The Hip, New Anti-LGBT Strategy: Suing First for the Right to Discriminate
The unabashedly anti-LGBT legal group, the Alliance Defending Freedom — a group that literally wants to criminalize anal sex as a health risk — has got a pretty sweet side deal representing businesses who don’t want to serve the LGBT community because “it violates their religious freedoms” (never mind that many of these businesses deal with all other kinds of “sinners”).
But apparently the ADF is tired of representing clients only after they’re hauled into court for denying services to queers. So they’re trying a new tack: suing a state’s human rights commission and attorney general ahead of time for forcing these poor companies to treat everyone equally in the first place.
Carl and Angel Larsen, two owners of a Minnesota-based video recording company, are worried about being sued one day for refusing to record a same-sex marriage. So instead of waiting, they’re suing Minnesota’s government with the ADF’s help. But this is probably not a winning strategy for several reasons.
Keep in mind, there’s nothing in any state’s laws requiring churches or other religious organizations to work with LGBTQ people, and the Larsens’ business isn’t a church or a religious organization — so they can’t use their beliefs to refuse service to anyone, full stop.
Furthermore, the business community as a whole hates laws allowing religious folks to discriminate at will — many businesses fled Indiana and North Carolina following the passage of their anti-LGBTQ laws. So even if ADF wins in Minnesota, the state as a whole will lose out on countless dollars from pro-equality businesses and legal battles defending their bigoted legal precedent in court.