A Michigan farmer is suing the city of East Lansing after he was excluded from this year’s farmer’s market due to his post on Facebook following the farm’s refusal to host a same-sex wedding.
According to the Washington Post, Country Mills Farms owner and devout Catholic, Stephen Tennes, along with the religious freedom advocacy group, Alliance Defending Freedom, filed the federal lawsuit Wednesday, seeking reinstatement. After selling produce at the city’s farmer’s market for the past seven years, Tennes says he was prohibited from selling after his business refused to host a lesbian couple’s wedding at its orchard in Charlotte.
The city has responded with this statement: “The Country Mill has been excluded from the East Lansing Farmer’s Market because the East Lansing Farmer’s Market policy requires that all vendors comply with the City’s Civil Rights ordinances while at the market and as a general business practice. Contrary to this policy and the constitutionally protected rights of all couples, The Country Mill has advertised that their business practice is to prohibit same-sex couples from holding weddings at their orchard in Charlotte, MI. Their business practices violate the City of East Lansing’s long-standing ordinance that protects sexual orientation as well as the Supreme Court’s ruling that grants the right for same-sex couples to be married.”
The Country Mill posted this message and video on their Facebook page last week: