ARIZONA NEWS

Valley leaders react to Arizona high court ruling in Brush and Nib case

Sep 16, 2019, 1:01 PM | Updated: 5:51 pm
(Facebook Photo/Brush & Nib)...
(Facebook Photo/Brush & Nib)
(Facebook Photo/Brush & Nib)

PHOENIX — Valley political figures reacted Monday to the Arizona Supreme Court ruling that a Phoenix business can refuse to create custom wedding invitations for same-sex couples.

The decision overruled the city’s anti-discrimination ordinance, which bars businesses from refusing service due to sexual orientation, in favor of the two Christian artists who own Brush & Nib.

“Today’s decision is not a win, but it is not a loss,” Mayor Kate Gallego, a Democrat, said at a press conference after the ruling.

“It means we will continue to have a debate over equality in this community.”

Democratic U.S. Rep. Greg Stanton, who was mayor when the ordinance was amended in 2013 to include sexual orientation and gender identity, called it a “shameful day” for Arizona.

“Today’s decision will hurt real people,” he said in a statement.

“And after so many have worked so hard to show that Arizona is a welcoming place for everyone, this decision will harm our economy by sending the unfortunate message that discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation is still acceptable by some state leaders.”

State Rep. Charlene Fernandez, the House Democratic leader, expressed concern that the ruling would inspire more lawsuits against Phoenix’s ordinance.

“Thankfully the decision leaves the Phoenix anti-discrimination ordinance in place,” she said in a statement. “However, be certain that this is just the camel’s nose under the tent.

“Without a doubt, the deep-pocketed extremist backers of this lawsuit will use it to help other businesses try to use religion as a right to discriminate against those they hate and despise based on who you are and who you love.”

On the other hand, Republican state House Speaker Rusty Bowers applauded the court’s decision.

“Today’s ruling balances the importance of nondiscrimination protections with the inalienable free speech and exercise-of-religion rights of business owners,” he said in a statement.

“This is a critical victory for the First Amendment and religious freedom, and I thank the court for affirming that the government cannot compel business owners to communicate a viewpoint that violates their sincerely held religious beliefs.”

Democratic Tempe City Councilwoman Lauren Kuby said she fears her city’s version of the ordinance may be in trouble due to the ruling.

“Tempe’s anti-discrimination ordinance, a ballot initiative … was overwhelmingly passed by voters in 2014,” she said on Twitter.

“Our city’s ordinance is under threat as well from this constitutional flimflammery brought by State Supremes.”

ONE Community, a Phoenix-based business coalition that supports LGBTQ rights, said it is important to point out that the ordinance still stands despite the ruling.

“This ruling does not mean that businesses can freely discriminate,” a spokeswoman said in a statement.

“This narrow decision only allows one business to deny a single product to LGBTQ people simply for who they are.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Arizona Governor's Office Photo)...
KTAR.com

Tucson border patrol agent dies in line of duty; flags to fly half-staff Saturday

Flags will fly at half-staff across the state Saturday for a Tucson border patrol agent that died in the line of duty.
19 hours ago
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., runs from the Senate chamber after voting on an appropriations bill t...
Kevin Stone

In CNN interview, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema won’t tip hand on $2T domestic bill

U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema wouldn’t commit to supporting her party’s $2 trillion domestic agenda during a sit-down interview with CNN on Thursday, but she didn’t provide specifics on how to secure her vote.
19 hours ago
A member of the Atelotorque performance troupe. (Photo via Phoenix Zoo/Peter Speyer)...
KTAR.com

Acrobats imagine animals’ lives after dark for new Phoenix Zoo fundraiser

The Phoenix Zoo announced a new fundraising event -- Animals After Dark, An Aerial Experience -- featuring animal-themed acrobatics performed against the backdrop of the venue’s main lake.
19 hours ago
(Eegee's Rendering)...
Danny Shapiro

Eegee’s opening Mesa location, its second in the East Valley, in mid-December

Eegee's has set an opening date for its second foray into the East Valley, this time in Mesa.
19 hours ago
Yavapai County Sheriff David Rhodes (Yavapai County Sheriff's Office Photo)...
Associated Press

Northern Arizona sheriff pleads guilty to operating boat while drunk

Yavapai County Sheriff David Rhodes pleaded guilty on Thursday to operating a boat while under the influence of alcohol and was sentenced to a year of probation and will spend two days in home confinement.
19 hours ago
Empty vaccine vials from various manufacturers lie in a tray at a vaccination hub in the Aachen-Ark...
KTAR.com

Arizona delta wave reaches new heights in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations

Arizona health officials reported 5,236 new COVID-19 cases and 14 additional deaths on Friday as the delta wave surges to new heights.
19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
DISC DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

What you need to know about spine health

With 540 million people suffering from lower back pain, it remains the leading cause of long-term disability. That’s why World Spine Day on Oct. 16 will raise awareness about spinal health with its theme, BACK2BACK. “BACK2BACK will focus on highlighting ways in which people can help their spines by staying mobile, avoiding physical inactivity, not overloading […]
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Why fall maintenance is important for your heating system and A/C

It’s easy to ignore your heater and air conditioner when they’re working but the moment something breaks, you will likely regret not keeping up with maintenance. After all, if something goes wrong, you may be stuck with a repair that will take longer and be more expensive than simple maintenance.
...
PNC Bank

3 cool tips to turn everyday moments into learning experiences for your child

Early brain development has a crucial impact on a child’s ability to learn and succeed in school and life. Research has shown that 90% of a child’s brain is developed by age five.
Valley leaders react to Arizona high court ruling in Brush and Nib case