Farmer Files Suit After Being Banned From Selling at Market for Disallowing ‘Gay Weddings’ on Property

LANSING, Mich. — A Michigan farmer has filed suit after being banned from selling produce at a local farmer’s market for operating his business in accordance with his beliefs on marriage.

Steve Tennes, a Roman Catholic, operates Country Mill Farms, a fruit orchard in Charlotte, Michigan. The 120-acre farm is open to the public, and also sells pies, caramel apples, donuts and other goods that may be enjoyed on-site. Each fall, hay rides, a petting zoo and other activities are offered, and Tennes also allows his back yard and farm to be used for weddings.

While he has employed homosexuals at his farm, Tennes believes it would be a violation of his faith to participate in or allow a same-sex ceremony to be conducted on his property.

Therefore, in 2014, when he was contacted by two lesbians who wanted to be “wed” in an orchard, he referred the women to another farm that does not share his convictions. Last year, two years following the incident, one of the women wrote on Country Mill Farms’ Facebook page, urging customers to stop patronizing Tennes’ business because he wouldn’t let her use his property for her ceremony.

Some customers consequently inquired about the matter and Tennes’ convictions, to which he responded that “[d]ue to [his] personal religious beliefs,” he would refer any such requests to another farm nearby.

However, when officials with the East Lansing Farmer’s Market—who had invited Tennes to participate in the market for the past six years and had publicly praised his business—learned of the matter, they asked him not to attend. Officials stated that they had received complaints and feared that there would be protests.

Tennes decided to discontinue hosting weddings of any kind on his property until he gave further consideration to the issue. He advised the city that he would be present that weekend at the farmer’s market.

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There were no protests or comments from customers, and he continued to sell at the market for the rest of the season.

In December, Tennes announced that he would resume hosting weddings at his home and farm.

“The Country Mill engages in expressing its purpose and beliefs through the operation of its business and it intentionally communicates messages that promote its owners’ beliefs and declines to communicate messages that violate those beliefs,” he wrote, in part, on Facebook.

“It remains our deeply held religious belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman and Country Mill has the First Amendment Right to express and act upon its beliefs.”

As a result, East Lansing officials required all vendors at the farmer’s market to sign an agreement that they will comply with the city’s “public policy against discrimination … while at the [market] and as a general business practice.” The city also allegedly instructed the Market Planning Committee not to invite The Country Mill for 2017.

Tennes sent in an application after not being invited, and was denied.

“It was brought to our attention that The Country Mill’s general business practices do not comply with East Lansing’s civil rights ordinances and public policy against discrimination,” the city wrote. “… [A]s such, The Country Mill’s presence as a vendor is prohibited by the City’s Farmer’s Market vendor guidelines.”

Tennes sent the city an email requesting clarification, and officials responded with a copy of his Facebook post and the new vendor guidelines.

Therefore, Tennes filed suit out of his belief that in the city’s quest to prohibit discrimination, it is discriminating against him.

“It is a violation of the Human Relations Ordinance to exclude a person from a public service on the basis of religion,” the legal challenge states. “The City, therefore, violated the Human Relations Ordinance by excluding Country Mill from the Market based on Tennes’ statement of his religious beliefs.”

“At the same time, East Lansing permits and even celebrates speech promoting LGBT issues, including speech promoting same-sex marriage as morally and theologically equivalent to marriages between one man and one woman—a viewpoint that is directly opposite of what Tennes expressed,” it notes.

The city had allowed for the steps behind the market to be painted in rainbow colors celebrating homosexuality, as per the lawsuit, and designated a staff member to serve as liaison on homosexual and transgender issues.

“East Lansing, therefore, allows, and even openly supports and puts city resources towards, promoting LGBT issues including same-sex marriage, while punishing Plaintiffs for their viewpoint in favor of biblical marriage,” the suit states. “This is viewpoint discrimination in violation of the First Amendment.”

Tennes is consequently seeking an injunction against the city’s ban on his participation in the farmer’s market. He is being represented in court by the religious liberties organization Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).

“Americans have always had the cherished freedom to believe and to express those beliefs. This lawsuit simply asks the court to uphold that freedom for a Catholic farmer, who should be free to sell his produce without coercion, discrimination, or intimidation by the government because of his beliefs about marriage,” said ADF Senior Counsel Jeremy Tedesco in a statement.

“The city must respect Steve’s constitutionally protected freedom to express his religious beliefs on social media sites without being forced to surrender his right to participate in the marketplace.”


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  • TheLastHonestLawyer

    Wow, this guy needed to sit down with a lawyer and have some things explained to him.

    First of all, he’s bloody lucky the lesbian couple didn’t sue him. As he allowed other weddings to take place on his property, he was operating it as a public accommodation. That means he was bound by the local laws to offer equal services to all comers.

    Secondly, the Farmer’s Market has a right to set standards for participants. Since *everyone* seeking a space at the market was required to sign a statement agreeing to honor the local non-discrimination laws, he can’t claim that he’s being singled out. He’s going to lose this suit.

    The only smart thing he did was to stop hosting weddings. I hope his attorney has made it clear that his farm isn’t a church and if he rents to one couple, he has to rent to all couples seeking the same services.

    • http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/fisherhl Mr. Avatar

      We have had enough of this B.S. Weddings are considered sacred and between a man and a woman – this is blatant hate and discrimination against a practicing Christian. Time to end this B.S..

      • TheLastHonestLawyer

        OK, one more time. In your faith weddings are sacred and only between one man and one woman (wonder where that leaves King Solomon in your view).

        In state-sanctioned civil marriages, the rules are different. Same sex marriages are allowed, and no religion is required. You can go to Las Vegas and get married by a Spanish-speaking Elvis impersonator in a drive-thru at 0300 and it’s still legal.

        This gentleman was not running a church, he was renting out portions of a working farm, and can not discriminate. The farmer’s market demanded that all participants agree to obey the local non-discrimination laws. He is going to lose, and whatever lawyer he hired is going to walk away with his money.

        • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

          The original marriage ceremony was between a man and a woman, and Christ reiterated that in the Gospels.

          • Colin Rafferty

            The truth of that statement is irrelevant, because we’re talking about secular marriage, not holy marriage. If they were running a church, then they could define marriage however their church wants. But they’re not.

            They are violating the non-discrimination laws of Lansing, and like anyone else who violates them, they cannot have a stall at the market.

          • Michael C

            They are violating the non-discrimination laws of Lansing

            I don’t believe they’ve actually violated any Lansing laws.

          • Colin Rafferty

            True. They are running their business in a way that would violate the laws if they were doing it in Lansing.

          • Michael C

            I don’t see the relevance. As long as they’re obeying Lansing’s laws when doing business in Lansing, I don’t see the problem.

            I don’t like the fact that they refuse to treat gay customers equally at their farm in Charlotte. The city of Charlotte should protect their lgbt citizens from discrimination, just as Christians are protected. However, I don’t think the city of Lansing should be permitted to punish this one business for their entirely lawful actions.

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            Marriage IS sacred, whether you want to acknowledge that or not.

          • Colin Rafferty

            Yours may be. Secular marriage isn’t, and is about legal rights.

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            You don’t get to redefine marriage to suit your agenda.

          • Colin Rafferty

            I’m not redefining it. I’m not talking about “marriage”, but “secular marriage”, which is a different thing. Did you not notice the modifier?

            The laws of the US say nothing about “marriage”, but they do talk about “legal marriage” or “secular marriage”.

          • neenerpuss .

            Marriage CAN be sacred. All religious involvement is optional. That is how Atheists can have a marriage. That is why you need a lawyer and not a priest to end a marriage…and that is why a minister must say “By the power vested in me by the state of (NY)….I now pronounce you…”

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            Whether or not one considers marriage sacred, it was still instituted by God. As Creator and Designer of marriage, He gets to define and make the rules.

          • TheLastHonestLawyer

            No, marriage is a far, far, older than your religion, my friend. The Code of Hammurabi, from the 18th century BCE, has laws concerning marriage and the family.

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            Marriage is far far older than the Code of Hammurabi. 🙂 The first marriage was performed shortly after Creation, by God, in the Garden of Eden.

        • InTheChurch

          Working farm is still private property, can he refuse based on that?

          • TheLastHonestLawyer

            No, because he’s renting space on the farm for events. It has become, at least in terms of the areas available for rent, a public accommodation. He has to obey all the relevant laws.

    • Michael C

      …he’s bloody lucky the lesbian couple didn’t sue him.

      The lesbian couple would lose that lawsuit.

      According to state law, it’s totally legal for businesses to deny gay people a place to live, fire them from their jobs, and refuse them service at store/restaurants etc. in Michigan.

