When and how do the lawyers at Alliance Defending Freedom find these people? This might be amusing were it not for the fact that ADF costs taxpayers many millions of dollars each year due to its frivolous complaints. Case in point is Telescope Media Group v. Lindsey which was filed today in Federal District Court for the District of Minnesota. A copy of the complaint is below the fold. “Lindsey” would be Kevin Lindsey who is Commissioner of the Minnesota Commission on Human Rights.
ADF explains in a separate blog post:
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. [Drivelectomy]
The Larsens are deeply troubled by the current condition of marriage in our culture. Not only has it been redefined by the Supreme Court, but the governments across the country and other powerful cultural forces are punishing and marginalizing people who believe that marriage should be between one man and one woman. …
… the Larsens’ desire to enter the wedding cinematography field has hit a huge obstacle — 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. … And there are steep penalties for violating the law, including payment of a civil penalty to the state, triple compensatory damages, punitive damages up to $25,000, and even up to 90 days in jail.
The stated objective of the suit (a pre-enforcement challenge) is to enjoin the state from enforcing certain provisions of the Human Rights Act. The real objectives of the litigation are probably very different. In no particular order:
- To provide a cause as a vehicle for raising money.
- To project that nondiscrimination laws protecting LGBT citizens are unfair to Christians.
- To provide relevance for ADF.
- To create publicity for their client Telescope Media.
- To make some other point.
I would have been simpler and less costly to simply ask the state for guidance if they felt that the law is ambiguous. However, the law is not ambiguous or arbitrary and that would have defeated the whole purpose.
Looking at the citations, this is all primarily hinged on the fact that
Minnesota’s Human Rights Actmakes it illegal “to deny any person the full
and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations
of a place of public accommodation because of race, color, creed, religion, disability, national
origin, marital status, sexual orientation, or sex.” [Minn. Stat. Ann. § 363A.11(1)].
Of course that is not in context and requires a film producer to be a public accommodation. It is ridiculous to believe that the state would apply this in the manner described by ADF.