Fight Over Gay Weddings Videos Stays in District Court
ST. PAUL (AP) -- Minnesota's attorney general says the state will continue to fight a lawsuit in federal court that was filed by two Minnesota filmmakers who want the right to refuse to record same-sex weddings instead of taking the case to the full 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals or U.S. Supreme Court.
In an opinion piece published in Thursday's Star Tribune, Attorney General Keith Ellison and Minnesota Human Rights Commissioner Rebecca Lucero say the state is taking the case back to the federal district court because of the limited facts on record and the current composition of the Supreme Court.
A three-judge panel of the 8th Circuit reinstated the lawsuit filed by Telescope Media Group in St. Cloud in August. The filmmakers say videos are a form of speech with protections under the First Amendment.
Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Jeremy Tedesco says “Carl and Angel won a great free speech victory at the 8th Circuit, which rightly affirmed that the government has no power to force people to express messages that violate their deepest convictions. This principle protects everyone. It means the state can’t threaten the Larsens with jail time for declining to create a film promoting a view of marriage that violates their religious beliefs. It also prevents the government from forcing an atheist musician to perform at an evangelical church service or a Democratic speechwriter to write speeches for a Republican."