      The city of Lansing prohibits this type of discrimination but the city of Charlotte (where the farm is located) allows businesses to discriminate against gay people. He would not be permitted to discriminate at the farmers market in Lansing but he is allowed to discriminate at his farm in Charlotte.

      The farm only temporarily stopped offering their property as a venue for weddings. They have since gone back to renting out their facilities for straight-only weddings.

      Unless the city of Lansing only allows businesses who adhere to their local nondiscrimination policies to operate within the city (how on earth could they enact such a prohibition?), I just don’t see how the city has a case.

      I don’t see any legitimate reason to forbid this business from operating within the city of Lansing.

      • TheLastHonestLawyer

        Ah, I missed that the farm and market are in different cities, thank you. So scratch that portion of my answer.

        The East Lansing Farmers Market has every right to ask entities seeking spaces to agree to obey the local laws. If that includes the local anti-discrimination law, so be it.

        I’m wondering how he would react to a Muslim couple trying to rent for a wedding…

        • Sharon_at_home

          Or maybe a Buddhist? Or an atheist? Or anyone at all that was not a Christian?
          I don’t think it’s about the religion itself but about the belief in marriage being between a man and a woman. So allowing people of other faith to be married it would depend on personal discrimination – as it is not a sin in the Christian life (unless it is in the Catholic religion) – they could have a marriage between a man and a woman of different faiths without going against their beliefs.
          So I expect that he would allow a Muslim couple to rent for a wedding.

          • Michael C

            (unless it is in the Catholic religion) – they could have a marriage between a man and a woman of different faiths without going against their beliefs.

            A Catholic business owner would not be permitted to refuse to rent out their facilities to an interfaith couple even if interfaith marriages are in direct violation of their strongly held, personal religious beliefs.

            Nowhere in the country are businesses permitted to discriminate on the basis of a customer’s religion.

            Similarly, some places prohibit discrimination on the basis of a customer’s sexual orientation. In those regions, a business wouldn’t be permitted to refuse service to a couple just because they’re gay.

          • Ambulance Chaser

            Are you sure about that? It’s probably true but only under state law.

            If you’re trying to assert a Civil Rights Act argument, the CRA doesn’t apply to wedding venues. Title II is actually a lot less comprehensive than I’d like it to be (probably because the framers had to fit it within Congress’s Commerce Clause powers).

          • Michael C

            Yup, I was talking local, not federal, laws.

            My understanding is that most state nondiscrimination laws have wider definitions of what is considered a public accommodation than the federal CRA of 1964.

          • Sharon_at_home

            I don’t agree with what they are doing, but I am troubled by how this kind of situation seems to be going down all the time and just want to know (so I can believe) whether or not the LGBT are willing to compromise.
            I don’t want them to be mistreated, but I also want to know if they are, as in this case, trying to make a compromise so they can go on with life.
            Specifically if they ask someone and they say no, but that they can give you a referral to the next ‘store over’ do they NEED to get upset, or can they accept it as long as there is equal accommodation “next door”. Or is this going to keep happening with people being hurt and some people lose their whole lives because they stand up for their faith. Can’t they at least try to find a way to compromise with situations where the place is close by? I keep thinking of the times you could ask for a service with date and time spoken and the place would have already been booked, but as a good person and a good neighbour, he offers them a referral. No one said anything about the gender identity that is the problem, and the couple gets what they originally wanted. After their event if they find out that the reason the first person declined the event is because of their faith. These people do business with the LGBT and hire them and in every other way they are not discriminatory, and rather than say it and cause a problem, they just referred them on. Would the people insist on suing them for not giving them the accommodation in the first place, even though they got what they wanted?
            Someone should not have to lose everything for standing up for one thing that is a part of their faith, when they are non-discriminatory for all other situations.
            Can the law at the minimum make a maximum amount that won’t destroy lives?
            Again, I just want everyone to get along whatever way they can.
            Thanks for your reply. I did not see anything I could pick on so I’ll have to save that for another post! hee hee.

            Take Care!

          • Colin Rafferty

            > want to know (so I can believe) whether or not the LGBT are willing to compromise

            If an interracial couple was refused service, should they compromise? No. Why should a same-gender couple compromise? Why should they only get partial equality?

          • Sharon_at_home

            The law is, or has been changing to make the LGBT have all the
            rights they are entitled to. It will take a while for so many people to accept the difference in the world as it has never been considered as something right and allowed before now, but it will gradually take over as time goes by, especially as the leading generation has the right view.

            Marriage equality is legal for the gays, so that is one big victory for their stand on equality for LGBT’s.

            Since they have been able to get married legally, there have been
            multiple businesses created to accommodate the gays in their community as well as on the internet.

            Marriage is the only wall between religion and LGBT now and only because it is one strongly held belief in religions. We are not obeying God if we HELP people committing a sin against God’s Word.

            That is why religious people are trying to ask to not have to marry
            the gays, strictly because of that one command.

            Now that there are laws, and will be more, and I suggest will
            always be in places to accommodate gays, is there any honest reason to go to religious held businesses, clergy of churches that choose not to disobey their God, rather than to a church or business that already allows Gays to marry?

            The people who are religious just want the ability to obey their God.
            As I said, IF the gays are not inconvenienced because they can choose a business or a church that will accommodate them, will they just avoid those situations, or will they insist that people accept and agree with them, who have already shown no discrimination to gays other than not wanting to be involved with gay weddings. They hire them; pay them correctly; treat them well; the whole shebang, but when they are asked about accommodation to their lifestyle and want to refuse they are homophobic and all sorts of names for the one belief he had stood
            up for, and the ones he allowed and were accepted at the time as treating gays with respect. He’s obviously not homophobic because he does not restrict the gays that he is involved with in any other way.

            So now that treating them with equality is a law, will they stop
            choosing religious people to be involved in their weddings and go to the other suppliers of the same service for weddings when they are available, or will they insist everyone obey the law, even though it is not infringing on them in any way? Instead of using the IMO wrong venue, you use the one that fits your wants and needs.

            The law is, or has been changing to make the LGBT have all the
            rights they are entitled to. It will take a while for so many people to accept the difference in the world as it has never been considered as something right and allowed before now, but it will gradually take over as time goes by, especially as the leading generation has the right view.

            Marriage equality is legal for the gays, so that is one big victory
            for their stand on equality for LGBT’s.

            Since they have been able to get married legally, there have been
            multiple businesses created to accommodate the gays in their community as well as on the internet.

            Marriage is the only wall between religion and LGBT now and only because one strongly held belief in religions. For us, we are not obeying God if we HELP people committing a sin against God’s Word.
            That is why religious people are trying to ask to not have to marry
            the gays, strictly because of that one command.

            Now that there are laws, and will be more, and I suggest will always be in places to accommodate gays, is there any honest reason to go to
            religious held businesses, clergy of churches that choose not to disobey their God, rather than to a church or business that already allows Gays to marry?

            The people who are religious just want the ability to obey their God.
            As I said, IF they are not inconvenienced because they can choose a business or a church that will accommodate them, will they just avoid those situations, or will they insist that people accept and agree with them, who have already shown no discrimination to gays other than not wanting to be involved with gay weddings. They hire them; pay them correctly; treat them well; the whole shebang, but when they are asked about accommodation to their lifestyle and want to refuse they are homophobic and all sorts of names for the one belief he had stood
            up for, and the ones he allowed and were accepted at the time as treating gays with respect. He’s obviously not homophobic because he does not restrict the gays that he is involved with in any other way.

            So now that treating them with equality is a law, will they stop
            choosing religious people to be involved in their weddings and go to the other suppliers of the same service for weddings when they are available, or will they insist everyone obey the law, even though it is not infringing on them in any way?

            I do know that you can’t speak for everyone. I’d just like some opinions/comments so I can see others views.

            For anyone new please with calm in the posts so I can understand them properly and so will anyone else who reads these posts.

            Thanks for any and all help! God bless!

          • Colin Rafferty

            While there are people trying to change churches from within, no one is trying to use the law to do so. As for businesses, as I’ve said before, you would not be asking the same of an interracial couple who is being discriminated against, please don’t ask the same of the same-gendered couples.

            We are talking about having fought for decades to not just get equal rights, but to not be jailed and fired.

            I really do have no sympathy for the people who have actively discriminated, who have fought for laws to discriminate. People have been actively punishing gays, and are still trying to punish them.

            Mommy, why don’t we shop in that store? Because they refuse to serve my and your other mother, and think that we’re sinners and ought to burn in Hell for all eternity. So we’re trying not to hurt their feelings.

          • neenerpuss .

