City Bans Farmer from Selling Fruits for His Views on Marriage

The Tennes family in Michigan have filed suit against the City of East Lansing MI for cutting off their ability to sell their produce from their local farm at the City's farmer's market.  The City cites the Tennes families' policy of acting on their religious beliefs about marriage and refusing to allow their farm to be rented for same-sex weddings as the reason.  Besides the unconstitutional discrimination against their views on marriage, the City has no jurisdiction over the farm, which lies 22 miles outside the city.  This case, filed on behalf of the Tennes family by the Alliance Defending Freedom will be a test of First Amendment freedoms to exercise religious beliefs without fear of punishment by the government.  

From the Daily Signal: 

A farmers market and Facebook posts have opened a new front in courtroom battles over religious freedom.

It started when Steve Tennes, who owns a 120-acre farm in Charlotte, Michigan, expressed his traditional view about marriage on the farm’s Facebook page.

This drew a warning from an official more than 20 miles away in East Lansing, Michigan, that if Tennes tried to sell his fruit at the city’s farmers market, it could incite protests.

No one showed up to protest that August day last summer, though, and Tennes continued selling organic apples, peaches, cherries, and pumpkins at the seasonal market until October, as he had done the six previous years.

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Nevertheless, East Lansing moved earlier this year to ban Tennes’ farm, the Country Mill, from participating in the farmers market when it resumes June 4. The city cited its human relations ordinance, an anti-discrimination law that includes sexual orientation.

So Tennes and his wife sued the city for religious discrimination.

Read more here.

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