MENU

Reason.com

Free Minds & Free Markets

A City Uses a Farmer's Views on Gay Marriage to Shove Him Out of the Market

He won't host same-sex weddings, but his farm isn't even within city limits.

Country MillCountry MillA lawsuit in Michigan combines a familiar question—whether a business can refuse to service a gay wedding on religious grounds—with a more unusual question: How far can a local government go to control behavior outside its boundaries?

Steve Tennes, owner of Country Mills Farms, is suing the City of East Lansing for booting it from a city-operated farmers market. Tennes, who is Catholic, believes marriage should be reserved for heterosexual couples. He hosts weddings on his farm, but not for same-sex couples, and he has turned away a lesbian couple in the past. He has also laid out this policy in a Facebook post.

Michigan does not include sexual orientation in its public accommodation laws. The city of East Lansing does include sexual orientation in its own laws, so city officials have told Tennes he can't participate in its farmers market.

County Mills Farms is not within the city limits of East Lansing. It's around 20 miles away. Tennes is not accused of actually violating city law in any way. When he travels to the market in East Lansing, he apparently sells his produce (mostly apples) to all comers.

Tennes' discriminatory behavior takes place outside East Lansing's jurisdiction. But after begging Tennes to drop out of the market and failing (according to the lawsuit), the city updated its law to require those who want to conduct business within East Lansing to follow the city's discrimination laws as "a general business practice." Thus, East Lansing wants to use Tennes' refusal to host same-sex weddings elsewhere as a reason to keep him from doing business within the city.

Tennes is being represented by Alliance Defending Freedom, a religious conservative organization. Its lawsuit presents the familiar claim that Tennes' religious freedom and free speech rights have been violated. But the suit also argues that East Lansing is violating Michigan's Home Rule law by attempting to control Tennes' behavior outside the boundaries of its city. The lawsuit is asking for only a single dollar in damages; what it really wants is the federal government to order East Lansing to let the farmer back into the farmers market.

Note that this is something significantly different from the city setting the rules for private businesses who want to contract with the city itself. Cities often have policies that require contractors to obey their discrimination laws if they want to do business with them. It's the taxpayers' money they're spending, and they have the authority to set the rules for associating with them. (That everybody should have a similar right is lost on them.)

But in this case, East Lansing is setting guidelines to control who can participate in an open marketplace. And it wants to do so based on activities that have absolutely no relationship with what is going on in the market itself. This suggests that the exclusion has more to do with Tennes' views than his behavior.

One possible counterargument would be "It's the city's market, so they should be able to set the rules." But that just raises a larger policy issue: Why is the city running a farmers market in the first place? Many cities have similar markets; East Lansing started its in 2009. According to the lawsuit, there's a complex permitting process and limited space for participation, putting city officials in the position of deciding which private sellers get to profit off sales in this public space and which are refused. It's yet another example of city policies creating a system of winners and losers.

Even if you were support including sexual orientation in public accommodation laws, and even if you support requiring businesses to provide the same services to gay weddings that they do to straight ones, there are larger implications in what East Lansing is doing. Could a city keep a business out for paying lower (but legal) wages to employees outside city limits? Could a city keep a business out for not following other types of regulatory practices that either don't exist or are less restrictive outside the town?

Read the lawsuit here.

Photo Credit: Country Mill

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • WakaWaka||

    http://hotair.com/archives/201.....condemned/

    Religious tests are all the rage on the Left. How reactionary (or progressive, but I repeat myself).

  • Uncle Jay||

    RE: A City Uses a Farmer's Views on Gay Marriage to Shove Him Out of the Market
    He won't host same-sex weddings, but his farm isn't even within city limits.

    "A lawsuit in Michigan combines a familiar question—whether a business can refuse to service a gay wedding on religious grounds—with a more unusual question: How far can a local government go to control behavior outside its boundaries?"