            If a local store referred another local store, I would probably make the compromise with little fuss. If they referred me to a store that is 100 miles away, I would have problems with that as an unreasonable compromise. I have no wish to force them to do something against their will but if I have no reasonable option I will exercise my rights.

          • Sharon_at_home

            Thank you that helps me to understand a bit better.
            I have one question, would you go the 100 miles for something you really want like an incredible dish of food that you taste every time you think about it?
            I know it’s not quite the same thing if it was marriage and that is actually the only I am asking about. It is the only religious belief that has created the problems about religion vs. the LGBT movement.
            So I guess I’m asking if you think you or your partner, would mind going that extra 100 miles to get married, because you can’t get married in the church where you are. Some churches won’t marry people of other faiths either.
            Any Christians that follow Jesus, will not refuse anything else to the gays, except that one thing – about marriage only. Whether it is the place, or businesses that belong to a faith that can serve anything else except when it comes to marriage.
            I can’t seem to get around the fact that it is only one circumstance that makes us want to stand up for our faith. I don’t understand why that one thing can’t be accepted and worked around. It’s like we don’t deserve to have any belief that is a belief that others don’t hold to. The minority is/ will be able to marry other churches, other places, so is there a reason why the gays can’t let us keep our one belief, and still be treated well in every other way, for any other service? The LGBT want equal rights and now they have them and they are able to insist that religious people serve them, regardless of their beliefs. But is it right to insist on it if they can go somewhere else for the same services, like it is in the bigger cities and will be adapted gradually until it is even done in small towns. Not fast enough, but like a nation that is very big.
            In every other way anyone including Christians in particular, should be good to others. Period. Christians in particular if they are following Jesus, should love everyone and treat them the way they themselves want to be treated – which is supposed to be with love. Some don’t “get” it whether it is the Gay movement, or following Jesus and what it means. But the Christians of faiths that use the gospel as the Final Word of God, should always be undiscriminating of other people. Living is not a sin, but the marriage would be considered a sin to the God we follow. Any other part of services for gays and everyone else should be done without negative feeling intruding.
            It’s only one belief. I don’t understand why it can’t be allowed and ensure that there are alternates. It’s ruined so many people’s lives and it could have been avoided if they had known that the Christians hold to that belief, which means gays can use them for any other service than marriage and that there are other to get what they need, available for them.
            With the internet, finding services, even long distance, is the easiest way to know their prices and what is available for marriage supplies. I wouldn’t be surprised if some ministers in some churches would go out of their way to marry gays in any situation.
            AAAnndd this is me babbling again. I apologize, I have a problem with trying to explain what I’m trying to say in a way that only offers one way to look at it. I’m trying to do better but sometimes I need to make sure someone understands that I am not able to be on one side or the other except by my own faith, because I look at gays as people, not anything else since I’ve learned more about them. I mean, they are sinners to our way of life, but their lives are not sinful themselves, only one aspect of it, making marriage and sex into the same sin for convenience sake. Everyone is a sinner after all and we don’t usually know what a persons sin is, so why do people think it is any different. Sin is sin. It may make a difference on Judgement Day but it won’t be a judgement I have to make .
            Gotta go to church! Blessings!

          • neenerpuss .

            First, thank you for the respectful debate. The gay side of things is we have never tried to be difficult…it was thrust upon us. First the christian side said “why does it have to be called marriage? Can’t you use another name?” Our response was civil unions and domestic partnerships, but only 7 states allowed them and 30 of the 31 state Defense of Marriage Acts expressly forbid any recognition even under another name. Other states didn’t have to even acknowledge them and the federal government ignored them completely. How’s that for compromise? So the battle became in order to achieve equality all things had to be equal, no rose by another name. Marriage is a legal term. It bestows 1136 legal rights to the couple. I do respect people of faith as do most gay people. We have been on the disrespected train for way to long to not know what it feels like to be disrespected. This is where we as a society legally draw the line. Houses of worship and ministers have a right to refuse service to anyone for any reason. It is mandated by the first amendment. Businesses on the other hand do not have that option. We are not just talking about cake bakers, florists, and photographers but Lawyers, Doctors, EMTs and Pharmacists. We are gay for god sake…we are the bakers, florists, and photographers in most metro areas…but if you allow them to deny service then so can Lawyers, Doctors, EMTs and Pharmacists. Can you imagine a EMT refusing you or your spouse service because you’re Christian? This happens everyday to gay people. I have no problem with you or your faith. But as an American I want to live my life with as little hassle just like everyone else. I don’t want to worry if the coffee shop will serve me or the drug store will fill my prescription just because they don’t approve of who I am married to. A business is different than a house of worship. It must work for all of society and everyone’s use.

            Again thank you for the respectful debate.

          • Michael C

            Can’t they at least try to find a way to compromise with situations where the place is close by?

            I would never tell a Jewish person that they should just compromise and go to a different store if they were refused service because of their religion.

            Would you ask that of a Jewish person? Seriously. I’m asking you.

            If a store or restaurant said to a Jewish customer, “no, we’re not going to serve you because you’re Jewish,” would you tell the Jewish person to respect the shop owner’s beliefs and find a different store that is willing to serve them?

            Do you believe that businesses should be permitted to sometimes discriminate against Jews?

            Again, I’m seriously asking you your opinion.

          • Sharon_at_home

            Actually the Jews here have their own stores they usually go to because of what they want.
            That’s why I am saying that it is only marriage that Christians should have to refuse for. Each thing in my opinion is the way Christians – or anybody for that matter – should be treating everyone well, no matter how they feel about others. So no no no I would not agree to people being rude and racist towards either people of race, or people who are different in any way. Yes I agree totally that the people who treat others like that should be made to do the right thing. That is how I look at it. It is the right way to behave, so everyone should get along if they behave properly. If they do not, I guess you could say I think they need some discipline but the punishment should truly be reasonable so the person won’t lose what they have done all their lives for a mistake.
            I’m pretty sure I’ve explained that if marriage is the only thing that is a problem between the Christians and the gays because of the Christians view about marriage. They have equality because they are legally allowed to marry now. If this is the only time that a religious person will not want to serve for, and they are undiscriminating in every single other way to gays, Is it not reasonable to leave them alone about that and accept the whole victory because you are able to marry and now there are places to go that don’t care and won’t fuss about it. The man at the ranch was truly not hateful to or about gays, in no way according to the article. The only thing was about marriage, and if you look at the other articles about people being taken to court it is I think most of them were about the gays and marriage, weren’t they? Wouldn’t it just make a better world to accept it as one belief they don’t want to give up and just go to those who don’t have any problem with it?
            Lets see if I can do a comparison like you do. If a person wants to have spaghetti one night (you know they Just Have to have some?) they will go to the place that they have either heard about or gone to before that they Know they will get what they need so much. So since there is a place in the next town that he knows, he would be just as likely to drive out of town to have his spaghetti, and ignore the other restaurants that serve good spaghetti in favour of that known place, right?
            So just for marriage alone, the 2 people who want to get married, will choose a place that made them feel welcome to want to get married in a place. If it is a place and they can’t get married there they move on to another place that offers the same venue, and chooses that instead. Places like the ranch are booked way in advance normally because of their popularity for pictures, usually. He could have just told them that he was booked when they want to have the event, and let them believe that. Whether or not he was booked can’t even be determined just by the fact that they do not have anything booked by the time the gays’ wedding happens, since people cancel those things often too. But this guy chose to stand up for the one belief that he can’t do without direct disobedience to God. He didn’t use an excuse he said the truth. He probably said it to them kindly too. Why can’t people understand that we can be good people towards gays except when it comes to marriage and just go to someone who does not hold the same belief? It’s the only circumstance that makes us stand up for our faith stronger than any other thing.
            Any other discrimination should be addressed and corrected, but if it is only about marriage, they should go to a favourite spaghetti restaurant in the next town because they know it has the ability and desire to serve what they need.
            I certainly would not go to a restaurant a second time if they had bad food, or bad attitudes from the servers. I wouldn’t want to put myself in that position again. I would find a place that treats me well, and gives me what I am looking for with the desire to give me the best time they are able to provide. I would think most people are like that when they are planning something. So if they have an alternative, are they willing to go to the alternative, or would they still go to the people that do not want to give up their belief. Only IF there is an alternative I’m asking.
            Everyone normally doesn’t rush with their wedding plans. They are usually close to a year away when it’s announced. Either they have contacted the necessary establishments before they announce it or they have to bend when it comes to what services they can choose from so it can be on the day they told everyone. Once the date has been established that is when the details with the businesses involved get worked out – closer to the actual event, but the bookings have to be made long in advance if you want don’t want to lose the chance to have it.
            I know you know that I am trying to solve a problem that exists between the two groups so the problem is gone, and we can get along better.
            Since the gays want equality shouldn’t that mean that they will take the same joy out of creating a wedding day that will be a day of victory as well? So it would be possible to go to places that you know will help make it the best day when you are arranging everything. If you try to use a place that is booked, it is no different than allowing someone to have that belief, and choosing another place as just all part of the process when you are arranging a special event.
            It would be more equal that since you can marry, you have to take the stresses of finding the places to use for the marriage and all the servers etc. It’s not always an easy thing to co-ordinate for us. With equality, you have all the bad things as well as the good things that you want because we have it. Unfortunately it is not always a bed of roses.
            Again I stress, Michael, that this is only when there is an alternative. If there is no where else to go, then it would have to decide how they are going to run their establishment, because it limits the business and the people if they don’t allow someone who has no other course to shop there. There should be a policy in place that allows everyone to be served without faith interfering. And then they should look into making the gays comfortable and give them places that make it obvious that they support the gay movement. I don’t want to leave the ones out in any way. I just want to try to make this problem go away be being kind to each other and respecting others differences on both sides. Is there a reason that one firm belief cannot be allowed when there are alternatives? Will this problem eventually be able to not exist when they have the ability to go to other places?

