Catholic Family Driven Out of Farmer's Market Because They Don't Host Gay Weddings
A Catholic family that owns a farm in Michigan has been literally driven out of the marketplace because of their religious beliefs.
The Tennes family has been growing crops like organic apples, blueberries, pumpkins, and sweet corn at their farm in Lansing since 1977. And they've been selling their produce at the town's farmer's market for the past seven years.
"The mission here at our family farm — the Country Mill — is to glorify God by facilitating family fun in the farm and feeding families," Steve Tennes said in a video put out by the Alliance Defending Freedom.
This year, city officials told the devout family that they were no longer welcome at the farmer’s market because, in answer to a question on their Facebook page, Tennes said he wouldn't host same-sex weddings on their family farm.
Via Fox News:
Last year, someone posted a message on Country Mill’s Facebook page inquiring about whether they hosted same-sex weddings at the farm.
Tennes told the individual they did not permit same-sex marriages on the farm because of the family’s Catholic belief that marriage is a sacramental union between one man and one woman.
City officials later discovered the Facebook posting and began immediate action to remove Country Mill from the Farmer’s Market – alleging the family had violated the city’s discrimination ordinance.
"It was brought to our attention that The Country Mill's general business practices do not comply with East Lansing's Civil Rights ordinances and public policy against discrimination as set forth in Chapter 22 of the City Code and outlined in the 2017 Market Vendor Guidelines, as such, The Country Mill's presence as a vendor his prohibited by the City's Farmer's Market Vendor Guidelines," read a letter the city sent to the family.
It also did not seem to matter to city leaders that the farm is located 22 miles outside the city limits – and had absolutely nothing to do with the business of selling blueberries at the farmer’s market
“We were surprised and we were shocked,” Steve told Fox News' Todd Starnes. “My wife and I both volunteered to serve in the military – to protect freedom. Now we come home and the freedom that we worked to protect we have to defend in our own backyard.”
“Whether you are a Jew, Muslim or Christian – people of faith should not be eradicated from the marketplace simply because they don’t share the same thoughts and ideas that the government is choosing to promote,” Steve told Fox News.
East Lansing City Manager George Lahanas said that "regardless of your religious views, if you’re doing business in East Lansing … discriminating against same-sex couples is not allowed even if on your own private property."