    1. A person (or business) must not refuse to service a gay wedding on religious grounds because only The State has the right to refuse service to anyone it does not like as a matter of conscience. If the little people started to deny service to gay weddings, then the stock market will collapse, the sun will freeze over and the earth will stop rotating. These are all scientific facts that can not be denied.
    2. A local government must have the authority to control behavior of the unwashed masses at any cost, even if it is outside its boundaries. Controlling the little people is a necessary and prudent action if we are to have a successful socialist slave state. Just ask Hitler, Stalin, Castro, Pol Pot, et al. Our ruling elitist turds must have control over everything we say and do if we are to be a free country, and they have said this many times over. Only counter-revolutionaries and doubters would be foolish to disagree.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The Church should excommunicate him for hosting weddings outside sacred ground.

  • WakaWaka||

    Good point. Catholics can't be married outside of a church, unlikely those willy nilly anything goes protestants.

  • MacDaddy81||

    Says farmer is Catholic, nothing about the weddings themselves.

  • Radioactive||

    does the pope shit in the woods, is the bear a catholic? or something like that right?

  • ThomasD||

    Don't try to trick us with that logic stuff.

  • Welcome to 47150||

    First, hosting a wedding on his property is not grounds for an excommunication. And second, to the poster below that said Catholics can't be married outside of a church; the local Bishop can grant a Dispensation of Form to allow a Catholic to marry outside of a Catholic Church.

  • Zeb||

    First, hosting a wedding on his property is not grounds for an excommunication.

    Is allowing property to be used for a gay wedding grounds for excommunication?

  • ThomasD||

    I'm no Canon lawyer, but probably not. Certainly not for an automatic excommunication (Latae sententiae) beyond that, much depends on the particular ecclesiastic court.

  • Eric Bana||

    But they can't pass Go or collect $200, unfortunately.

  • ThomasD||

    You can also have the religious ceremony performed in a church, then have a repeat ceremony pretty much anywhere you want (priests will even officiate/participate.)

  • STSA||

    Really? You're gonna tell a Catholic how to be a Catholic? Read the First Amendment, he has the right to exercise his religion anyway he wants. Besides, with permission from the bishop, you can get married outside the church.
    http://canonlawmadeeasy.com/20.....ic-church/

    It's also not a sin for the farmer to let southern baptists, Jews, etc, get married on his property. But since he doesn't believe in gay marriage, he doesn't want to be a part of that. I for example believe in the 2nd Amendment, so I wouldn't want gun haters getting married on my property.

  • ||

    There goes my hopes of hosting my gay wedding in a farmer's market in E. Lansing.

  • IceTrey||

    In protest of their treatment of this farmer because otherwise I believe E Lansing would be ok with it?

  • ||

    because otherwise I believe E Lansing would be ok with it?

    Sure, if I just showed up and hosted a wedding in the middle of the farmer's market, I'm sure E. Lansing and the marketers would be totally cool with it.

    I'm fairly certain there's code saying I'd need a permit and that the permits aren't issued, to anyone, during the farmers market.

    That is to say, wedding in public in E. Lansing is at the City/Owner's/Public's discretion.

  • Social Darwinist||

    After East Lansing changed the guidelines and booted Tennes from the Farmer's Market the city council asked him "How do you like them apples?"

  • Brandybuck||

    "I should have listened to my straight friends who told me there was no sex after marriage. I just laughed at them. But now he always has a headache..."

  • Brandybuck||

    Sorry, meant to reply to next post down. Sigh. Squirrels.

  • ||

    But now he always has a headache...

    Hey a G44.82 is no laughing matter!

  • Rhywun||

    You didn't see the alt-text did you

  • BearOdinson||

    I get lesbians. After all, they are both women.

    But seriously, why the fuck do gay men even WANT to get married?

  • Juice||

    Cheaper car insurance?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Tax breaks, get on other spouses medical plans, and received spouses social security when the spouse dies.

    Locking down that ass too, I guess.

  • Zeb||

    Getting old? And gay dudes do love weddings.

    And what loveconstitution says. Especially the health insurance thing. I probably wouldn't have gotten officially married if it weren't for that.

  • BearOdinson||

    I was half-kidding. And probably making more of a statement of my libido, than anything about gay men!

    And of course, I suppose there is nothing preventing gay men from having "open marriages".

