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Alliance Alert

Jun 1, 2017

Farmer Ousted from Farmer's Market for Beliefs on Marriage

An organic farmer in Michigan wants to sell food to anyone and everyone at a local farmer's market.

But the city that runs the farmer's market, East Lansing, Michigan, banned the farmer from participating in this year's market.

Why? One simple reason: The farmer believes that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.

Steve Tennes has participated in the East Lansing farmer's market since 2010, receiving high praise from East Lansing city officials consistently until this year.

Learn more about Tennes and his farm here:



Yesterday, Alliance Defending freedom attorneys filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Tennes and his farm. ADF Legal Counsel Kate Anderson had this to say about the case:

"All Steve wants to do is sell his food to anyone who wants to buy it, but the city isn’t letting him. People of faith, like the Tennes family, should be free to live and work according to their deeply held beliefs without fear of losing their livelihood. If the government can shut down a family farmer just because of the religious views he expresses on Facebook—by denying him a license to do business and serve fresh produce to all people—then no American is free."

Let’s be clear about what’s going on here: Government officials are forcing a farmer to either recant his religious views or give up an opportunity to serve the community. Nothing has changed between the years where Tennes participated in the farmer's market and now, except that the city learned about his religious views.

City officials are thus discriminating against Tennes and his family for their religious views. But the Constitution forbids the government from fencing out people of faith simply because it doesn’t like their beliefs.

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