Farmer Barred From Michigan Farmer’s Market for Refusing to Host Lesbian Wedding at His Orchard
Stephen Tennes, of Country Mill Farms in Michigan, has sold his produce at the East Lansing Farmer’s Market for seven years. When he was asked by a lesbian couple to host their marriage on his farm, he politely refused and expressed his support for traditional biblical marriage.
Due to the interpreted homophobic nature of his response, he was contacted by the city of East Lansing Michigan and asked to decide “voluntarily” to withdraw from the city’s farmer’s market.
“In a statement, the city of East Lansing said the farmer’s decision not to host a same-sex wedding violated a “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.”
In point of fact, the city introduced a modification to the city’s farmers market vendor agreement just this year requiring sellers to comply with East Lansing’s Human Relations Ordinance. Among other things, the ordinance prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.
The city’s punitive action targets the farmer’s use of his own private property, 22 miles outside the city and well outside its jurisdiction. Mr. Tennes has declared that he does not discriminate against LGBT customers at the farmer’s market, and gladly sells his produce to all comers.”
Mr. Tennes expressed his business’ practice of accommodating and servicing all races and sexual orientations. “It’s our faith that informs us how to treat all who come to our farm and the farmers market with dignity and decency … serving customers of many races, religions, cultures and those who identify with the LGBT community,”. When he was asked to violate his understanding of rightful marriage by hosting an LGBT union on his farm, he respectfully declined, and paid the price for it. The city of East Lansing evoked a non- discriminatory clause excluding Mr. Tennes from participating in the farmer’s market.
Apparently his private business needs to be more tolerant towards same sex marriage, while his christian beliefs are not afforded the same respect. This is a grim example of government PC policing at its worse. Would he have been treated this way if he were a Muslim?