Wondering what happened to the Michigan farmer that sued the city of East Lansing after he was excluded from this year’s farmer’s market due to his views on same-sex marriage? A federal court ruled last week in Stephen Tennes’ favor requiring the city to allow Country Mill farm a spot at the farmers market for the rest of the season.
And despite some protesting, The Country Mill was back Sunday at the farmer’s market.
Country Mills Farms owner and devout Catholic, Tennes, along with the religious freedom advocacy group, Alliance Defending Freedom, filed the federal lawsuit earlier this year seeking reinstatement. After selling produce at the city’s farmer’s market for the past seven years, Tennes said he was prohibited from selling after his business refused to host a same-sex couple’s wedding at its orchard in Charlotte.
The City of East Lansing issued the following statement in response to the Court’s decision regarding the East Lansing Farmer’s Market case:
“The City is disappointed in the Court’s ruling. The City believes that the Court relied on the Plaintiff’s complaint and disregarded the contrary facts that were set forth in the Defendant’s answer and reply to the Plaintiff’s motion. At the time of the Court’s ruling, the Court also had the benefit of the facts established by the City’s Motion to Dismiss. The City will be considering the seeking of a stay and an appeal of the ruling.
In the meantime, the city will comply with the ruling of the Court and urges those who may also be disappointed in the ruling to respect the Court’s decision. The City has a significant event scheduled for the Farmer’s Market this weekend and urges everyone participating to respect each other and the sometimes conflicting views that people have.”