Banned farmer returning to East Lansing farmers market

EAST LANSING — A farmer who posted his opposition to same-sex marriages will be allowed to return to East Lansing’s city-run farmers market, media reported on Tuesday.

From MLive:

Charlotte farmer Steve Tennes, owner of Country Mill Farms, can temporarily return to selling his produce at the East Lansing Farmers Market.

The city of East Lansing must allow Tennes to participate in the market for the remainder of the season, U.S. District Court Judge Paul Maloney ordered in a Sept. 15 ruling.

The market season ends Oct. 29.

The lawsuit originates from Tennes’ claim that his business, Country Mill Farms LLC. in Charlotte, was unconstitutionally ousted from selling its produce at East Lansing Farmer’s Market by city officials.

The ruling said that even if Tennes’ talking about discrimination wasn’t considered free speech, him talking about his religion is.

With the city’s Autumn Fest coming up on Oct. 8, the city asked people to respect the court’s decision, the website reported.

“In the meantime, the city will comply with the ruling of the court and urges those who may also be disappointed in the ruling to respect the court’s decision. The city has a significant event scheduled for the farmers’ market this weekend and urges everyone participating to respect each other and the sometimes conflicting views that people have,” the city government said in a statement.

Tennes is being represented by Alliance Defending Freedom, MLive reported. The Arizona-based Christian firm defends religious freedoms.