Lansing, Mich., Apr 12, 2019 / 14:30 pm
A farmer is suing the city of East Lansing, Michigan, after he was prohibited from selling organic apples at the city's farmer's market in what he claims is discrimination against his religious beliefs.
The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan, Southern Division, will hear a summary judgment hearing for the case Country Mill Farms v. City of East Lansing on Friday, April 12.
Steve Tennes, the owner of Country Mill Farms in Charlotte, Michigan, had sold apples at the East Lansing's farmer's market without incident from 2010 until midway through the 2016 season. In August of that year, someone posted on the farm's Facebook page, inquiring if they would host a same-sex wedding. Tennes, a Catholic, said that he would not, due to his religious beliefs.
In response to this Facebook posting, Tennes was initially blocked from attending future farmer's markets due to concerns about protests. Afterwards, the East Lansing city manager introduced a new civil rights ordinance that would bar any vendor who engaged in any discriminatory practices from selling at the farmer's market.