  • Zeb||

    Yes, I got that. Hence my half-kidding response.

  • Crusty Juggler - Elite||

    Love, you bigoted monster.

  • Radioactive||

    who doesn't love a bigoted monster...oh wait there's a comma....never mind!

  • EscherEnigma||

    On the good days, it doesn't matter if we're married.

    On the worst days though? It matters to a court if we're married. It matters to a hospital if we're married. It matters to the police if we're married. It matters to any school's out kids go to if we're married. It matters to our retirement plans if we're married. And no amount of time or money spent with a lawyer will secure the same rights, privileges and immunities as that $20 marriage license.

  • ||

    And it matters to the tax collector - don't forget him!

  • Tony||

    Married is for legal stuff as mentioned. Monogamous is the real question. Never cared for it myself.

  • STSA||

    It's romantic. The real question is why do they want to get married at some farm owned by someone who's against same-sex marriage?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    This is first- Government using its police power to violate the rights of citizens based on what the politicians FEELZ.

  • OldMexican Blankety Blank||

    Even if you were support including sexual orientation in public accommodation laws[...]


    There is NO such thing as "public accommodation". The concept is utter nonsense. You can't accommodate "the public" for the unavoidable reason that you can't *know* everyone, which is exactly why the state provides an arbitrary list of especially benefited groups, an action which pretty much NEGATES the concept of "public accommodation". A specific group cannot be construed as "the public". Neither can be a collection of groups. The self- contradictory nature of the concept is clear yet it's the kind of nonsense that some "libertarians" continue to entertain only because they're afraid of being labeled as "kooky", a totally baseless fear.

  • Juice||

    There is NO such thing as "public accommodation".

    Well, there is, and it can even be owned by private persons. The problem is that somehow every business out there is now considered a public accommodation. Business owners need to declare that their businesses are private and not public accommodations. The state won't care and still try to force you to do business with people you don't want to do business with, but you can perhaps make the argument in court. You might be able to make a solid case that your business is not "open to the public" nor is it there to accommodate all comers. It's a private business whose purpose is to allow the owner to do business with only those people whom he decides to do business with.

  • OldMexican Blankety Blank||

    Re: Juice,

    Well, there is


    No, there isn't. It's self-contradictory. You can't say that you're accommodating the public because a) you can't *know* everyone and b) you can't read minds.

    The problem is that somehow every business out there is now considered a public accommodation.


    Indeed but that stems from people's penchant for shitting over Private Property Rights, either due to jealousy or envy.

  • Juice||

    You can't say that you're accommodating the public because a) you can't *know* everyone and b) you can't read minds.

    Huh? Public accommodation just means that your accommodation (whatever that may be) is open to all comers without restriction.

  • OldMexican Blankety Blank||

    Re: Juice,

    Huh? Public accommodation just means that your accommodation (whatever that may be) is open to all comers without restriction.


    That's not what it means at all. It means that you establish an environment where EVERYONE will feel welcome. That is what it MEANS.It doesn't mean making your doors wider. It means ANTICIPATING all people's feelings. Not your customers feelings. No. EVERYONE'S feelings.

  • dpbisme||

    I am accommodating my customers who are individuals.

    Some people I do not want as my customers and some customers don't want me as their source.

    PUBLIC would mean everybody, and everybody do not shop at Walmart.... only Walmart Customers.

  • Shirley Knott||

    This is how a lot of restaurants got around dry laws in various counties and states. Buy a membership and then suddenly, magically, getting liquor is possible. Otherwise, nope.
    But somehow that parallelism is going to escape the powers that be. Probably because they now feel that they'd never want to ban or (further) restrict alcohol access.

  • Juice||

    Not sure if it's like that now, but in the Bible belt states clubs that sold liquor in the same place there would be dancing had to be private clubs. They didn't have a cover charge. It was a membership fee. Stupid, but that's how it had to be worded. I haven't seen that in 20 years though.

    And I'm not saying that a shop or bakery or whatever has to issue membership cards. I'm just saying they just need to openly declare that they are a private business and not a public accommodation.

