Wedding Businesses Must Serve Same-Sex Couples, Rules Arizona Appeals Court
The Arizona Court of Appeals affirmed Thursday that a Phoenix law protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from discrimination is constitutional and that local wedding vendors must serve same-sex couples.
The decision comes just days after the Supreme Court weighed in on a similar lawsuit out of Colorado with a narrow ruling that left many legal questions unanswered.
The Arizona decision, however, thoroughly addressed the First Amendment arguments made by local wedding invitation designers who wanted to quash the city's ordinance — and rejected them.
"We recognize that a law allowing Appellants to refuse service to customers based on sexual orientation would constitute 'grave and continuing harm,'" Presiding Judge Lawrence F. Winthrop wrote in the opinion of the court.