In spite of marriage equality being the law of the land, a Minnesota Couple is the latest in a string of conservatives who claim that because of their religious beliefs, they shouldn’t be forced to serve gay couples.
In an article that appeared on the Courthouse News website, a total of 19 states including New York and California have filed a brief with the Eighth Circuit Court.
Court records indicate that Carl and Angel Larsen filed a lawsuit against Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson and Kevin Lindsey, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, alleging that because of the anti-discrimination law, they were facing potential fines of up to $25,000 and 90 days in jail for doing what they felt was nothing more than exercising their freedom of religion.
The couple had wanted to post on the website for their media production company, Telescope Media Group, which would make it clear that they felt marriage was only supposed to be between a man and a woman. U.S. District Judge John Tunheim in Minneapolis said that such discriminatory language was not dissimilar to posting a “white applicants only” sign on their business. Further Judge Tunheim wrote that in posting this kind of statement on the website would, be “telling potential customers that a business will discriminate based on sexual orientation,” and would be “an act of sexual orientation discrimination itself,”
The Larson’s filed an appeal to the Eight District in St. Louis. A total of 11 states filed briefs in support of the couple’s case.
19 State’s Attorney’s General filed friends of the court briefs in support of the Minnesota anti-discrimination law.
The Supreme Court of the United States is set to make a ruling on a similar case, Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission sometime this summer.