  • Colin Rafferty

    Shorter version of the article:

    East Lansing Farmer’s Market only allows vendors who comply with the city’s “public policy against discrimination … while at the [market] and as a general business practice”. Country Mill’s business discriminates by gender in its wedding services, so is not allowed to be a vendor at the Market. The end.

    I honestly don’t understand why they think they are being stopped because of their religion. It’s their actions as a business that is making them ineligible to be vendors, not their religion.

    • Lexical Cannibal

      And that’s the big problem with this guy’s case that I think a lot of people are missing; in order for him to win, he has to prove that the nondiscrimination policy is…discriminatory. Like…it’s not impossible, I guess, but that’s a super uphill battle. Like, in the territory of “sheer cliff face” uphill.

      • http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/fisherhl Mr. Avatar

        It’s only uphill because Liberals think they can force Christians to bend to their will and violate their religious beliefs.

        • Colin Rafferty

          Nope, we don’t care about your religious beliefs, we only care about your actions. Which is why this lawsuit will fail. They are not being denied a permit because of their religion, but because of their actions.

          The fact that they blame their actions on their religion is irrelevant.

          • Ambulance Chaser

            That’s incorrect. He can be denied a permit for expressing the opinion that gay people are inferior. He cannot be denied a permit for expressing the opinion that “Jesus Christ is the Lord,” “Mohammad is the prophet,” or “the Eight-Fold Path is the way to Enlightenment.”

            Religious opinions get strict scrutiny protection under the 14th Amendment. Homophobic opinions don’t.

          • Oboehner

            Don’t recall anything about the farmer claiming “gay people are inferior”. I do recall the First Amendment however.

          • Ambulance Chaser

            The First Amendment? So suddenly Constitutional Amendments DO apply to municipal governments? My, that was a quick change.

          • Oboehner

            When did I ever say they did not? That was a load of crap.

          • Ambulance Chaser

            Okay, explain to me without using case law how the First Amendment applies to state and local governments.

          • Oboehner

            Well since it is the rule of these United States…

          • neenerpuss .

            Opinions and thoughts are not actions. Even religions must adhere to secular law. Everyone treated the same (non-discrimination) law applies to all. Religion is not above the law.

          • Faithwalker

            Opinions, beliefs and thoughts translate into actions. This is why there is such a war on both sides of the argument. Why, because both sides hold to strong opinions, beliefs, and thoughts.

          • Sharon_at_home

            Colin I wrote a reply to Oboehner that I’d like you to look at > I think either you or Michael C may be able to answer a question for me. Thank you! It’s up closer to the top than this one.

          • Amos Moses

            “Nope, we don’t care about your religious beliefs,”

            outright lie ………….

          • Colin Rafferty

            No it’s not. I couldn’t care less why people choose to discriminate. I only care that they do discriminate (or not).

          • Amos Moses

            if you could care less you would not be here ……… so a lie ……… and it has to do with christianity and your enforcement of your religion ………..

          • Colin Rafferty

            I have never talked about Christianity on this site. You know that. I also don’t comment on the non-political articles. This article is about law and politics, and I’m talking about the legal aspects of it.

          • Parodyx

            “What are you doing on a Christian site” is a commonly heard mantra around here. It apparently means we are expected to make only comments from a fundamentalist Christian perspective. At least, that is how Amos seems to understand it. I wish he could see how often what I say here is actually in defense of the freedoms he seems to enjoy.

          • Amos Moses

            yeah … NOOOO …. YOU came to a SPECIFIC CHRISTIAN venue to say what you say ……. and it has EVERYTHING to do with that ………. and you just lies again …………..

            so if a church wanted to hire this REALLY GOOD muslim singer to sing at their Easter service ….. and the muslim “offered his services” to the public ….. but the muslim wanted to refuse to sing for them …… should he be FORCED to sing at their church ………… because the law says he cannot discriminate ……….

            should a black baker be FORCED to make a cake for a KKK rally with swastikas and burning crosses on it …………… just because he opened a door to the “public” ………..

          • Colin Rafferty

            The baker is allowed to discriminate based on the content of the writing that they must do, assume they disallow all hate speech. So the baker is allowed to refuse the contents of the cake. But he cannot refuse to make the cake itself.

            And the signer can refuse based on the contents of the songs. If they wanted to hire him to sing about Islam, it would be illegal for him to refuse them.

          • Amos Moses

            “So the baker is allowed to refuse the contents of the cake. “”And the signer can refuse based on the contents of the songs.”

            but the person in this business is not allowed to say no to homosexual weddings ……………. due to the CONTENT …… again ….. more confusion and LIES ……………

          • Colin Rafferty

            Different meanings of “content”. You can refuse because of the speech you are required to say. But you cannot refuse because of the people involved. The baker can refuse to write the nazi designs, but cannot refuse to make a cake.

            The analogy you are looking for is a private wedding officiant. They are perfectly able to refuse to perform same-gender weddings.

          • Amos Moses

            NOPE …. NOT different meanings ……

      • Michael C

        Does the city of Lansing prohibit businesses who don’t adhere to their local nondiscrimination laws from operating within city limits?

        For example, let’s say a clothing manufacturer in North Carolina (where it’s totally legal for businesses to discriminate against gay people) legally fires an employee just because they’re gay (because it’s totally legal for businesses to fire gay employees in all of South Carolina). Does the city of Lansing prohibit that company from opening a clothing store within Lansing city limits?

        • TheLastHonestLawyer

          That would be a question for the zoning board, I would think.

          However, this isn’t a permanent brick & mortar store, this is a farmer’s market with limited space. The city is free to set the standards for who gets to rent those spaces, and adherence to city codes seems to be reasonable. East Lansing probably doesn’t want to be associated with any entity that doesn’t reflect its values.

        • Lexical Cannibal

          tl;dr really probably not, so long as they follow Lansing’s laws in Lansing.

          Legally, that’s a question of jurisdiction. If the clothing manufacturer fired lbgt people in North Carolina, but didn’t in Lansing, then they won’t have broken any of Lansing’s laws, ordinances, or policies, especially if that firing policy came from the location IN North Carolina, rather than being a top-down company policy. So long as the location in Lansing followed Lansing’s laws, any attempt to move against them would be legally shakey, though depending on how closely the individual locations and parent company were affiliated, they could widen the scope of their rules to include companies with those policies, though that would still be pretty shakey, so long as the Lansing location complied. It’d basically need a special proclamation, and even those don’t really extend beyond “the city won’t do business with this company, but we can’t stop our people from doing it or possibly even using municipal resources to do it.”

          • Michael C

            That’s exactly my opinion about this set of circumstances. I don’t think the city can prohibit this farm from engaging in legal business practices in Lansing just because they don’t like the legal business practices it engages in in a different city.

          • Blake Paine

            But they aren’t saying they can’t do business in Lansing, they are saying the business’s policies are contrary to the ones required to have a stall at the farmer’s market.

            If they can do that for an action not taken in Lansing is the only real legal question and I’m not sure how that would be decided.

        • Blake Paine

          That is the issue, can the city legally consider actions that happen outside their actual jurisdiction? That’s the only thing that is under question and not the question raised in the lawsuit.

          I predict the feds will say this is a case for state court and I’m not sure what a state court would rule.

          • Ambulance Chaser

            Yes, probably but not if those actions are “legally expressing an unpopular viewpoint,” so Lansing may have a problem here.

