Farmer Banned From Selling Blueberries For Not Supporting Gay MarriageBy PNW Staff June 12, 2017
Same-sex marriage activists have no shortage of facilities willing to bake cakes or host ceremonies, but targeting Christians and labeling them as bigots has been a tactic too effective for them to abandon.
Now publicly shamed as a bigot for his Christian beliefs, Steve Tennes pointed out in an interview that he has employed both straight and gay farm workers in his business. He had no quarrel with any gay or lesbian customers, until he was contacted in 2014 by two lesbians who wanted to have their marriage ceremony on his property.
For several years, the Tennes family was able to avoid conflict by ceasing to host all weddings in their orchards. That is until December of 2016 when he decided that he had considered the issue enough and was ready to stand his ground. Opening to weddings once again, Tennes stood his ground and clearly expressed the farm's policy and same-sex marriage.
Unwilling to be bullied by protesters trying to force their beliefs on him and his family, the public statement provided on his Facebook page explained, "It remains our deeply held religious belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman and Country Mill has the First Amendment Right to express and act upon its beliefs."
This led the city of East Lansing to require anti-discrimination pledges from all attending farmers and to officially instruct the Market Planning Committee not to invite The Country Mill for 2017.
Now Tennes is fighting back with a legal challenge of his own to the city for their discrimination of his sincerely held religious beliefs. In a twist that promises to be difficult to sort out, his legal complaint states that "It is a violation of the Human Relations Ordinance to exclude a person from a public service on the basis of religion. The City, therefore, violated the Human Relations Ordinance by excluding Country Mill from the Market based on Tennes' statement of his religious beliefs."
The law is being used as a weapon to force what amounts to gross discrimination, the radical viewpoints of homosexual activists on the rest of society. The freedom of belief is a long-cherished right of Americans and that is now under threat.
The coming court battle, not the first and almost certainly not the last, should prove an interesting dispute between the power of liberal city governments to discriminate against Christian beliefs and the right of the Tennes family freely to practice their faith without unjust coercion or abuse.