  • Bubba Jones||

    I think Dallas still has membership fees to Applebee's so you can buy wine.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    it's the kind of nonsense that some "libertarians" continue to entertain only because they're afraid of being labeled as "kooky", a totally baseless fear.

    Baseless because libertarians are going to be labeled as kooky no matter what.

  • Tony||

    Why can't we refer to groups of people when rhetorically or practically convenient, again? Does the same go for ants? Wallabies?

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    Wrongthink must be stamped out! Wherever it exists! ALL must bend over!

  • Free Society||

    You WILL suck this tranny's dick. NOW.

  • Rhywun||

    He said "bend over", not "kneel".

  • Free Society||

    I am, admittedly, unfamiliar with tranny anatomy. Are they anything like people?

  • Rhywun||

    Once you scrape off the makeup, there are some similarities.

  • Inigo Montoya||

    I don't know much about trannies either, but I know they almost always have a flywheel at one end.

    Other features, such as torque converter or synchromesh gears, I think depend on whether the tranny is an automatic or not. But I'm not sure.

    And don't ask me anything about the continuously-variable ones, which seem to be standard on all the hybrids and plug-in electrics these days. Those are a mystery to me.

    My advice is, unless you really know what you're doing, send any malfunctioning tranny out to a shop that specializes in them.

  • ||

    My advice is, unless you really know what you're doing, send any malfunctioning tranny out to a shop that specializes in them.

    +1 leftover mystery part

  • NoVaNick||

    So why can't the lesbian couple just find a farm that will host their wedding-is this the only farm in Michigan? This is current SOP for progs: look for, or create a crisis in small town America-bathrooms, weddings, wedding cakes. Next thing you know, they won't allow farmers who have stickers supporting guns or conservative politicians to sell at their farmers' market.

  • ||

    So why can't the lesbian couple just find a farm that will host their wedding-is this the only farm in Michigan?

    The lesbians, as usual, don't seem to be the problem. It's the town of E. Lansing and this is a big part of the point. The farmer didn't do anything illegal or even reasonably discernible from personal taste out in the boonies and the town is attempting to punish him for it.

    With all the agri-tourism I've been in and around, I'm kinda surprised something like this took this long to develop. I can think of at least a dozen other places that openly display scripture all over their facilities and either flat out refuse to do weddings or do them by invitation only.

  • Juice||

    But how did the town even become aware of the farm's refusal to host a gay wedding?

  • Finrod||

    C.S. Lewis's "moral busybodies".

  • Bubba Jones||

    Facebook

  • Zeb||

    Ugh. How about the farmers market people just worry about farmer's market related things?

  • NoVaNick||

    Farmers' markets have much more to do with hipster proggie signaling than buying and selling farmed goods. Its always entertaining to watch the Prius and Birkenstock folks pay $5 for a pound of tomatoes from those who sport Trump and pro-gun bumper stickers on their F150s.

  • Shirley Knott||

    That's actually very regional. Farmer's Markets do pre-date hipsters, you know. (They've culturally appropriated what can be a nice thing.)
    The East Lansing Farmer's Market sucks.
    The Meridian Township Farmer's Market one suburb to the east is quite nice, hardly hipster-infested at all, and filled with local farmers and small businesses of various scales.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    How about the farmers market people just worry about farmer's market related things?

    Crazy talk. All public places must be transformed into Safe Zones of Wokeness.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Because people suck at compartmentalization.

  • Brandybuck||

    Economics has always been the back door to restricting every other freedom. Freedom of speech is sacred, but it's okay to regulate businesses. We're not restricting the farmer's speech, we're just not letting him make his eebil profits. Same thing on the right. They're not banning a Religion, they're just restricting the movement of labor and goods from Muslim countries.

    How much different would things be if the Bill of Rights had a "the right to truck, barter, and trade shall not be infringed" amendment?

  • x'); DROP USER Tony;||

    How much different would things be if the Bill of Rights had a "the right to truck, barter, and trade shall not be infringed" amendment?

    That only applies to trucks, and government-approved trading organizations, not regular citizens.