          • Blake Paine

            But isn’t that the issue, that the act isn’t legal in Lansing? Can Lansing hold the entire business to its standards as if the act had occurred there?

            But this is a state question and not even the one the ADF asked the feds.

        • neenerpuss .

          But it’s not illegal for East Lansing to say anyone we do business with must comply with East Lansing law. There by refusing to allow that company to open the store.

          • Michael C

            But it’s not illegal for East Lansing to say anyone we do business with must comply with East Lansing law.

            But do they do that? Is that an evenly applied city ordinance?

            Lots of local governments limit government contracts based on their local non-discrimination laws but I’ve never heard of a city requiring the same of public businesses.

    • Oboehner

      I guess that trumps the first amendment then, huh? It’s the deviant actions of the lesbo’s that is making them ineligible to “wed” on the farm.

      • Colin Rafferty

        What first amendment rights are violated? I already pointed out that they are not being refused a permit because of their religion, but because of their actions. The fact that they blame their discriminatory actions on their religion is irrelevant.

        • Oboehner

          You must mean the “actions” of practicing their religion, you know, First Amendment.

          • Colin Rafferty

            Religious Freedom is not a magical get-out-of-jail-free card. If your religious practices affect other people, you are constrained. Otherwise I can just claim that punching bigots in the nose is how I practice my religion, and get away with it, right?

          • Oboehner

            Sexual perversion is not a constitutionally protected right, if that perversion affects others practicing their constitutionally protected right to practice their religion it not the religious person’s duty to accommodate them. Remember, the lesbo’s approached the farmer, not the other way around.

          • Colin Rafferty

            Wrong. See Lawrence v. Texas. That’s the deciding law about “sexual perversion”.

            Anyway, a wedding is not about sex. You must be thinking of the honeymoon.

            The discrimination is about the gender of the participants. Which in East Lansing is protected.

          • Oboehner

            “See Lawrence v. Texas”
            See Article 1, Section 1 of the Constitution which states ALL legislative powers rest in Congress.
            The refusal was about a lifestyle CHOICE that contradicts the religious belief of the farmer.

          • Colin Rafferty

            Are you seriously using that canard about the Supreme Court doesn’t actually have the power it has always had, and always been recognized to have had? Get a grip.

            Just as the rationale behind the business’s actions are unimportant, so is the reason why they wanted to get married. They were discriminated against because of their gender. That is against the law in East Lansing.

          • Oboehner

            Are you seriously using that canard about the Supreme Court having the ability to legislate despite NO ONE actually able to back that up other than some asinine tradition? Get a grip.

            “They were discriminated against because of their gender.” That’s a big old steamy pile of BS, that should be against the law in East Lancing.

          • Colin Rafferty

            That’s exactly why they were discriminated against. If one of them was male, they would have had their wedding there. They didn’t because they were both women.

            Why do you find this so hard to understand?

          • Oboehner

            There’s another big old steamy pile. If they had gone there for any other purpose than an activity the hosts did not believe in, they would have been gladly served – both females.

          • Colin Rafferty

            That doesn’t change the fact that they were discriminated against because of their gender.

          • Oboehner

            Still steamy, still a big pile. A “wedding” is an activity, the farmer stated her served deviants – he did not want to host the ACTIVITY.

          • Colin Rafferty

            But he already hosts weddings. If he didn’t want to host weddings, he shouldn’t advertise for them.

          • Oboehner

            Just practicing his constitutionally protected right.

          • Colin Rafferty

            There is no constitutional right to discriminate based on gender.

          • Oboehner

            Again, ACTIVITY not gender – they serve women all the time.

          • Colin Rafferty

            The activity is a wedding. They are refusing because the people involved are both women. And they would also refuse two men because if their gender.

            Just because they don’t discriminate in everything they do doesn’t mean they don’t discriminate at all.

          • Oboehner

            Because of their lifestyle CHOICE. Refusing to host perverts on parade is their protected right.

          • Colin Rafferty

            Well yes, they chose to get married. So what? They are still being discriminated against because they are both the same gender.

            And in many jurisdictions, it is not your right to discriminate based on gender. Like East Lansing.

          • Oboehner

            Getting married is an activity.

          • Colin Rafferty

            I think your keyboard is stuck. We all agree that getting married is an activity. And it is an activity that Country Mill Farms sells to the public. What’s your point?

            Country Mill Farms refuses to sell them this activity because they are the same gender. That’s gender-based discrimination.

          • Oboehner

            And it is an activity that Country Mill Farms sells to the public. What’s your point?

            They can be the same gender all they want, Country Mill Farms will sell to them, however Country Mill Farms doesn’t have to host their activity.

          • Colin Rafferty

            ¿What? If they are refusing to host their wedding, then they are not selling it to them. You are not even making sense.

            This is an activity that they sell to the public, unless the couple is the same gender. That’s gender discrimination.

          • Oboehner

            They don’t celebrate necrophilia either, your point?

          • Parodyx

            Actually he IS rather an expert on big steamy piles…

          • Parodyx

            Thought you might find this interesting…an additional part of the story not included in what was reported here:

            “However, East Lansing City Manager George Lahanas says the city has a non-discrimination ordinance in effect and regardless of your religious views, if you’re doing business in East Lansing…discriminating against same-sex couples is not allowed even if on your own private property.”

            Oh, and source:

            wlns (dot) com/2017/05/31/suit-filed-against-east-lansing-after-farmer-banned-from-farmers-market/

            Carry on hating, sir.

          • neenerpuss .

            Do you think a marriage ends after the wedding occurs? Wouldn’t they still be “endorsing” the marriage by selling a married gay couple some blueberries? Where does this end? It ends because it never begins. Everyone is treated the same by a business regardless of the religious beliefs of who is running it.

          • Oboehner

            More useless opinion.

          • neenerpuss .

            Marriage was already a legal protection. We don’t need a new law because we were already covered under existing laws. The 14th Amendment: No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the
            privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any
            state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due
            process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal
            protection of the laws. Marriage is a protection. Men could already enter into marriage. Women could already enter into marriage. You can’t deny protection because of the composition of the 2 people getting marriage….especially not for religious reasons.

          • Oboehner

            “Marriage was already a legal protection.” Post the specific constitutional law that states that.

          • neenerpuss .

            Marriage is a state law, a state protection. BUT the 14th Amendment still applies.

            “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the
            privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any
            State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due
            process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal
            protection of the laws.”

          • Oboehner

            Using your logic there is a prison full of pedos that need an apology.
            Religious freedom is SPECIFICALLY protected under the First Amendment, sexual deviancy is not.

          • neenerpuss .

            Religious freedom is not unlimited and does not trump others rights.

          • Oboehner

            There is no constitutionally protected right to marry whatever you choose, therefore no rights to trump.

          • neenerpuss .

            The 14th Amendment says you have to treat people equally. If you can marry the person of your choice….so can I. If you want to get rid of marriage equality, you’ll have to get rid of marriage all together. That’s how the constitution works.

          • Oboehner

            The 14 Amendment gives people equal protection under the law – law like the First Amendment. Marriage isn’t in the Constitution.

          • neenerpuss .

            Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion.

          • Oboehner

            …or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…

          • neenerpuss .

            No one is stopping you….but you seem to want to stop others due to your religious beliefs. The door swings both ways. If you use your religious beliefs to make law then that becomes a prohibiting the free exercise for those that do not believe the same as you.

          • Oboehner

            The emotionally disturbed women are still free to do whatever they want, as long as it doesn’t interfere with another’s constitutionally protected right.

          • neenerpuss .

            Marriage is a civil right. That means you don’t get to use your religious beliefs to stop others from a marriage. Your religion controls your life….not others lives.

          • Oboehner

            Civil rights are swell, emotionally disturbed women’s civil rights cannot supersede the constitutionally protected rights of others. Their sex perversion controls their lives….not others lives.

          • neenerpuss .

            Please tell me HOW a gay couple getting married supersedes your civil rights? The US government is allowed to make secular laws that apply evenly to everyone. It keeps a multicultural society equal and peaceful.

          • Oboehner

            The US government is NOT allowed to make laws that contradict the Constitution. A multicultural society will NEVER be peaceful, it is however easier to control with in-fighting.

          • neenerpuss .

            How does gay marriage contradict the Constitution?

          • Oboehner

            Forcing someone to go against their religious beliefs does. sexual deviance has no such protections. Just like there are no protections for David Chavez’s actions with the pig.

          • neenerpuss .

            Who’s forcing you into a gay marriage?

          • Oboehner

            Did I say anything like that or are you just being stupid?

          • neenerpuss .

