Brickbats

Brickbat: First Amendment? Never Heard of It

|

Gay wedding
Syda Productions / Dreamstime

A federal judge has ruled that Carl and Angel Larsen have no First Amendment right to refuse to shoot video of gay weddings even if they have religious objections to such weddings. The couple runs a videography company in Minnesota.

NEXT: Can the 'Big Six' Keep Tax Reform From Being Deep-Sixed?

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Is the government going to force them to do a good job too?

    1. Apparently. I wonder why this doesn’t seem off to more people…. and not just the “gays are bad” religious types.

      I’m going to suppose that the same judge would not rule that a photographer had to work at a corporate picnic for a company that he found objectionable…. like, say, Monsanto.

      So it isn’t political speech, per se that he has a problem with. He’d certainly allow a gay caterer decline the business of a prominent Republican.

      So we’ve roped off religious objections to gay marriages. What else fits in that neat little tent? I’ll guess that all sorts of weddings involving all sorts of minorities are covered…. but what about a Wiccan or Satanic ceremony? Does a devout Catholic photographer have to work at a Satanic rite?

      What about a contemporary christian band? Do they have to play the gay wedding? What about the Satanic ceremony? Can they turn down anything?

      This issue seems pretty solid when you just say “we made gay weddings legal, and we won’t let you discriminate”. It is much squishier when you try to pin down the legal principles that it is based on.

      1. This looks like an area ripe for exploration by certain conservative provocateurs. Milo Yiannopolis should scan social media for regular people who despise him the most and then try to engage them at their jobs. If any refuse to serve him… lawsuit time.

    2. I’d so be photo shopping the hotdog into that video…

  2. It’s weird how the people who think we’re all victims of an oligarchic cabal of crony capitalists are at the same time apparently convinced that Christians can’t be oppressed because they’re a majority.

    By that logic you’d think they’d never give the time of day to poor and middle-class people complaining about being tyrannized by plutocrats- after all, there are more poor- and middle-class people than rich people, so the latter can’t possibly oppress the former, right? Only minorities can be oppressed- those crowds of starving peasants are just projecting to distract from their Proletariat Privilege!

  3. “Tolerance is a two-way street,” Tedesco said in a statement. “Creative professionals who engage in the expression of ideas shouldn’t be threatened with fines and jail simply for having a particular point of view about marriage that the government may not favor.”

    Everyone knows the Constitution doesn’t protect wrong speech. And the judge better not let the bigots kneel during Here Comes the Bride.

    1. Oooh. That is grade-A stuff right there. Well played.

    1. I don’t want to have to watch them do the nasty…

      1. I provided that link in order to mock it – of *course* it affects the lives of wrongthinkers, that’s the whole point.

      2. Either gender?

        Watching porn must be a constant trial for you.

        1. you have no fucking idea…

          1. I would commiserate, but I can’t.

    2. State licensing of marriage without regard to the gender of the licensees is a separate issue from public accommodation laws that require business owners to serve people over their personal objections.

      1. It’s separate as a matter of libertarian philosophy and the law code of Libertopia Island – otherwise it’s organically linked.

      2. Except that tje imposition of same se, marriage on the stateswas not rationalized by libertarian principles, hence the side effects are not going to be libertarian.

  4. There’s another first amendment angle here, which is that anyone compelled to provide a service to a wedding that they find objectionable could show up in a t-shirt that quotes Leviticus or something like that.

    -jcr

    1. That or they could just do a terrible job.

      “Ooh, looks like I forgot to put a memory card in my camera. Didn’t record a single picture. That sucks. Here’s a full refund. You have a nice marriage.”

      I wonder how that would fly in the courts…

      1. If the courts accept that it’s discrimination, then they will treat it the same as a restaurant serving black customers out back, by the kitchen, while serving white customers in front.

        In other words, if you accept the premise that gay is the new black, then the government will ruthlessly root out all “homophobia.”

        1. You cannot force quality. No government mandate can require one to do a high quality job…just the bare minimum.

          1. Actually you can. Its call product liability.

            The Uniform Commercial Code covers some of it and state law the rest. This relates to defective or dangerous products along with product warranties.

