Town denies married military veterans right to sell fruit at local market because of their Christian beliefs

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The city’s decision went against everything they fought for in the military, which compelled them to fight back.

Clip vis Fox News Channel

When the city of East Lansing, Michigan, told a couple they could no longer sell their produce at its farmers’ market because of the couple’s deeply-held religious beliefs, farmer Steve Tennes and his wife filed suit.

The brouhaha began last year when Tennes, a devout Catholic, was asked on his Country Mill Farm’s Facebook page if they might host a same-sex marriage.

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When he declined the invitation, the post was brought to the attention of East Lansing city officials, who revoked the Tennes’ right to participate in the city’s farmers’ market.

Tennes and his lawyer, Kristen Waggoner, appeared on Fox News Channel’s “The Story” Thursday, to explain the principles that prompted their lawsuit.

“One of the reasons my wife and I both volunteered to go serve our country in the military was because freedom of religion, freedom of speech, is dear to our hearts,” Tennes told Fox News host Sandra Smith, filling in for Martha MacCallum.

He added that the city of East Lansing’s behavior amounted to bullying, a subject of discussion he often holds with his five children.

“We’re standing up, not just for us, but for everyone,” Tennes said.

Waggoner called the city’s actions a constitutional violation “to force them to give up their ability to make a livelihood and give up their religious beliefs if they don’t agree with what the city said.”

East Lansing is the home of Michigan State University, which is renowned for its agricultural college — not noted for religious discrimination.

“It’s the city of East Lansing here that is engaging in the discrimination,” Waggoner added.

Here’s a report on the dispute via the Alliance Defending Freedom.

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