MINNESOTA: Federal Court Rejects Videographers’ Attempt To Discriminate Against Same-Sex Couples

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports:

A St. Cloud couple will not be able to refuse wedding videography services for same-sex couples after a federal judge on Wednesday dismissed their lawsuit challenging Minnesota’s human rights laws.

In a 63-page ruling, Chief U.S. District Judge John Tunheim wrote that a provision of the Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA) prohibiting discrimination by businesses was not unconstitutional. Tunheim rejected the couple’s argument that the law amounted to “a state effort to stamp out expression opposing same-sex marriage.”

Carl and Angel Larsen sued the state’s commissioner of human rights and attorney general in December in an pre-emptive effort to avoid penalties for turning away same-sex customers. The Larsens, who use their Telescope Media Group to promote their Christian beliefs, want to go into the wedding film business, but serve only heterosexual couples.

The Larsens had planned to declare their intention to refuse same-sex couples on their website, which the judge called the equivalent of a “whites only” sign.

It appears that the Alliance Defending Freedom recruited this couple to start a new business with the sole intention of overturning Minnesota’s law. The ADF says they will appeal to the Eighth Circuit Court. (Tipped by JMG reader Mark.)

RELATED: Yesterday the city of Minneapolis joined a Supreme Court amicus brief in support of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which is battling anti-gay baker Jack Phillips. Phillips is also represented by the ADF.