    The Constitution is not a suicide pact.

  • Brandybuck||

    But at least there would be some controversy over it, like there is for the Second Amendment. At least make the progtard have to bend the language slightly before they start throwing the government's weight around.

  • TGoodchild||

    Good book.

  • Ecoli||

    Brandy,

    "They" are restricting the movement of people from a few predominantly Muslim countries that are the nexus of Islamic terrorism and that also have essentially non-existant vetting abilities. Of the several billion Muslims on Earth, only a few hundred million are affected. So, clearly, "they" are not banning Muslims.

    Accuracy and truth matter.

  • Brandybuck||

    You forgot the [/sarc] tag...

  • Bubba Jones||

    It has now been over 120 days. The new policies should be in place by now. We no longer need the temporary ban.

  • ||

    How much different would things be if the Bill of Rights had a "the right to truck, barter, and trade shall not be infringed" amendment?

    Not much, maybe worse. At least (unlike the 2A), you either weaken the BOR or put The Constitution and BOR in (greater) conflict with each other. The Commerce Clause of The Constitution would've proceeded unabated and probably somewhere around the time of The New Deal, we'd have invented the concept of Destructive Economic Devices and banned them as part of a Federal Act. Piracy, Counterfeiting, and Treason convictions might be more common. Certainly not unreasonable to imagine The South seceding more successfully.

  • makattak||

    How much different would things be if the Bill of Rights had a "the right to truck, barter, and trade shall not be infringed" amendment?

    I think this is one of the rights the Founders thought was so obvious, it didn't need to be included.

    BOY, were they wrong on this one.

  • ||

    I think this is one of the rights the Founders thought was so obvious, it didn't need to be included.

    You know The Whiskey Rebellion started before the ratification of the BOR, right? 'To form a more perfect Union', 'insure domestic Tranquility', and 'promote the general Welfare' are right there in the preamble and the Commerce Clause is in the same place it always is.

    I mean, I don't think they wrote it all down as an indefensible definition of libertopia or had the notion that they were going to go around forcing everyone to sign it as some manner of social contract.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Something that talks about the pursuit of happiness, maybe.

  • Leo Kovalensky||

    "How much different would things be if the Bill of Rights had a "the right to truck, barter, and trade shall not be infringed" amendment?"

    Clearly this only applies to militias

  • x'); DROP USER Tony;||

    So, as punishment for this farmer refusing to do certain kinds of business with people for moral reasons, the city government has decided not to do certain kinds of business with him, for moral reasons.

    Boy, they sure do have a point.

  • EscherEnigma||

    "Boy, they sure do have a point."
    Freedom of Association is a double-edged sword?

  • MarkLastname||

    Is he free not to associate with the state? Are they gonna refund his taxes? Does he fore gay couples to pay to use his farm then shoo them off when they show up? Then no.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Seeing as he lives and works outside the city, I find it questionable that he's paid any city taxes to the City of Lansing beyond things like sales taxes, especially since he is no longer attending the farmer's market.

  • BYODB||

    It's wrong of this city to single out Muslim's like this!


    /progressive

  • Inigo Montoya||

    While everyone can and should have their own opinions, when it comes to doing business, why do people feel the need to speak up on irrelevant topics when it means alienating a portion of their clientele and/or encountering issues like being kicked out of a business venue?

    I don't care about country music, but I remember when that group The Dixie Chicks sabotaged their own musical career by speaking out at concerts about Bush. Besides ignoring the possibility that a large portion of their audience were probably Bush supporters, as crazy as that was, they also forgot that music fans of all political beliefs buy super-expensive concert tickets to hear performers PLAY MUSIC, not stage political rallies.

    Even if I attended a concert where the band started spouting off about why libertarians are correct and other political groups are deluded, I'd be thinking, "Okay, good for you, but shut up and get back to giving me what I paid for, which isn't to hear you talk politics."

    Most buyers want farmers' produce, not farmers' personal proclamations.

  • Rhywun||

    God I hate that so much. Recently happened with a band I really like, I keep going back to MySpace to see when their new album is coming out and all of a sudden it's #resist central. And nasty replies to anyone who objects. STFU and finish you album already.

