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Telescope Media Group v. Lindsey

Case Seeking Religious Exemption from LGBTQ Non-Discrimination Laws

Key Date: November 4, 2019
Status: Following 8th Circuit ruling, litigation will continue in federal court
Legal Team: Alliance Defending Freedom
Type: Public Accommodations Discrimination

Telescope Media Case Overview:

Carl and Angel Larsen own a video production company, Telescope Media, which provides videography services to couples getting married. The couple, who oppose marriage for same-sex couples, sought to preempt Minnesota’s Human Rights Act (MHRA) which prevents discrimination in business.

Latest in the Case:

On August 23 the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals issued its 2-1 ruling in the case, deciding that the videographers’ First Amendment speech rights may allow them to refuse to film weddings between same-sex couples. The appellate court remanded the case to the lower court to consider whether to grant ADF’s motion for a preliminary injunction. Read the ruling here. 

Rather than appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, the legal team representing Minnesota’s LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination law is continuing its litigation in district court.

Case History:

  • December 6, 2016: The plaintiffs, represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom, file their complaint against Kevin Lindsey, Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, and Lori Swanson, Attorney General of Minnesota.
  • January 13, 2017: The plaintiffs file a Motion for Preliminary Injunction, seeking to prevent the state from enforcing the MHRA against them.
  • February 15, 2017: The defendants file a Motion to Dismiss these claims.
  • May 26, 2017: Judge John R. Tunheim holds a hearing on the Motion for Preliminary Injunction and Motion to Dismiss.
  • September 20, 2017: Judge Tunheim rejects the plaintiffs’ free exercise, freedom of expression, and expressive association claims. ADF announces its intention to appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit. Appellate briefing is completed.
  • October 16, 2018: The 8th Circuit hears oral argument in this case.
  • August 23, 2019: The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals issues a 2-1 ruling in the case, deciding that the videographers’ First Amendment speech rights may allow them to refuse to film weddings between same-sex couples. The appellate court remanded the case to the lower court to consider whether to grant ADF’s motion for a preliminary injunction. 
  • October 3, 2019: The legal team representing Minnesota’s LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination law announces that it will continue its litigation in district court rather than appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • November 4, 2019: The district court grants the company’s motion for preliminary injunction and enjoins the state, pending trial, from enforcing the state law against the company’s production of exclusively heterosexual wedding videos and related promotion of those videos.

Last Updated December 28, 2019


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