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A recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals in a case arising from Minnesota strikes the right balance between First Amendment rights and the statutory right to be free from discrimination.
The ruling came in a case involving Telescope Media Group, which produces commercials, short films, and live-event productions. Owners Carl and Angel Larsen want to produce wedding videos, but, based on their religious beliefs, decline requests to do so for same-sex weddings.
State - Governments - Laws - Discrimination - Orientation
State and local governments continue to enact laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and, in many cases, gender identity in “places of public accommodation,” such as businesses. Courts are, therefore, increasingly called upon to address cases where those laws conflict with constitutional rights, including the freedoms of speech and religious exercise.
In the current social and political climate, these cases are easily, if not intentionally, misrepresented by ignoring some of the important rights involved. Focusing only on the civil right against discrimination makes it appear as though all these business owners want to do is discriminate.
Truth - None - Businesses - Service - People
The truth is that none of these businesses refuse service to gay or **** people, nor wish to do so. The vast majority of business activities do not affect anyone’s freedom of speech or religion.
These cases involve only situations where business owners decline to provide a particular product or service in a specific context, directly affecting First Amendment freedoms.
Cases - Category - Exercise - Religion - Elane
The highest-profile cases in this category involve the exercise of religion. They include Elane Photography, which lost in 2013 before the New Mexico Supreme Court; Sweet Cakes by Melissa, which lost in 2018 before the Oregon Supreme Court; Arlene’s Flowers, which lost this year before the Washington state Supreme Court; and Country Mill Farm, which is challenging a city ordinance in Michigan that requires it to allow same-sex weddings at its venue.
Last year, in a...
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