A federal judge has ruled that a Michigan family who was banned from selling their goods at a farmer’s market on public property due to their personal religious beliefs on same-sex marriage will be allowed to resume sales while their case continues to be heard.
This was welcome news to Steve and Bridget Tennes, who own Country Mill Farms in Charlotte, Michigan, and were relying on the income from the farmer’s market. They were shocked to find themselves banned earlier this year over a Facebook post that had clarified the farm’s policy on same-sex weddings.
“As the court found, East Lansing officials changed their market policy to shut out Steve because they don’t like his Catholic beliefs regarding marriage,” said Kate Anderson, a lawyer with Alliance Defending Freedom. The ADF is representing the Tenneses, the Daily Signal Reports.
“Since June 1, we’ve already missed three and a half months of being able to attend East Lansing Farmer’s Market, where we’ve served everyone for the last seven years,” Steve Tennes told the Daily Signal last week, clarifying that the Tenneses never turned anyone away due to sexual preference.
“Now we only have about six weeks left of the market to be able to sell, and the … East Lansing Farmer’s Market was the largest farmers market [where] our family sold organic apples and cider.”
After the city farmer’s market of East Lansing banned the Tenneses, they sought legal counsel and filed a federal lawsuit in May against the city.
The city responded by filing a motion to dismiss, but the couple, in turn, sought an injunction to allow them to continue to sell at the farmer’s market as the case moves forward.
Both the motions were heard on Wednesday by District Court Judge Paul Maloney in Kalamazoo, Michigan, though no ruling was reached.
While the legal battle is far from over, it is a relief to the couple to be able to continue to sell their apples and cider at the market in the meantime. However, the implications of this case remain quite chilling.
“Just like all Americans, a farmer should be free to live and speak according to his deeply held religious beliefs without fear of government punishment,” Anderson said.
The fact that these farmers were banned from selling at the farmer’s market due to their personal religious beliefs is only indicative of the Orwellian laws we have in this country surrounding personal religious beliefs and the gay agenda.
This is certainly far from the first case of a Christian being legally punished for simply wanting to have their private small business reflect their morals. If they’re not censoring us on social media, they’re banning us from farmer’s markets or suing us for our businesses, simply for politely declining to host a wedding or bake a cake.
We need to stand up for our rights now–before it’s too late.
Hear Activist Mommy’s warning about the normalization of homosexuality: