The City of East Lansing has determined that it can enforce it’s local code of conduct on anyone whether they live in the city or not. It seems the city has determined it can ban a farmer from Charlotte from selling produce at the farmers market in town because he won’t entertain same sex marriages on his 120 acre farm. How do they know? Well because Steve Tennes the owner of Country Mills Farm wrote on Facebook that he would not host same-sex marriages on the property. As a result the city says he and his produce are not welcome in their city. This move to ban Tennes comes despite the fact that he has been selling his apples and blueberries at the East Lansing Farmers Market since 2010.

East Lansing says Tennes violated the non-discrimination laws it has put on the books for it’s residents and therefore it is kicking him out of the Farmers Market. Just so I am clear Tennes made a comment on Facebook about supporting traditional marriage and then East Lansing moved quickly to ban him from doing business in town. I guess freedom to practice religion or freedom of expression has no place in town, even if it was posted on a man’s private Facebook page and even if the comments concerned his own private property in a county 20 miles away and were his own personal heartfelt beliefs. It seems following traditional Catholic doctrine has no place in aisles of fruit, flowers and vegetables.

Tennes has filed a lawsuit as a result against East Lansing for violating his civil rights, not to mention his God-given Constitutional rights. I mean who does this guy think he is to have an opinion that does not conform to the City Council in East Lansing and it’s moral guidelines.

I wonder what East Lansing thinks it can enforce on other non-residents. Maybe they should ban people who express support for sex specific bathroom laws, or are opposed to transgendered people serving in the military or are skeptical of client change. In fact maybe East Lansing could issue what people wanting to work in the city are allowed to think and not to think and publish them for all to see so in the future we could avoid this kind of needless confusion.

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