            You said….
            “Forcing someone to go against their religious beliefs does.”

          • Oboehner

            Read the story above, and troll on.

          • neenerpuss .

            ALL minors cannot consent. That’s what makes it an equal protection. But a law that says men can ONLY marry women is denying equal protection to those legal relationships of 2 people of the same sex.

          • Oboehner

            Then apologize to the Amish guy and his donkey.
            Marriage is not a governmental matter, if the two emotionally disturbed women want their government/healthcare bennies, they can file for civil union.

          • neenerpuss .

            Donkey can’t consent either.

            Why should two women have anything different because you don’t approve of them?

          • neenerpuss .

            Of course marriage is a government matter. That’s how Atheists can have a marriage. That is why you need a lawyer and not a priest to end a marriage…and that is why a minister must say “By the power vested in me by the state of (NY), I now pronounce you…”

          • Oboehner

            I can be married before God with no intrusion by the state whatsoever. The Constitution does not have any provision giving jurisdiction over marriage, just because so many people bought into the bogus marriage license crap doesn’t change that.

          • neenerpuss .

            Good luck claiming one of the 1138 benefits that marriage bestows with that marriage license. 50% inheritance tax should your “spouse” die. Spousal privilege denied when you’re called to testify against your “spouse”. No medical or legal power of attorney for your “spouse”. A marriage license is nothing more than proof you are a couple and because you are a couple you are entitled to the rights of a couple.

          • Oboehner

            1138, mighty big number, did it hurt when you pulled it out? There are ways around the marriage license. A marriage license is a power grab by the government in which the signors give their children up to government control.

          • neenerpuss .

            The only time you give up control of your children is when you probably should give up control.

          • Oboehner

            marriage license = state owns your children.

          • neenerpuss .

            How so?

            The state telling you that you can’t sell your children for drug money, or them requiring you feed them, make sure they are educated is not owning them.

          • Oboehner

            Do some research before asking such questions – marriage license = state owns your children.

          • neenerpuss .

            Repeating a talking point is not explaining how your view point works.

          • Oboehner

            Doing some research will explain it.

          • neenerpuss .

            The GAO says there are 1138 statutes that marriage benefits flow from.

          • Oboehner

            If true there are ways around it, if true.

          • neenerpuss .

            Have you ever tried google?

          • Oboehner

            You?

          • neenerpuss .

            Whether you believe gay people are born gay like black people are born black OR you believe gay people chose to be gay like Catholics chose to be Catholic is irrelevant. We all have freedom and being treated equally is apart that freedom. Your business practices do not vary based on who your customer is. Everyone is treated the same. Business don’t have religions.

          • Oboehner

            *Yawn* Your opinion.

          • neenerpuss .

            The first amendment is not absolute. You can’t marry off your 12 year old because of religious reasons. You can’t take illegal drugs as part of a religious rite. You can’t yell fire in a crowded theater. You can’t lie in court under oath.

          • Oboehner

            “The first amendment is not absolute” As long as it doesn’t violate the Constitution elsewhere. There is no constitutional issue here.

    • Sisyphus

      Don’t try to deny a Christian their feelings of persecution, that would send them into existential angst. (L’Appell du vide)

      • Oboehner

        Don’t try to deny the emotionally deprived their feelings of persecution, that would send them into even more emotional turmoil. (L’Appell du vide)

    • Sisboombah

      Most of the posters here are not capable of understanding such a simple argument. Too many syllables. It’s easier to say “Country Mill is wrong. The end.”

  • Grace Kim Kwon

    People in the West should be free to reject to serve Sodomy. At this rate, the West will prohibit the Holy Bible and Christian virtues again, for the purpose of upholding the unthinkable sexual depravity this time. This immoral behavior of the Western civilization is the truly grave crisis for all mankind.

    • Colin Rafferty

      Actually, The Country Mill is freely rejecting to serve Sodomy, and has the law on its side. Because Michigan as a whole does not have gender-based anti-discrimination laws, they can legally discriminate. And they are. Note that they are not being sued or arrested.

      • Grace Kim Kwon

        Rejecting to serve Sodomic rituals is not discrimination. You Western whites are disgracing the peoples of colors by using the term “discrimination” for the defense of sexually depraved people. Western whites should know that skin colors and sexual depravity are two different things. Enough of your atrocities in the world.

        • Colin Rafferty

          I know that English is not your primary language, but “to discriminate” has nothing to do with race. It means “to treat unequally”. What you are thinking of is “racial discrimination”. I’m talking about gender discrimination, which has nothing to do with race.

          But let’s please get back to this particular issue. They are not being punished at all for treating people differently because of gender. They have not been arrested. They are not being sued. How have they been harmed?

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            You are too young to know things. Westerners and Americans started getting horrified at the word “discrimination” only after black people gained equality with the white people. Until then, discrimination has been something expected to happen on this planet. Gay West is already hostile to moral people, and it’ll get worse and worse if the false attitude is left alone. People need Christian education to become humane and civilized. Non-christian Westerners enforce only immorality. Westerners do not possess morality apart from Christianity.

          • Colin Rafferty

            Thank you for your interesting views on the language that you clearly don’t know. I appreciate seeing other people’s misunderstandings of American English.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Americans are always only slave-owmers if you guys do not follow Christianity correctly. You guys should stop forcing Sodomy upon the world. What a destructive shameful way to bully and enslave the entire mankind. Americans were good only because they were Christian.

          • Colin Rafferty

            Great example of misunderstanding English. We force acceptance of Sodomy, we don’t force Sodomy itself.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            The same thing – bowing before Sodomy. The most heinous form of slavery. Installation of acceptance of Sodomy means persecuting all the religious people.

          • Sharon_at_home

            I don’t think it would be acceptance, because it is forced. Acceptance implies that people agree with what ever the topic is. Force is making someone do something that they don’t want to do.

    • Sisboombah

      Priest or therapist, honey. Pick one.

  • Status Cymbals

    So here we are in the world that Orwell predicted, where “thoughtcrimes” are punished. Take away someone’s right to do business because he has the “wrong” beliefs. In the past, your right could only be taken away if there was evidence you had sold tainted products or cheated your customers. Your thoughts were no one else’s business. This is just one more sickening illustration of how aggressively anti-freedom the left is.

    • TheLastHonestLawyer

      Really. So no one in California in the 1940s was run out of business for being of Japanese ancestry? Not a single person lost their livelihood after being accused of being a communist? Are you really serious?

      This guy still runs a farm. He still rents out function space. He has just been denied a space in a single farmers market.

      There are plenty of farmers markets out there. Perhaps he should buy spaces at ones that don’t object to his business practices?

      • cephalopod

        More to the point, why are you trolling sites that have to do with religion when you are an atheist and/or a demon? I don’t believe in the Easter bunny. Therefore anything having to do with it is completely ignored by me. I don’t let it wreck my day that’s for sure.

        • TheLastHonestLawyer

          Trolling? How? I obey the rules, and generally only speak on issues where I can speak with some authority, like legal issues as raised in this story.

          I post here because I like a good debate, and I like seeing things from views different than mine.

          Demon? I’m sorry, you seriously think that I’m some sort of maleficent spirit? Any evidence that I’m not a retired lawyer? Trust me, if I had infernal powers, I wouldn’t be wasting them here, I’d be tormenting the LS Dodgers. And LeBron James . . . nah, Steph Curry has that covered. I’d just be cursing the Dodgers.

          • cephalopod

            Go on…

          • Sharon_at_home

            You can “go on”… I’ve never seen you here;…. are you just new or are you a new troll?

          • cephalopod

            I hope you’ve never seen me. That would be creepy.

          • Sharon_at_home

            LOL !! I agree it would be creepy since you don’t have a avatar. LOL

    • Colin Rafferty

      They are not being denied a permit because of their beliefs. They are being denied because they actively discriminate against people.

      I personally don’t care about your beliefs. I only care about your actions.

      • Amos Moses

        so to whom did he refuse to sell fruits and vegetables …….. in the farmers market …… because they were homosexual ……….

        • Colin Rafferty

          No one. Did you even read the article? You are really confused.

          Their business does more than sell produce, and its the part of their business that provides wedding space that discriminates by gender.

          • Amos Moses

            “No one. Did you even read the article?”

            so no discrimination …… in the FARMERS MARKET ….. to which he is being denied …… they do NOT sell weddings in the FARMERS MARKET ………. from what i READ ………………

          • Colin Rafferty

            In the article, it says that the rule of the market is that all business must follow the non-discimrination laws of East Lansing. This one doesn’t.

          • Amos Moses

            this one does ….. IN THE MARKET ………. the only reason mentioned in the article i saw was …… they were afraid of protests ………..

