Man Who Refused to Host Same-Sex Weddings on Farm Takes East Lansing to Court

Steve Tennes’ application to sell produce was denied due to a Facebook post saying he wouldn’t host same-sex weddings.

A federal judge could decide on Wednesday whether a Michigan farmer can go forward with his lawsuit against East Lansing.

The farmer says the city violated his First Amendment rights. 

On Wednesday, Steve Tennes’ attorneys will defend his claim. While the city will argue that the lawsuit should be thrown out.

Tennes owns Country Mill Farms in Charlotte. He’s sold apples and produce at the East Lansing Farmers’ Market since 2010. But his application was denied this year because of a Facebook post. That post said Country Mill would not host same sex marriages on their property.

The city says this practice violates its anti-discrimination policy.

But Tennes says the city violated his First Amendment right to free speech and religious exercise. 


  • Cheyna Roth
    Cheyna has interned with Michigan Radio and freelanced for WKAR public radio in Lansing. She's also done some online freelancing and worked on documentary films.