Kevin Lindsey, the current commissioner of Minnesota’s Department of Human Rights, is on a collision course with the US Supreme Court. According to this article, Carl and Angel Larsen, the owners of Telescope Media Group, want to “use their wedding cinematography [business] to reanimate the hearts and minds of people about the goodness of marriage between a man and a woman.”

Standing in their way is the Minnesota Human Rights Act, which “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.”

The Minnesota Human Rights Act is likely unconstitutional, thanks in large part to a Supreme Court ruling from this past summer that said that a baker didn’t have to bake cakes for same-sex marriages.

There’s likely a First Amendment argument to be made, too. Government shouldn’t have the authority to tell businesses what they have to write.

State officials have repeatedly threatened to prosecute expressive business owners who decline to create speech promoting same-sex marriages. 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 Larsens can’t comply with Minnesota’s speech-compelling law. Telling stories that celebrate a same-sex marriage would violate their religious beliefs and directly contradict the very message about marriage they desire to express. But they also don’t want to be investigated, prosecuted, and possibly jailed simply for exercising their First Amendment rights.

Whether you’re for or against same-sex marriage, the heart of the matter is that government shouldn’t have the authority to tell individuals or companies what they have to write.

According to the WCCO video, the Larsens won their appeal in the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. If Lindsey appeals the Eighth Circuit’s ruling, which is likely, he’ll likely lose in the Supreme Court. Simply put, the DFL should stop passing laws that aren’t constitutional.

2 Responses to “Kevin Lindsey vs. free speech”

  • Crimson Trace says:

    Kevin Lindsey seems to operate on a double standard. When there was verbally abusive behavior at SCSU including yelling and swearing at black people, women, and lesbians, Mr. Lindsey simply couldn’t get involved. He and his Human Rights Commission were nowhere to be found. This is selective outrage at its finest. Priceless.

  • Gary Gross says:

    Why am I not surprised? Oh yeah. Perhaps, it’s because Tim Walz, Amy Klobuchar & Tina Smith haven’t distanced themselves from abusive Keith Ellison? Or from Al Franken, either, for that matter?

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