          • Colin Rafferty

            As the article says, they were denied because of their overall business practices, not what they are doing in the market. Please read it.

          • Sisboombah

            You need to return to K-Mart. Your solitary neuron has been recalled.

          • Amos Moses

            so more ad hominem ……. and nothing to contribute …..

    • Sisboombah

      You’re an imbecile. Either that or you never read a word Orwell wrote. If you don’t like the fact that the majority of the country has no tolerance for discrimination under the pathetic guise of “religious freedom” get thine ass out of our country and VAMOOSE.

      • Vince

        Flagged. Keep your trashy talk in the bath houses, there are decent people on this thread.

  • Greek-Romanus Pompolus

    When will we learn, my business is to make money and my religious believes or lack thereof will not stop me to make money for me and my children, If I’m a Hasidim Judaism and some redneck wants to have a Saturday Cook-out in my orchard serving pork, I’ll charge double, will make my penance with my Rabbi and that will be all.
    I’m a Sunny Muslim and you wish to have a Bar-mitzvah serving wine, the color of money is GREEN.
    I’m a Billionaire Mormon with more than 10000 hotel worldwide, (Marriott) I do not drink caffeinated or alcoholic beverages, I will rent you my Ballrooms in any of my hotels for your weddings or meetings where my employees will serve wine, Pepsi and Coke besides coffee.
    The point is, if I want to be in the Hospitality Business, I have to be hospitable flexible, otherwise I’m in the wrong business

    • Michael C

      Yes, it’s wise for businesses to cater to their clients wants and needs but A) a Jewish orchard owner would not, under any circumstances, be required to operate their business on a Saturday or serve pork on their premises, B) a Muslim venue owner not be required to serve wine at their facilities, and C) a Mormon hotel owner would not be required to serve alcoholic or caffeinated beverages at their hotels.

      These are areas where businesses are not required by law to be flexible.

      The one thing that you said that is actually required by law is regarding the Muslim venue owner renting out their public facilities to Jewish customers for a bar mitzvah. It’s illegal for businesses to refuse service on the basis of a customer’s religion.

      • Oboehner

        Why on earth would a Jewish customer want to rent a muslim owned venue for a bar mitzvah unless they were targeting the muslims?

        • Colin Rafferty

          Because it’s a nice venue, and they don’t judge people based on their religion?

          • Oboehner

            I highly doubt that Jewish people would be looking at a muslim venue any more than a black person would attend a KKK rally no matter how “nice” the venue.

          • Ambulance Chaser

            An event at a venue =/= a venue

          • Oboehner

            For the obtuse hair-splitters, would a black person be looking to host an “event” at a venue owned and used by and/or used by the KKK?

          • Colin Rafferty

            For those of you who can’t retain memory of a comment from seven minutes ago, most American Muslims are indifferent to the religion of someone else, and just care about the quality of their character.

          • Oboehner

            “For those of you who can’t retain memory of a comment from seven minutes ago, (hateful, sneering contempt), the Quran must be wrong then.

          • Colin Rafferty

            I am not hateful. Contemptuous, yes. But I don’t hate.

            The Koran gives the rules, but doesn’t describe actual Muslim attitudes any more than the New Testament describes Christian attitudes.

            In fact, look around on these comment boards, and you will see tons of Fundamentalist Christians bemoaning all the “so-called Christians” not actually following they holy book. Same with Fundamentalist Muslims.

          • Oboehner

            Ah, yeah… That quote must be from something Marvel put out then.

          • Ambulance Chaser

            I doubt it but if they did, the KKK would be legally obligated to rent it to them.

            (Realistically, I don’t know if the KKK is incorporated anywhere, meaning that it can’t actually own anything, but I’ll leave that alone.)

          • Oboehner

            They are incorporated. And the question was not if they should rent it (nice dodge) but if the black people would WANT to rent it. Unless of course they were targeting for a cheap lawsuit.

          • Colin Rafferty

            I know this may be hard to believe, but it is not a tenet of Muslims that they must hate Jews. Most Muslims that I know treat people based on who they are and not on their religion.

          • Oboehner

            The Quran must be wrong then.

          • Colin Rafferty

            No, you are.

          • Oboehner

            “Of those who are Jews (there are
            those who) alter words from their
            places and say: We have heard and we
            disobey and: Hear, may you not be made to
            hear! and: Raina, distorting (the word) with
            their tongues and taunting about religion;
            and if they had said (instead): We have heard
            and we obey, and hearken, and
            unzurna it would have been better
            for them and more upright; but Allah has cursed them on account of their unbelief, so they do not believe but a little. “

          • Colin Rafferty

            Yeah, whatever. Nice quote. But that doesn’t change how people actually act. If you got out a little, you might actually meet a Muslim.

            In fact, you may already know some, but don’t realize it, because they don’t meet your imagined stereotype of what to expect.

          • Oboehner

            Yeah, whatever. You are wrong admit it.

          • Colin Rafferty

            True. You probably don’t actually know any Muslims.

            Seriously, you need to get out of your bubble and meet different kinds of people. It could be enlightening.

          • Oboehner

            Sure then I would find that Muslims really don’t believe all that Quran nonsense, and you know more… or whatever.

          • Colin Rafferty

            Actually yes. You would see that like most religious people, most Muslims are not Fundamentalists. Just as the majority of Christians in the US are not Fundamentalists, neither are the majority of Muslims. Or Jews.

            In fact, many come here to get away from the theocracies. Which you might know if you ever met one.

          • Oboehner

            Bla, bla, bla, now the topic has been successfully rabbit-trailed away from, muddying up the waters avoiding any real answer.

          • Colin Rafferty

            Yes, good job. You were the person who started down the path.

            +1 for Oboehner!

          • Oboehner

            Unfortunately that path was steered away.

          • Parodyx

            But what if they were (gasp) perverts?

          • Michael C

            I highly doubt that Jewish people would be looking at a muslim venue…

            What do you mean by a “Muslim venue?”

            Do you mean a venue that is offered to the general public for rent and just happens to be owned by a Muslim person?

            Why would the customer need to care?

          • Oboehner

            How is “offered to the general public” relevant to one’s religious beliefs?

          • Michael C

            How is “offered to the general public” relevant to one’s religious beliefs?

            The two things are unrelated.

            A business owner may or may not have personal religious beliefs.

            A business owner may or may not make offers to the general public.

            A business owner cannot, however, make an offer to the general public then turn around and use their personal religious beliefs to illegally discriminate on the basis of a protected characteristic.

            -edit- Does that make sense?

          • Oboehner

            Sounds like opinion.
            Can a black person be forced to hold a KKK rally at the family business?

          • Michael C

            Can a black person be forced to hold a KKK rally at the family business?

            Read what I said again;

            “A business owner cannot, however, make an offer to the general public then turn around and use their personal religious beliefs to illegally discriminate on the basis of a protected characteristic.”

            Now, please tell me if membership in the KKK is considered a protected characteristic anywhere in the United States.

            If you’re confused about how non-discrimination laws work, I suggest doing some research. The internet is useful for more than just blathering on.

          • Oboehner

            You legislating now?

            Participating in the KKK is every bit as protected as sexual deviance.

            If you’re confused about how the Constitution works, I suggest doing some research. The internet is useful for more than just blathering on.

          • Michael C

            Are you from the United States?

            Participating in the KKK is every bit as protected as sexual deviance.

            Nope. Nowhere is the characteristic of “membership in the KKK” considered protected from discrimination. Nowhere. The characteristic of sexual orientation is considered protected from discrimination by law in many states and cities.

            If you’re confused about how the Constitution works…

            The Constitution has nothing to do with what you said.

            “Can a black person be forced to hold a KKK rally at the family business?” The Constitution does not prohibit this. Nor does the Constitution prohibit restaurants from refusing service to black people.

            We’re not talking about constitutional protections. While the Constitution protects us from discrimination from the government, the Constitution does not protect anyone from discrimination from businesses.

          • Oboehner

            The KKK can be considered a religious belief. Again, every bit as protected, maybe more so given the First.
            “Sexual orientation” is a choice, not so much a characteristic.
            The Constitution protects the right to freedom of religion which is what the farmer exercised.

          • Michael C

            The KKK can be considered a religious belief.

            No.

            You have the whole world at your fingertips. Go read stuff.

          • Oboehner

            Yes.

            You have the whole world at your fingertips. Go read stuff.

          • Sharon_at_home

            Th e two women wanted it because they wanted to get married in an orchard and accepted another orchard that was not owned by religious people, so they would not mind doing it.
            According to the article he hired gays in his business on his farm, it was ONLY the fact that having a female actually marrying a female and that specific situation is the ONLY time that they will refuse to serve a gay person’s.

