Apples to Apples: Michigan Apple Farmer Files Religious Liberty Lawsuit

By Mira Soni

An apple farmer in Michigan has filed a lawsuit against the city for allegedly excluding him from the farmers market because of his religious views on gay marriage.

Steve Tennes, an organic apple farmer in East Lansing, Michigan, has hosted weddings on his Charlotte farm for years. In December 2016, he posted on Facebook that he would not host weddings between homosexual couples because it conflicted with his religious beliefs.

Tennes lost his spot at the East Lansing farmer’s market this year. The city argued that his refusal to host weddings between gay couples was in violation of a 2016 Humans Relations Ordinance that bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and expression.

In an interview with Michigan Radio, Tennes stated that the market’s decision to stop inviting him was a form of discrimination against his Catholic views.

“True tolerance is a two way street,” Tennes told reporters, “The government should not eradicate people of faith from the marketplace.”

With assistance from the Alliance Defending Freedom, an anti-LGBT advocacy group, Tennes filed a lawsuit against East Lansing last Wednesday. Tennes and the ADF are seeking damages and the reversal of the policy.

Additional Source:

Apple Farmer Loses Market Spot (AP)

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