            So while “high quality” cannot be mandated by government, quality that is in that zone between minimum and high quality can be regulated for safety.

            1. As long as the cake is edible, that is all required. As long as photos are taken, that is all required. it.doesnt take much to do the bare minimum. Compelled labor is always poor quality. That is why demanding it for a special event makes them morons.

              1. so if I mix some cat shit in the cake and no one gets “sick” then I’m ok?

          2. You can be in legal jeopardy for a low quality job, and mi2re so if they can prove low quality work was consistantly given to a particular class of customer.

            1. For any artistic venture, which photography and baking clearly are (if they were not, anybody could do it just fine), the lack of any semblance of inspiration would necessarily impact quality. And it’d be exceedingly difficult for a government to decide what qualifies as a good or a bad job.

              Subjective things like artistry and notoriously difficult to legislate and any attempt to do so would likely quickly run afoul of the First Amendment.

              1. You have the notion thst this is an impartial movement using logic and reason. This is a pogrom. The 1st Amendment should have protected these people in this case. The fact that a federal judge dismissed that argument should tell you all you need to about how much it can protect you.

                1. You have the notion thst this is an impartial movement using logic and reason. This is a pogrom. The 1st Amendment should have protected these people in this case. The fact that a federal judge dismissed that argument should tell you all you need to about how much it can protect you.

                  By that same token, the “consent of the governed” can also be revoked.

                  I have zero doubt the SCOTUS will slap this nonsense down and stomp on it. And any justice who doesn’t should be asked what, EXACTLY, does the First Amendment protect?

                  1. The 13th amendment should, too.

      2. Yes, business owners can lie about why they don’t want to take the gig by saying they are too busy or something but some people don’t want to have to lie.

        Yes, business owners can do a bad job but they are still spending their time and money to be there and doing a bad job might hurt their reputation.

        It comes down to should a government be allowed to force business/people to associate with people/business they don’t want to? That answer should be no.

        Thanks to government sanctioned slavery and government sanctioned Jim Crowe laws, the government then forced business/people to have to associate with people they did not want to.

        And now we are here.

        1. “some people don’t want to have to lie”

          She said she’s married her an architect
          Who kept her warm and safe and dry
          She would have liked to say she loved the man
          But she didn’t like to lie

          1. some poem….

      3. It would not fly at all and would be subject to a legitimate breach of contract lawsuit. It neither provides a good legal out nor is it the response of a professional.

  5. I’m totally for gay marriage (for others, not myself), and yet I believe no business person should a

  6. Be coerced inton service by government.

    The whole concept is discriminatory against socially conservative Christians anyway, I’m sure.

    Imagine if a Muslim photographer or florist refused a gay wedding contract (we all know they hate gays even more than fundamentalists do) — think they’d be forced?

    What if a radical feminist florist refused to work any wedding other than two women, on the grounds of fighting patriarchy regardless of whether it’s straight or gay?

    Would a court rule against them?

    1. Imagine if a Muslim photographer or florist refused a gay wedding contract (we all know they hate gays even more than fundamentalists do) — think they’d be forced?

      If I’m not mistaken, Steven Crowder did precisely that in Dearborn, MI. The response was what you’d expect, both from the bakers and the authorities who didn’t care.

      1. I think the counter to that was that he went to bakeries that don’t make cakes. So it wasn’t “i won’t make a cake for you”, but “we don’t make cakes, but you can go to this other guy down the street who makes cakes”.

  7. Take a lesson from the military. An officer will never refuse a legal order that is sort of stupid. Say to blow up a bridge you might need for retreat. He will just not do the job effectively. It is much harder to prove negligence than outright refusal.
    So take the job. Show up the day before and complain that no one is there. Keep things out of focus. Decorate the cake with scriptures from Leviticus. Bring low batteries and only get the first few minutes. Artists are supposed to be creative!
    Give a refund and post bad reviews yourself.
    But do NOT think that the constitution will protect you. It is just a silly piece of paper written by mean old slave owing white men, and therefore meaningless. That sounds harsh, but that is what the courts are saying.

    1. With liberal discovery and a hard-working plaintiff’s lawyer, the “homophobic” motive of the photographer will probably be rooted out.

