We have great news! In September, the city of Ann Arbor, Michigan, declared that it will not force Grant Strobl and Jacob Chludzinski to promote political beliefs that go against their own.
You might be surprised that such government coercion was even a possibility. But that is exactly what the text of a city law threatened.
Grant and Jacob knew this wasn’t right. After all, the right to speak freely transcends political beliefs—that’s at the heart of the First Amendment! So, Alliance Defending Freedom filed a lawsuit on their behalf.
Thankfully, the city of Ann Arbor has agreed not to apply this law to Grant, Jacob, and their political consulting business, ThinkRight Strategies.
From the moment you meet Grant and Jacob, it’s easy to tell that these two young men are passionate about their political views. Both have seen how government overreach can get in the way of the individual freedom they cherish.
Grant and Jacob met at the University of Michigan where they were both active in Young Americans for Freedom, a conservative student organization. They wanted to use their shared passion to reach even more people with their conservative beliefs, so they started ThinkRight Strategies, a political consulting and marketing firm. Their goal is to partner with political candidates and organizations to promote messages, views, policies, platforms, and causes that advance their conservative principles. These principles include free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional values, and a strong national defense.
But Ann Arbor has a law that threatened their work.
The law makes it illegal for businesses to “discriminate” based on “political beliefs.” If Ann Arbor were to apply this law to ThinkRight, then advocacy materials ThinkRight creates for Republican candidates to promote limited government, lower taxes, and the sanctity of life, must also be created for Socialist candidates to promote government control, higher taxes, and abortion on demand.
That would contradict the entire purpose of Grant and Jacob’s mission to promote conservative ideals! Not only that, but it’s a blatant violation of their freedom of speech.
And if the law were enforced against them, Grant and Jacob would even be banned from explaining on their website that they cannot advance certain political beliefs. Violating the law could have meant fines of up to $500 per day for Grant and Jacob! Thankfully, they took a stand and won.
Ann Arbor saw that Grant and Jacob are selective about the messages they will promote and decided not to apply its law against them. So Grant and Jacob are now free to choose for themselves which political positions to promote. That’s a freedom everyone should enjoy.
Hopefully other governments will follow Ann Arbor’s lead and not use their laws to compel speakers to express messages they oppose. Because everyone should be free to live and work consistent with their beliefs.