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Another Day, Another Business Threatened By Compelled Creative Speech.

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before…..

Business owned by religious family will be forced to create something against their religious beliefs.

Carl and Angel Larsen own Telescope Media Group (“TMG”), which is a video company that centers on making religious based films, specifically Christian films.

The Larsens decided that they expand into telling the stories of couples getting married. As you can imagine, there was a problem:

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.

If the Larsens were selling cameras, lenses, film, etc., and said “we won’t sell to gay couples,” we’d be against them. We’ve discussed this many times before in that the Larsens would be making an initial contract offer for goods by a sign that shows the item and how much it is. If accepted, they should have to abide by the contract they initiated.

But creative works are different. The Supreme Court has ruled that created works are free speech and in another case, ruled that you cannot compel speech. That’s the reason why the government cannot force kids in school to say the pledge of allegiance for example.

Yet here, Minnesota is saying “create or be thrown in jail.” “Say what we demand you say or we will ruin you.”

That is simply unconscionable.

No one would ever demand that a Jewish artist create a posted for a Nazi rally. No one would ever expect a person who is pro-abortion to create a tee-shirt for a group that is against abortion. One of the claims the video makes is that no one would expect or demand that a Democrat speech writer write a speech for a Republican. (Can you imagine the fury over a liberal speech writer being forced to write a speech in support of the Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination / confirmation?)

The Larsens have decided not to wait for Minnesota to come after them, but rather have decided to go after Minnesota:

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.

No one should be forced to act or create items that violate their religion or conscience. That is such a basic human right that it is difficult to understand how lawmakers think otherwise.

Hopefully the Larsens win their challenge and send the government retreating with their tails between their legs.



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