Marine Vet Can’t Sell Apples Because of His Catholic Belief of Marriage


The Tennes family

In Michigan, a Marine veteran and his wife, a former Army nurse, now farmers, cannot sell apples, blueberries and doughnuts in a farmers’ market because he believes marriage is between a man and a woman. He’s also being told not to sell from his farm. He’s suing.

The farmer, Mr. Tennes, employs LGBT people and sells to them without discrimination.

East Lansing officials told Steve Tennes he could not sell his fruit in the market because of a post he wrote in December of last year.

Last December, Tennes, who owns the Country Mill Orchard and Cider Mill in Charlotte, wrote a Facebook post explaining his family’s Catholic views on marriage, and how their deeply held beliefs are why his farm won’t host same-sex weddings.

He was banned for expressing his beliefs under the guise of the city protecting LGBTs.

It also did not seem to matter to city leaders that the farm is located 22 miles outside the city limits – and had absolutely nothing to do with the business of selling blueberries and apples at the farmer’s market.

“I felt it in my gut. This isn’t real,” Tennes recalls.“We have freedom of speech in this country.”

Tennes felt especially betrayed that he was being denied rights he fought to defend while serving his country.

To make matters worse, the totalitarian East Lansing government has broadened the definition of its civil rights ordinance specifically to ensure the couple wouldn’t have access to the farmers market this season. It applied the ordinance to all of a business’ practices: In this case, what the Tennes do on their personal property 22 miles from East Lansing.

He is simply being punished for expressing his thoughts.

Alliance Defending Freedom is working on his case, as the firm has experience with similar First Amendment violations.

Kate Anderson, legal counsel with ADF and head counsel on the Tennes case, notes a related case involving a Colorado cake shop owner that is now before the U.S. Supreme Court.

“It’s a peculiar application (of anti-discrimination laws) to compel creative professionals to violate their conscience and to speak a message against their conscience,” Anderson says.

“All Steve wants to do is sell his food to anyone who wants to buy it, but the city isn’t letting him,” said ADF Legal Counsel Kate Anderson. “People of faith, like the Tennes family, should be free to live and work according to their deeply held beliefs without fear of losing their livelihood. If the government can shut down a family farmer just because of the religious views he expresses on Facebook—by denying him a license to do business and serve fresh produce to all people—then no American is free.”

In order to overly protect LGBTs, they are violating the rights of others.

Erick Erickson mentioned in The Resurgent today that Christians in Britain are not allowed to adopt children unless they agree to believe in gay marriage.

The totalitarians will tell you what to think and say. You don’t have free speech or freedom of religion unless you fight these fascists. The Constitution doesn’t allow for rights to be given at the expense of another’s and this is over the line.

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