Carl and Angel Larsen love telling stories, a skill that probably comes in handy with their eight children. But it’s also a skill that is foundational to their filmmaking business, Telescope Media Group, which “exists to glorify God through top-quality media production.”
Keeping in line with their mission, the Larsens felt called to start telling stories about marriage – stories that celebrate a biblical understanding of marriage, as between one man and one woman. But a Minnesota law states that if they tell stories about marriage between one man and one woman, they must also tell stories about same-sex marriage. If they decline to do so, they face fines and even jail time.
So, Carl and Angel decided to challenge the law in court to preserve their rights, and the rights of everyone who wants to live and work peacefully consistently with their beliefs. Unfortunately, a federal court ruled against them, and last week, they appealed the decision.
Here's what they had to say about their case, and why they are taking this stand:
Angel Larsen – Fox News
“Nobody wants to be forced to promote messages—via custom artistic expression in our case—or have to repress their own speech just because their opinion is unpopular in the eyes of the government.
If the First Amendment only protects speech that is popular in its cultural day, then it really doesn’t protect any speech.
This is why we’re appealing the court’s ruling. This case is about preserving the freedom of all people to live according to their sincerely held beliefs—a principle we all should be able to support.”
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Carl Larsen – St. Cloud Times
“This case is about preserving freedom for everyone. We can discuss our differences reasonably, treat each other with respect, agree to disagree, and make room for everyone to follow their own consciences in deciding these issues for themselves.
What we can’t do, as artists, is pour our heart, soul, and creativity into advocating for an idea we don’t agree with.
We simply don’t want to be put in the position of having to champion something we don’t personally agree with. Nobody does. We understand that choice may cost us several projects and a lot of money. In fact, it already has. That’s a price we’re willing to pay to be faithful to our beliefs.”
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