance that bars discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The Arizona Republic reported that the lawsuit filed in 2016 on behalf of Brush & Nib Studio owners Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski claimed the ordinance would compel them to create invitations or artwork for same-sex couples.

The suit said that doing so would conflict with their religious beliefs on marriage and violate their protected freedoms.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Karen Mullins this week rejected all of the owners’ arguments and confirmed the city’s ordinance does not violate the state’s free speech and free exercise of religion laws.

The Alliance Defending Freedom filed the lawsuit on behalf of the owners, and its attorney Jonathan Scruggs said the group planned to appeal.

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