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Telescope Media Group Lawsuit Stays in District Court

Telescope Media Group Lawsuit Stays in District Court Click to Enlarge Photo: Thinkstock

(AP/KNSI) - 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 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 Larson 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 speech writer to write speeches for a Republican."

“After the Larsens won at the 8th Circuit, the Minnesota attorney general agreed to an order from the court preventing it from enforcing the law against the Larsens while the case proceeds. Carl and Angel are pleased that they will soon be able to enter the marriage industry and produce films that are consistent with their beliefs. We look forward to securing a final victory that prevents the state from using its power to banish people of faith from the public square.”

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