Family Farmers Refused To Hold Same-Sex Weddings, Were Banned From A Local Farmer’s Market.

Family Farmers Refused To Hold Same-Sex Weddings, Were Banned From A Local Farmer’s Market.

By Ashe Schow Daily Wire

A family farm is waiting to receive a ruling in their lawsuit against the city of East Lansing, Michigan after they were banned from a city-run market for refusing to allow same-sex weddings on their property.

Fox News reported that Country Mill Farms – operated by Stephen and Bridget Tennes – began their legal battle in 2016, when the couple said on Facebook that they opposed same-sex weddings for religious reasons. They temporarily stopped hosting weddings on their property after a backlash to the post.

In December 2016, the family announced on Facebook that it would start holding weddings again – but not for same-sex couples.

“The Country Mill engages in expressing its purpose and beliefs through the operation of its business and it intentionally communicates messages that promote its owners’ beliefs and declines to communicate messages that violate those beliefs,” the farm said at the time. “For this reason, Country Mill reserves the right to deny a request for services that would require it to communicate, engage in, or host expression that violates the owners’ sincerely held religious beliefs and conscience.”

The City of East Lansing then banned Country Mill from its farmer’s market, citing a new policy requiring all vendors to be in line with the city’s non-discrimination policy in their business operations.

The family sued, and the case was taken up by Alliance Defending Freedom, which has experience in cases such as this.

“If a city can target and punish a farmer for his religious beliefs on marriage, and do the things that they did and get away with that kind of authority over somebody’s religious beliefs… they really have the power to try to impact everybody’s religious beliefs,” ADF senior counsel Kate Anderson told Fox News.

The lawsuit received a bench trial last week and is awaiting a ruling from a judge. In the farm’s favor are two Supreme Court rulings that were decided since the family’s troubles began, although those decisions may not help in this case.

Daily Wire

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