Farmer Banned From Selling At Market After Expressing Views on Same-Sex Marriage
September 10th, 2017, 9:59 AM
Farmer Steve Tennes, who sold apples and doughnuts at the East Lansing Farmer's Market, was banned after he posted his views in December on Facebook about his Catholic faith and marriage and why his farm won't host same-sex weddings, reports the Detroit News.
Tennes, a husband and father of five, who owns the Country Mill Orchard and Cider Mill in Charlotte, was obviously upset, explaining that the ban reminded him of the time he spent near the border of North Korea as a Marine and how the people feared the governrnent.
“I felt it in my gut. This isn’t real,” Tennes tells Ingrid Jacques of the Detroit News. “We have freedom of speech in this country.”
The East Lansing government isn’t backing down. In fact, it broadened the definition of its civil rights ordinance specifically to ensure the couple wouldn’t have access to the farmers market this season. It applied the ordinance to all of a business’ practices: In this case, what the Tennes do on their personal property 22 miles from East Lansing.
“We require everybody to conform their business practices to the East Lansing ordinance in order to use East Lansing property to sell their goods so that is applied to everybody,” says East Lansing Mayor Mark Meadows.