A Catholic family is encountering anti-Catholic bigotry by a local government and as far as I know, none of our Bishops are saying bupkis about it:
A Catholic organic farmer is suing the city of East Lansing for booting his business from the farmers’ market over his belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.
Steve Tennes of Country Mill Farms has sold fruit and vegetables at the East Lansing Farmer’s Market for the past seven years. After city officials learned of his belief that marriage is a man-woman union, they bypassed jurisdictional limits under Michigan law to craft a policy to exclude him from being able to sell at the farmers’ market.
Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is defending Tennes.
The trouble for Tennes began when he posted on the Country Mill Farms’ Facebook page about his belief that marriage is between a man and a woman. City officials reacted to the August 24, 2016 post by telling Tennes they didn’t want his farm at the next scheduled market the following Sunday. They said they’d received complaints over the Facebook post and there would be protests if Country Mill Farms was there selling produce.
Tennes didn’t back down, and participated in the market as he always had. No one showed up to protest.
Then, in December 2016, Tennes again posted about his beliefs on Facebook.
East Lansing’s Human Relations Ordinance makes “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” protected classes.
Country Mill Farms is in Charlotte, 22 miles outside of East Lansing. It’s not in East Lansing’s jurisdiction.
So, city officials created a new policy that all vendors must comply with East Lansing’s nondiscrimination laws not just while they are at the Farmer’s Market but in all of their general business practices.
Tennes sells fruit and vegetables to anyone. He says he employs people who identify as part of the “LGBT community.” But the city doesn’t want him participating in the farmers’ market unless he will agree to host same-sex “weddings” on his orchard.
East Lansing Mayor Mark Meadows told the Lansing State Journal that because the Tennes family won’t host same-sex “weddings” on their farm in a different jurisdiction, they’re ineligible to participate in the farmers’ market.
“This is about them operating a business that discriminates against LGBT individuals,” not the Facebook posts, he said, “and that’s a whole different issue.”
Country Mill Farms declined to host a same-sex ceremony in 2014, before the Supreme Court imposed same-sex “marriage” on all 50 states. It referred the two lesbians who sought to use its property to another venue without moral objections.