But before they could launch their idea, and begin telling wedding stories, the Larsens ran into a major obstacle — a speech-coercing state law. State officials said that if they create films telling marriage stories that are consistent with their religious beliefs, they must also tell stories about marriage that violate those beliefs, under threat of steep fines and even 90 days in jail.
The Larsens were left with only three choices — none of them good. They could:
- Tell marriage stories that violate their conscience.
- Violate the law and suffer the severe consequences.
- Censor themselves and make no films about marriage.
Rather than accept any of these unlawful options, the Larsens decided to take a stand and challenge the state law. But they needed help. So Alliance Defending Freedom came alongside the Larsens to represent them free of charge.
A district court in Minnesota dismissed their first attempt to challenge the law. But the Larsens didn’t give up – and their battle for freedom continued in federal court. Last fall, ADF argued their case in front of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.
And now, the court has reinstated their lawsuit and issued a strong ruling affirming our free speech arguments! Their case will continue on, but we now have a strong foundation for seeking an ultimate win. This is a tremendous victory and it demonstrates that when we take a strong stand and fight for freedom, we can win!