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U.S. District Judge Issues Temporary Injunction In Favor of Christian Farm Owners


SteveAndBridgetTennesby Jerry Tyson

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. How do you destroy religious freedom, even though constitutionally guaranteed? One bite at a time. For now, one small right step has been made in a federal court., September 17, 2017, reported that a federal judge has ordered a Michigan city to allow a nearby farmer to participate in its farmers market after concluding officials there likely illegally discriminated against him because of his faith. The case centers on the issue of same-sex marriage. It isn't the first time since the United States Supreme Court created that status several years ago that courts have ruled that the rights of homosexuals supersede the right to exercise religion.

The latest decision favored farmer Steve Tennes of Country Mill Farm in his case against East Lansing, Michigan. According to the Alliance Defending Freedom, Tennes had posted a notice on his website that he would not permit same-sex weddings at his scenic orchard farm because they violate his religious beliefs. Officials in East Lansing where he had been selling his products at the farmers market immediately asked him not to come back. The city then changed its policy to exclude him.

U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney issued a temporary injunction reversing the city's actions until a full court hearing can be held. Alliance Defending Freedom legal counsel Kate Anderson, who argued in favor of the order on behalf of Tennes, said a farmer—just as any American—should be free to live and speak according to his deeply held religious beliefs without fear of government punishment. The order from the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan Southern Division said the city of East Lansing amended its vendor guidelines and then used the changes to deny Country Mill’s vendor application.

“The court was right to issue this order which will allow Steve to return to the 2017 farmers market while his case moves forward,” Anderson said.

As the court found, East Lansing officials changed their market policy to shut out Steve because they don't like his Catholic beliefs regarding marriage. The farm, after Tennes referred two women to another orchard when they asked to hold a wedding ceremony there, posted a brief statement about the owner’s Catholic faith, according to the court. The city immediately reacted and within a day was looking for a way to deprive Tennes of permission to participate in the market for the rest of 2017.

Today’s big battle is between secular government and God’s Word. Same-sex marriage is the battleground Genesis 1:28 says, “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth. …” In Genesis 9:1 we read: “And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply. …” That only works when a man and a woman marry.

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