Carl & Angel Larsen
Owners and Founders, Telescope Media Group
As owners of Telescope Media Group (“TMG”), a video and film production company that exists to tell great stories that honor God, the Larsens know the power of film — of great story-telling — to change hearts and minds. They want to use their wedding cinematography to reanimate the hearts and minds of people about the goodness of marriage between a man and a woman. But the Larsens’ desire to enter the wedding cinematography field has hit a huge obstacle — a speech coercing state law. According to Minnesota officials, the State’s Human Rights Act mandates that if the Larsens make films celebrating marriage between one man and one woman, then they must make films celebrating same-sex marriages as well. State officials have repeatedly threatened to prosecute expressive business owners who decline to create speech promoting same-sex marriages. And there are steep penalties for violating the law, including payment of a civil penalty to the state, triple compensatory damages, punitive damages up to $25,000, and even up to 90 days in jail.