The War Against Christian Liberty: Court Victory for Wedding Filmmakers

Craig HueyFaith, Government, Life2 Comments

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 craig@electionforum.org

Here are the rest of this week’s articles:

2 Comments on “The War Against Christian Liberty: Court Victory for Wedding Filmmakers”

  1. Thank you to the Larsen’s for standing up to this discrimination against Christian beliefs. Our Christian liberties are being threatened. Praying for our president and country.

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