Christian filmmakers lose ‘freedom to discriminate’ lawsuit against imaginary gay clients
A Christian couple who sued for the right to discriminate against non-existent gay clients have had their lawsuit rejected.
Carl and Angel Larsen run Minnesota video production company Telescope Media Group, and claim that their production company carries out commercial filming work to bring “glory to God”.
The couple teamed up with anti-LGBT evangelical group Alliance Defending Freedom to sue the state in a bid to overturn its anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people, insisting that one day they might be forced to film a gay wedding against their beliefs – though they have never actually had a gay client.
Their lawsuit was dismissed this week by Chief U.S. District Judge John Tunheim, who rejected their bid to undermine LGBT protections in the Minnesota Human Rights Act.
The judge compared their wish to post a message excluding hypothetical gay clients to a business owner putting up a ‘Whites Only’ sign.
He wrote: “[It is] conduct akin to a ‘White Applicants Only’ sign that may be outlawed without infringing on First Amendment rights.
“Posting language on a website telling potential customers that a business will discriminate based on sexual orientation is part of the act of sexual orientation discrimination itself.
“As conduct carried out through language, this act is not protected by the First Amendment.”
As PinkNews reported previously, the couple do not actually appear to have ever filmed a wedding commercially.
Their showreel included no footage from any weddings whatsoever, gay or straight; and there is no suggestion in the lawsuit that they have ever actually been approached by a gay couple with any request.
Their website does not advertise specific wedding filming services, and PinkNews found no listings for their company on any Minnesota wedding services platforms.
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