      A subpoena of business records will show that these sorts of problems tend to happen only with gay customers. The court/jury/administrative hearing officer will infer discriminatory intent and impose financial penalties.

      Then the business won’t get the credit for a principled stand, and will instead get the reputation of being willing to do a bad job for customers they don’t like. And maybe go bankrupt with all the penalties the government imposes.

      1. Anyway, this is like the argument from the bad old days of sodomy laws that “gay people can avoid suspicion from the police so long as they act on the down low and avoid attention.” Gay people wouldn’t accept that “solution” today – are the willing to urge that their opponents be put in that position?”

        1. Gay people wouldn’t accept that “solution” today – are the willing to urge that their opponents be put in that position?”

          Clearly…the answer is yes. Yes, they would.

  8. President GayJay would have made this the law of the land in all 57 states. Cosmotarian dystopia averted.

    1. And Aleppo. Yes, he knows where Aleppo is now.

      1. Aleppo Chamber of Commerce Slogan: “If you want to know where we are, come visit, we’re sure you’ll have a blast.”

        1. “Oops, I mean we’re da bomb. No, wait, we meant to say that we’ll blow you away. No, that isn’t it either…

        2. Aleppo! This place is the shit.

  9. More forced labor in “the land of the free”.

    A federal judge has ruled that Carl and Angel Larsen have no First Amendment right to refuse to shoot video of gay weddings

    Can they be forced to shoot gay pr0n?

    even if they have religious objections to such weddings.

    Congress shall make no law…

    1. Also, I can’t be the only one that sees this as a 13A issue.

      1. Nope. I see it the same. Even if you’re paid, forced labor is forced labor. People cannot be FORCED into a contractual agreement.

        1. Good, you do not need to go to Pearl Vision.

  10. The First Amendment protects speech and expression and association; it does not protect coerced homophilia.

    A better, freer society is one which tolerates contempt for faggots as such a society is demonstrably better than a society which imposes servitude towards sodomites.

    Again, libertarianism is not about making love to the rainbow coalition; to the contrary, it is about the NAP. The latter is not breached because one’s business refuses to serve negroes and faggots – just as it is not breached if one’s business refuses to serve white Irish and Italian Catholics.

    1. Imagine a restaurant which serves Irish and Italian Catholics, but only serves meat on Fridays – and you have your analogy.

      1. Oh, and they refuse to host the after-party after Fr. O’Brien’s ordination.

        1. That’s okay, Monsignor Shea and Bishop Martini have agreed to permit Father O’Brien’s family and friends to use the basement of St. Bridget’s for the party.

          1. does that include all the little boys that the bastard has buggered? asking for a friend.

  11. A federal judge has ruled that Carl and Angel Larsen have no First Amendment right to refuse to shoot video of gay weddings even if they have religious objections to such weddings.

    I’d sue as a violation of the 13th Amendment, personally. Telling somebody they have no choice but to do this work seems little different than slavery. Even if paid, the compulsion of labor should be quite illegal.

    1. It’s definitely a violation of the 13th amendment.

      1. Democrats are NOT pro-slavery they will tell you.

        1. And in their mind, simply stating it makes it incontrovertible and self-evidently true.

  12. Progressive marxist victory! Forcing someone to bake a gay cake but it doesn’t mean it has to be a tasty cake. I’d put some nice spices in it like mouse turds. Nothing says delicious like mouse turds in a cake.

    1. Why not go with rat turds?

    2. Then the gayboyz can sue the cake baker for poisoning them which gets those bastard gay-hating bakers out of the cake making biz anyway.

  13. If I were them, I’d just tell the judge to go pound sand.

    Not that there is anything is Scripture that would ban taking pics of a gay marriage, but if they are sure that it’s the wrong thing to do, then:

    “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges!” (Acts 4:19)

    In fact, if they don’t refuse, I’d question whether they A. Were sure of their objection or B. Are actually Christian.

  14. These people will SURELY feel better about gay people now!

    Could a Jewish photographer refuse to photograph a neo-Nazi wedding? Is this an application of principle, or the creation of favored groups?

  15. What about “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude shall exist in the United States” does this moral/legal half-wit “judge” not understand?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.