Fight brews with farmer who bars LGBT weddings at orchard

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A farmer wants the courts to step in after he was barred from a Michigan farmers market because he doesn’t allow gay couples to marry at his apple orchard.

The Lansing State Journal reports that a conservative Christian nonprofit is representing farmer Steve Tennes.

Tennes was barred from the East Lansing farmers market last year because city officials opposed his decision not to allow same-sex couples to get married at his orchard, The Country Mill in nearby Charlotte.

A federal judge ordered the city to make room for Tennes last year, saying the city likely violated his religious and free speech rights.

East Lansing’s mayor says that ruling only covered the 2017 market season. He says the city opposes Tennes’ “corporate decision-making,” not his religious beliefs.

Tennes’ attorney says they’ll ask for another court injunction this fall.

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    • Mac Woods

      It’s called “private property” Dimitry. The farmers market is not held on private property. The orchard is private property. Do I really have to explain this? Are you telling me that there is nothing anyone could do on your property which you wouldn’t object to?

    • Kevin Rahe

      Should you not have the freedom to avoid recognizing and promoting some act or association some group of people has freely chosen to engage in but that you disagree with? Why shouldn’t this be treated like other freely-chosen acts and associations? For instance, it is wrong (and illegal) for someone to refuse to seat me in restaurant because I’m Catholic. But that doesn’t mean I can force you to do something that specifically recognizes and promotes the Catholic Church, just because you offer a service to the public.