It’s only a temporary victory…
But it’s a victory nonetheless.
Let me explain…
Carl and Angel Larsen create videos of wedding ceremonies. Their St. Cloud, Minnesota company – Telescope Media Group – exists to glorify God.
Because they believe in the biblical concept of marriage – that it’s only between one man and one woman – they cannot create a positive video depiction of a same-sex wedding without violating their consciences and their core religious beliefs.
But the Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA) – which prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation – requires the Larsens to depict same-sex and opposite-sex weddings in an equally “positive light.”
The Larsens sued the Minnesota Human Rights Commissioner in 2016, requesting the right to refuse to film same-sex weddings on free-speech and free-exercise-of-religion grounds. They said violating the MHRA would result in steep fines and jail time if they offered their filmmaking services only to heterosexual couples.
A federal judge dismissed the case 2 years ago, rejecting the Larsens’ free-speech and free-exercise-of-religion claims…
But a 3-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the dismissal by the federal court … sending the case back to the lower court with instructions to consider the Larsens’ request for a preliminary injunction to block enforcement of the MHRA.
Eighth Circuit judge David Stras wrote in the 2-1 majority opinion, “Minnesota’s interpretation of the MHRA interferes with the Larsens’ speech in two overlapping ways. First, it compels the Larsens to speak favorably about same-sex marriage if they choose to speak favorable about opposite-sex marriage. Second, it operates as a content-based regulation of their speech. The Larsens’ videos are a form of speech that is entitled to First Amendment protection.”
The Larsens’ case is not completely resolved … it is ongoing.
What needs to change is the Minnesota Human Rights Act – and similar acts in other states and cities – which provide no First Amendment protections for faith-based businesses that cannot celebrate or promote same-sex marriage.
Please pray that state laws discriminating against Christians and a biblical world view will be altered to include free-speech and free-exercise-of-religion exemptions.
What do you think? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here are the rest of this week’s articles:
- Stopping the War on Christianity: My New TV Interview on the Christian Vote and Church Ballot Harvesting [Video]
- Should You Say ‘Happy Holidays’ or ‘Merry Christmas?’ [Videos]
- Election Crisis Ahead: Help Me Encourage 10,000 Pastors to Do Church Ballot Harvesting
- Christians Solving the Medical Debt Crisis: Government Bureaucracy is Not the Answer [Videos]
- … and Finally… Remembering Two Very Different Presidential Christmas Addresses