Federal Judge Hears Arguments in Farmer's Challenge of EL Ordinance

Sep 13, 2017

A federal judge in Michigan is considering the arguments in a case of a Charlotte farmer who’s challenging an East Lansing city ordinance. 


U.S. District Court Judge Paul Maloney made no ruling Wednesday in the case involving Country Mill Farms and the East Lansing Farmers Market. 

The city prohibited Country Mill owner Steve Tennes from selling at the market this summer after he expressed on Facebook his religious views opposing same-sex marriage. 

Tennes sued on the grounds of free speech. 

“It’s very dangerous to have a city in a position where they think they can restrict access to public benefits, to public property, to economic freedom just to those that agree with the city,” says Tennes’ attorney Kate Anderson with the Alliance Defending Freedom.

East Lansing claims Tennes’ post “outlines a business practice” that violates the city’s civil rights policy. 

The judge may either dismiss the case or grant an injunction that may allow Country Mill to participate in the final week of the farmer’s market.