A federal appeals court on Friday revived a lawsuit by a Minnesota couple challenging a state law requiring that their video production company film same-sex weddings, which they say violates their Christian beliefs.
In a 2-1 decision, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Paul, Minnesota, said Angel and Carl Larsen can try to show that the law violates their rights to free speech and to freely exercise their religious beliefs under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Circuit Judge David Stras, an appointee of President Donald Trump, called videos by the St. Cloud, Minnesota, couple “a medium for the communication of ideas about marriage,” and said the state’s law “is targeting speech itself.”
The court ordered U.S. District Judge John Tunheim in Minneapolis to decide whether the Larsens and their Telescope Media Group deserve a preliminary injunction against the law, which subjects violators to fines and possible jail time. Tunheim had dismissed the lawsuit in September 2017.
“With this perversion of the First Amendment, the majority sanctions a policy of ‘No gays allowed,’” Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, a Democrat who defended the law, said in a statement.
“Angel and I serve everyone,” Carl Larsen said, in a statement provided by his lawyers at Alliance Defending Freedom. “We just can’t produce films promoting every message.”
Full story at Reuters.