Federal Court Rules that Christians Cannot Be Forced to Work a Same-Sex Marriage


On Friday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eight Circuit ruled that a Christian Minnesota video company cannot be compelled to work for a same-sex marriage ceremony because such compulsion violates their First Amendment rights.

The news comes from Dan Abrams’ Law & Crime:

In a 2-1 decision penned by Circuit Court Judge David Ryan Stras, the court wrote that wedding videos “are a form of speech that is entitled to First Amendment protection. The Supreme Court long ago recognized that ‘expression by means of motion pictures is included within the free speech and free press guaranty of the First and Fourteenth Amendments.”

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The appellants in the case Telescope Media Group v. Linsey, are Carl Larsen and Angel Larsen, the owners of a Christian videography business specializing in making wedding videos. The Larsens sued the Minnesota Human Rights Commission in 2016, arguing that the state’s public accommodation law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation would cause them to incur steep fines and even prison time if they refused their services to same-sex ceremonies, which they claimed would conflict with their religious view of marriage.

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This decision is very similar to the Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling that maintained that a Colorado baker could not be compelled by a state board to bake a cake for a gay couple’s wedding in that the new ruling says that the Larson’s videos are their form of free expression just like the cakes in the aforementioned case.

Judge Stras added that he relied on the Masterpiece Cakeshop to undergird his own decision.

“The Larsens’ videos are a form of speech that is entitled to First Amendment protection. The Supreme Court long ago recognized that ‘expression by means of motion pictures is included within the free speech and free press guaranty of the First and Fourteenth Amendments,” Judge Stras wrote.

Law & Crime added, “Friday’s ruling overturns a 2017 District Court ruling by Chief U.S. District Judge John Tunheim which originally dismissed the lawsuit and sends the case back to the District Court to decide whether the Larsens are entitled to a preliminary injunction to continue operating their business until a decision is reached on the merits of the case.”

This is another victory for free speech and freedom of religion against the anti-free speech forces of the left trying to force everyone to normalize the radical gay lifestyle.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

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