  • IceTrey||

    MySpace? Are you posting from the 90's?

  • An Non||

    For some reason, MySpace is lingering as a place for musicians. There does seem to be a slow move over to Bandcamp.

  • Alcibiades||

    Bruce Springsteen take note.

  • Fk_Censorship||

    I don't think this particular farmer spoke up or made a fuss. He just didn't want to be coerced to do something he didn't feel like doing.

  • Hank Phillips||

    I immediately bought some Dixie Chicks CDs, and they are great musicians!

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    One possible counterargument would be "It's the city's market, so they should be able to set the rules." But that just raises a larger policy issue: Why is the city running a farmers market in the first place?

    Because it makes it easier to force everyone into an agreeable social worldview.

  • Inigo Montoya||

    I just re-read the first paragraph and it seems the city in question is East Lansing, Michigan!!

    WTF? If the city in question was Berkeley or Portland or something, it would be no surprise -- but East Lansing? Doesn't that place have the distinction of having one of the highest concentrations of Muslims anywhere in the US?

    Did the city elders, in their ample wisdom, bother to gauge the prevailing opinion of gay marriage among their Muslim constituents? It has to be the least tolerant religion when it comes to gay issues, even compared to the Westboro Baptists.

    Either these locals pols know something the rest of us don't, or their attempts at social signalling are going to blow up in their face at the next election.

  • Rhywun||

    You might be thinking of Dearborn? East Lansing is a college town.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Here is a 1937 Michigan paper near Dearborn quoting Julius Streicher urging Germans to boycott Jewish stores: http://tinyurl.com/y9odgbnv

  • Mickey Rat||

    Three words: Michigan State University.

  • retiredfire||

    Until there exists the category of Radical Christian Extremists, those who follow the teachings of Christ can be treated any way government wants, without fear of retribution.

  • EscherEnigma||

    I can't be bothered to check, but is there anything preventing a person with a sufficiently large space from hosting their own farmers market?

    If not, the answer is probably "there wasn't enough interest to run one as a for-profit endeavor, so the city stepped up to run one at a loss."

  • MarkLastname||

    We can be almost certain that there is some licensing requirement. When or where is there not? Even if not thoroughly enforced I'm willing to bet it's there.

    More over, the 'the city owns it' is a bullshit argument anyway. If holding the wrong views disqualifies one from using public space it should also disqualify one from having to fund said public space. If it's beneath the state to let Nazis use the roads it should also be beneath the state to accept their money.

  • Enemy of the State||

    The lust for power knows no political boundaries....

  • ThomasD||

    Am the only one who finds it disturbing that Shackford thinks there is nuance to be found in this episode?

    Beyond the simple issue of jurisdiction, or lack thereof, it's plain old straight up totalitarianism.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Governments enforcing ideological conformity, what could go wrong?

  • Hank Phillips||

    Here is a US newpaper report of Catholics ordered to vote JA! on annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany:
    http://tinyurl.com/yaeymo8g
    You know what they say about turnabout...

  • Tionico||

    The city dolts are trying to assert their unlawful authority in- a sphere where they have NO jurisdiction. Their keeping this farmer out of "their" market is of precisely the same sort as this man's keeping same sex couples from using their private property in a manner the property owner deems "unacceptible". In one case we have a refusal to accomodate based on ONE standard of sexual orientation, in the other case we have a refusal to accomodate based on the opposite standard of sexual orientation.

    WHO is right? The individual owner of private property is correct. HE, being the sole responsible party, and the only one upon whom any consequences for his policy will fall, has the absolute right to decide. On the other hand, the city have a responsibility to ALL their citizens..... how do they know that perhaps SOME of them might appreciate this individual's standards, and by forcing this man out of the CITY's market, they violate the conscience not only of the famer but all who might hold his same values. The city government are wrong. WHO put them there, with a mandate to so discriminate?

  • EscherEnigma||

    "WHO put them there, with a mandate to so discriminate?"
    The voters, obviously.

