Monday, October 08, 2018

Another Christian couple under assault: Carl and Angel Larsen

As owners of Telescope Media Group (“TMG”), a video and film production company that exists to tell great stories that honor God, the Larsens know the power of film — of great story-telling — to change hearts and minds. They want to use their wedding cinematography to reanimate the hearts and minds of people about the goodness of marriage between a man and a woman.

But the Larsens’ desire to enter the wedding cinematography field has hit a huge obstacle — a speech coercing state law. According to Minnesota officials, the State’s Human Rights Act mandates that if the Larsens make films celebrating marriage between one man and one woman, then they must make films celebrating same-sex marriages as well. State officials have repeatedly threatened to prosecute expressive business owners who decline to create speech promoting same-sex marriages. And there are steep penalties for violating the law, including payment of a civil penalty to the state, triple compensatory damages, punitive damages up to $25,000, and even up to 90 days in jail.

The Larsens can’t comply with Minnesota’s speech-compelling law. Telling stories that celebrate a same-sex marriage would violate their religious beliefs and directly contradict the very message about marriage they desire to express. But they also don’t want to be investigated, prosecuted, and possibly jailed simply for exercising their First Amendment rights. Therefore, the Larsens have not publicly offered or provided their wedding film services, but they did create a wedding teaser video so that the court could see the kind of marriage stories they want to tell.

Fortunately, Americans don’t have to wait to be punished or thrown in jail before challenging unjust laws. Instead, they can file a pre-enforcement challenge, which is exactly what the Larsens have chosen to do. They have filed a lawsuit before entering the wedding field, seeking a court order that says Minnesota cannot threaten them with severe penalties and jail time if they exercise their First Amendment right to decline to promote a message with which they disagree. Until they get a favorable ruling, the Larsens are refraining from making wedding films and muzzling their speech about God’s design for marriage to avoid the severe penalties for violating Minnesota’s law.



Anonymous said...

Why should normal people accommodate those with twisted minds ?

Bird of Paradise said...

These radical Humans Right advocates need to be reined in they will end up creating a mess which they did with the Christian Bakery

Anonymous said...

Waiting for a court to say they don't have to provide services for same-sex pseudo weddings is still letting the government have it's say in an area they have a responsibility to not get in the way.

Dean said...

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; . . ."

Our constitution says the government may not require a given religious belief or prohibit the free exercise of religion. And by extension government may not require an individual or group to practice a belief which is different than that in which they believe.

Requiring the Larsens to promote actions or beliefs which are at odds with their religion is indeed requiring them to participate in religious beliefs against their will. And therefore is unconstitutional.

Are there no government officials in Minnesota who have read the United States Constitution?

Spurwing Plover the fighting shorebird said...

Forcing a Christian Bakery to make a cake for a same sex wedding is Not Right but typical of liberal Brown Shirts from those various liberal run Human and Civil Rights Groups

Anonymous said...

Dean, the First Amendment goes on to promise freedom of speech.
A (wedding) video is clearly speech.
Compelled speech is clearly not free.
Forcing film makers to make films that oppose their beliefs is compelled speech.
It is therefore in breach of the protection for free speech.
This issue is much more about freedom of speech than of religion.

Anonymous said...

Didn't SCOTUS just settle this with the christian bakers?