Christian filmmakers threatened with fines and jail time for refusing to cover same sex weddings

Facing the threat of heavy fines and up to 90 days in prison, two Christian filmmakers appeared in court tomorrow to stop Minnesota from forcing them to produce and create films supporting same sex marriage. Filmmakers Carl and Angel Larsen assert that doing so would violate their religious beliefs. Jeremy Tedesco – Senior Counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom – believes the government cannot force creative professionals to create films that violate their religious beliefs as the Masterpiece Cakeshop Case upheld. His talking points are as follows:

  • The government shouldn’t threaten filmmakers with fines and jail time to force them to create films that violate their beliefs. Carl and Angel are storytellers – they script, stage, conduct interviews, capture footage, select music, edit and more – all to tell compelling stories through film that promote their religious beliefs. 
  • The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in Masterpiece that the government must respect the belief—held by countless Americans from all walks of life—that marriage is between one man and one woman. The 8th Circuit should reinstate the Larsens’ lawsuit and order the state to stop forcing the Larsens to speak messages about marriage that violate their beliefs.

Carl and Angel Larsen are Bible-believing Christians who place Christ at the center of everything in their life — their marriage, their home, their friendships, their service to the community, and their business. One of their deepest passions is marriage. They work hard to cultivate the bonds of love and commitment within their own marriage and help other couples strengthen their marriages as well. They often provide couples pre-marital counseling, they are always ready to roll up their sleeves and dig in to restore marriages in crisis, and Carl has even officiated two weddings. See the Larsen’s full story here.

The Larsens’ desire to enter the wedding cinematography field hit a huge obstacle; namely, 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.

In 2017 they tried to challenge this law as unconstitutional but a lower court dismissed their case and mandated that they service same sex weddings or close this part of their business. They are now appealing to the 8th Circuit Court.


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