You can’t force people to have gay sex.
For most men, you can put a gun to their head, and they’re not going to do it.
These people need to ease up and back off.
The City of East Lansing will have to pay nearly $825,000 in damages and attorney fees for violating a vendor’s rights to free speech and freedom of religion when it excluded him from the city’s farmers market because of his religious beliefs.
Country Mill Farms owner Stephen Tennes sued the city in 2017 after it excluded him from the farmers market because he refused to host same-sex wedding ceremonies at his farm.
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan Judge Paul Maloney said the city can enforce vendor guidelines against Tennes, aside from refusing to allow him to participate because of his thoughts on same-sex marriages.
Tennes won a jury trial in 2021 and he and the city settled the remaining issues. East Lansing will pay $41,199 in damages to Tennes and $783,801 to Tennes’ attorneys.
Maloney ruled in August that East Lansing’s actions against Country Mill Farms constituted a violation of the free exercise clause.
“The city’s decision to exclude Country Mill Farms from the 2017 East Lansing Farmer’s Market constituted a burden on plaintiffs’ religious beliefs,” Maloney wrote. “Plaintiffs were forced to choose between following their religious beliefs and a government benefit for which they were otherwise qualified.”
Alliance Defending Freedom, the group that represented Tennes in the lawsuit, said Tennes will be able to continue running his farm based on his religious beliefs.
The lawsuit came after East Lansing forbid Tennes from participating in the farmers market after he posted on Facebook that he would not host same-sex marriages at his farm, which is in Charlotte. ADF said Tennes had not received any complaints at the farmers market and “always served everyone” there.
The city, in its denial of a farmers market license for Country Mill, said the farm’s refusal to hold weddings for gay couples was a violation of East Lansing’s nondiscrimination ordinance and farmers market vendor guidelines.
Hey, a win is a win.
I’ll take whatever wins I can get at this point.
Video from when they were banned