  • MarkLastname||

    Same goes for prop 8.

  • EscherEnigma||

    And if Tionico had stuck to arguing that the decision was unjust, I wouldn't have snarked.

    But he didn't, and instead ran face-first into a core tenant of representative democracy: that the people we elect to represent us represent us.

  • aajax||

    To me, it depends what is involved in hosting.

  • Bubba Jones||

    Solution. Raise the fees until no one profits.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Thought crime knows no boundaries

  • David in the O.C.||

    A farm is not a church, and the owner isn't a pastor. The owner does not have the right to force his CHOSEN religious ideology on the public. No doubt he willingly hosts weddings for couples with different religious beliefs than him, or even those that don't have any religious beliefs at all. If you can't separate your religion from your business (not sure what selling apples has to do with religion), don't open your business to the public. -- And he might want to stop judging people. That's for his God to do.

  • MarkLastname||

    "The owner does not have the right to force his CHOSEN religious ideology on the public."
    Is he forcing someone to pray the rosary? He's not forcing anything on anyone, you brain-damaged turd.

    'If you can't separate your religion from your business (not sure what selling apples has to do with religion)"
    It's clearly stated that he doesn't discriminate in the selling of his apples. He does discriminate in who he allows to use his property, as does every-fucking-one else in the world. Is your property 'open to the public?' If so, I'll be at your place tomorrow to watch TV for a few hours, ok? And keep the fridge stocked, or I'll call the police and tell them you're denying me access to food.

  • Mickey Rat||

    He is not "forcing" his beliefs on anyone. No one has a right to his goods or services without his consent. It is the city government that is enforcing compliance with an ideology to do business, A city run farmer's market is an actual public accommodation, not a private business.

  • ThomasD||

    "If you can't separate your religion from your business (not sure what selling apples has to do with religion), don't open your business to the public."

    Fuck off slaver.

  • Hank Phillips||

    In Roman tradition, first the emperor (give unto Caesar) judges. Then--after they've been torn to bits by lions--the bigots can be judged by their own jealous Ghawd.

  • SutureSelf||

    Public accommodation laws are just the inverse of Jim Crow laws. In the latter, the government tells you you are prohibited, in your private business, from providing your goods or services to certain proscribed persons. In the former, the government tells you you are prohibited, in your private business, from denying your goods or services to certain prescribed persons. Both are anti-liberty.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Yeah, but on the positive side, at least they're pro-coercion!

  • Leo Kovalensky||

    Why doesn't the East Lansing police just show up at his property and compel him to host a gay wedding? I'm so sick of this passive-aggressive form of totalitarianism. East Lansing let your fascist flag fly with pride!

  • ByronSez||

    He bans gays because of what he believes.
    He gets banned because of what the city believes.
    A study in ignorance.
    Stupid is as stupid does.

  • Hank Phillips||

    There are alienable rights. At three papist schools I attended all teachers agreed that infidels were going to Hell. It served the miscreants right because they could've converted to the papacy and proceeded to urge lawmakers to enforce coathanger abortions, ban stuff to create mafias, set cops to shooting teenagers over nothing--the entire conservative agenda. By declaring others have no individual rights, mystical bigots de facto waive their own. The creeps will get little sympathy (but plenty of schadenfreude) from me when torn limb from limb by the people they seek to coerce using government force.

  • inultus||

    I live a few miles from East Lansing and I lived there on Michigan State's campus for several years. The city is extremely controlling, for instance they just passed a law that you cannot smoke in your own vehicle on campus property. How this gets past the fact that state castle law doctrine says your car is your castle is beyond me. The city needs to be sued, for many reasons. They constantly trample people's rights and I refuse to go there unless I absolutely must. This is what being progressive is these days.

  • Agnes||

    'Fruit farmer won't let fruits get married on fruit farm; has no problem becoming fruitful from selling fruit to fruits at Farmer's Market.'

    Excuse my cheekiness, but in all seriousness, how devout is he if he doesn't mind potentially making profits from same-sex couples who shop at the farmer's market?

  • dpbisme||

    I hope he sues their @$$E$ off...

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online