An apple farmer opposed to same-sex
marriage on Monday asked a judge to issue an injunction that would
force the city of East Lansing, Michigan to allow him to return to
its outdoor market.
Stephen Tennes' The Country Mill farm
in Eaton County is a popular wedding venue. In a Facebook post in
December, Tennes said that he reserves the right to refuse to host
the weddings of gay and lesbian couples.
The city responded by barring Tennes
from its market, saying that he had violated its civil rights
ordinance, which prohibits discrimination based on sexual
orientation. Tennes filed a lawsuit in May, saying that his rights to
free speech and religion are being violated. Tennes is represented
by the Washington-based Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the same
Christian conservative legal group that U.S. Attorney General Jeff
Sessions spoke to last week.
“If the government can shut down a
family farmer just because of the religious views he expressed on
Facebook … then no American is free,” attorney Kate Anderson told
criticizes Jeff Sessions for speaking at ADF summit.)
According to the AP, East Lasing told
the judge that it had responded to Tennes' conduct, not his speech.