            Tell me something. Most organizers of a wedding >whether they are the bride or whatever they phone to find out if the place is able to accommodate their date and time that the couple has decided to use for their wedding. I expect since they have a Facebook page and a site, that anybody can call them or even email the business to find out about accommodations and if they are even if they are accepting of LGBT so they can offer a referral to someone who has no boundary around their religion.

            Why can’t people let people keep their faith when it really is not a big deal because of there was an offer a compromise that actually was exactly what they wanted anyhow but in this case it was handled badly. If they ask about accommodations before the wedding as normal, they can be prepared to search one that will have no religious problems. With google you can search for places [I got hits for it] wedding planners, as well as places that already cater to LGBT so if they are places that work out without insisting that someone has to go against their faith, will they feel more equal without the insistence that Everyone “has” to agree with LGBT? As long as the LGBT has places popping up in places and on the ‘net, can’t they use those ones, which would allow both people to stay with their beliefs?

            Hypothetically and with great imagination to try to make a comparison that makes sense at least somewhat.

            If you are planning a wedding and are inviting people you are aware are racist against Blacks, would you not look for an accommodation that would not have black people in the service Only because you want to avoid problems? No black people as servers for instance. They know that it will be a problem, but they have no choice but to invite the guests (for some stupid reason I can’t fathom) should they not be able to be discriminating ONLY to avoid problems that could ruin the wedding?
            I know this is only a hypothetical situation I am talking about but in this case he offered another location to the 2 women and they accepted. IMO that is the right way to behave. No pressure towards any of the 3 parties having to give up anything. That was an excellent example of what it could be without all the problems.

            If your group can find someone who will accommodate you the way you are looking for, why not go for it?
            Or do LGBT’s try to avoid problems or do they truly insist that using the referral was stressful, or gave them PTSD like some of the articles talk about, but only if they are not able to be accommodated anywhere else in the way they want to be? I don’t see in most articles that they had been offered other accommodation that was literally down the street a few stores. I know there was one; the one about the flower shop; but I don’t know the what the LGBT opinion is on this matter. A lot of the time it is made to look like it is only about the money so if it was solvable, why is it necessary to push the individuals to ‘agree’ with you rather than take the suggestion for a referral? I know it is the law that says the places “Need” to have acceptance, and equal accommodation to be able to do the same things that other people do all the time – isn’t that what is thought of when they offer a referral to a place that will give them both acceptance and accommodation for the service you want provided. I know that it is the law, I’m just saying that the LGBT could compromise when someone offers a referral rather than going against his personal beliefs and the parties in question are actually getting exactly what they wanted, but with an extra stop on the way. If the place had another wedding that day, it would have been easy to just refer them for that reason, but the articles do not always talk about that. If he told them the reason, kindly and with sincere regret as His religion… Wouldn’t that be the better thing to do in that situation?

            I just hate seeing a situation that the people don’t even try to compromise so it isn’t a big deal, but run to the media which instantly makes it big news.

            Compromises are good things because it is an agreement of both sides instead of a problem.

            This whole thing is sounding more unreasonable and not worthy of a case.
            If the city of Lansing is not looking at the business he is running as a vendor is not where he is going against the law from what someone pointed out to us here. Where he declined to do the wedding it was legal to refuse because they have not put the discrimination law in place in their state. When he sells his produce etc. at the market it is another business and one that he wouldn’t want or be able to discriminate do as he said he had hired them in the business in the other state. All he is offering in the State where discrimination is illegal at that market is not a valid complaint about his discrimination because of the 2 states? Is that right A.C? the way I understood the story information correctly?
            God bless and Keep smiling!

          • Colin Rafferty

            First of all, this business is not being sued. They are suing the farmer’s market. The couple that they discriminated against went elsewhere and simply gave them a bad review.

            But if you want to make comparisons, how would you feel if they turned away an interracial couple? There are Christian Churches who believe that interracial marriage is a sin. Bob Jones University only recently allowed interracial dating.

            Do you think that a wedding venue would be behaving ethically if it turned away interracial couples?

          • Sharon_at_home

            It was more about getting along… I guess I blew that totally.
            I want to know if they will accept a referral that is not any less convenient that the first one. Or will they want to make them go against their faith, even though the other place is just as perfect for their event.
            If a person is kind, will do anything but participate in something their faith is unhappy with. They kindly tell them, and give them a referral with his neighbour down the way who offers the exact same venue, would they want them to do it anyways, or would they go down to the next place?
            I guess I’m asking if they are bitter about their treatment to get “them” back by going in line with the law.
            I’m from the generation that came after the great depression and we were forced at times to accommodate others because various situations. We lived with and learned to discuss a problem and see if there is a solution, before we bring it up a level.
            If a compromise can be made, will they accept it if it is exactly like the first one? I mean generally do you think that it would be a possibility?
            We always discussed our problems before we even got mad about some things. It’s not being able to come to an agreement that causes the anger and the bitterness.
            It is the way I’ve seen and experienced problems no longer existing because we figured out how to get around the problem, together, so we could get along.
            I’m sorry for confusing things. My computer keeps screwing up or maybe it’s my browser but my replies that I was working on have either disappeared altogether, or I need to start all over again anyway.
            I’m getting it fixed as soon as possible and hopefully will be back more steadily at that point. right now I’m using another computer.
            Thank you for the information, but we’ve talked about what you said before and I do agree that people have been treated badly, and I personally cannot treat others in a bad way. It’s just my way, even without the bible commandments. So I automatically thought of compromising.
            There is so much anger and bitterness everywhere there are people who are different in one way. I hate to see it happening like it is. That’s why I asked, but I have a suspicion that I already know the answer. I will see when I get to read your reply.
            Smile always, people will wonder what mischief you are up to. lol!

          • Sharon_at_home

            Colin, you should know I wouldn’t agree with the mistreatment of anyone. I have always been about how everyone should care about other people enough to be able to use it as a life lesson. Most people don’t forget me easily for some reason, but you and I have talked back and forth before, you helped me understand some things about homosexuals that I did not know before.
            You have always stood up for the people and I have too, but I also see things from the church view now and I have been taught the proper way to treat people from Jesus’ point of view. I get the impression that some churches barely speak about Jesus at all. I can understand the people who are being hurt by the discrimination and I understand the faith of some people meaning so much that they just can not disobey God, so they have to go to jail or lose all his money, or both! Both business/work and family/home are effected and his life can be ruined just because he stood up for his convictions? Does it really have to go that far when it is in the court it has taken away a minimum of 2 different lives – everything they had, their job, or business, their marriage ended up in trouble too for not wanting to go against their belief. And the people who say no to a gay knows what the consequences will be but their faith is so strong that they won’t give in and disobey their God, that it is a strong faith because generally speaking people will break before giving away everything like a few people have. Especially the women who had started their own business and lost it. It might have been one of the cases that the LGBT person was angry and wanted to make the other feel as bad as they had made them and it was money he went for.
            Why are the laws not controlled by the amount of the compensation so they don’t lose everything but still pays some compensation. It improves the one getting it, and it saves the person who had to pay for his error from total ruin. Let them have enough to start again because this time they will know the consequences are real. It should not be allowed to totally destroy someone’s life. My heart goes out to those people because they have chosen to give up everything for Jesus and the act is not even seen as a respectful for the idea of someone doing it for Jesus.
            Whether you believe or not, do you not have respect for someone standing up for their convictions knowing that there will be consequences. I don’t care what it is about, having that strength of faith is not just an idle thing to them.
            Ok I’ve babbled too much on this subject now.
            Thank you for your offerings Colin, I always appreciate having discussions with you. Have a good night and keep smiling!

          • Michael C

            Howdy Sharon, I think this is the comment you’ve asked me to respond to. You’ve made quite a few points and I’d like to hopefully respond to all of them. I’m going to do my best to only state things as they exist factually (legally) and avoid giving you my own personal opinions.

            Firstly, the issue with this farmer and the East Lansing farmers market seems to be a side issue to the questions you’re posing so I’m not even going to necessarily address that topic. I’ll just respond to the issue of wedding-related businesses refusing service to gay customers.

            The purpose for laws that prohibit businesses from refusing service to certain customers on the basis of certain characteristics is to ensure that we can all live our lives side-by-side without fear of being treated unequally. They’re based on the notion that we’re all equal and we all deserve equal treatment.

            Should gay people support businesses that are supportive of gay people? Sure, yeah, just like Christians or redheads should support businesses that are supportive of Christians or redheads.

            Should gay people feel like they need to be careful not to offend a business for wanting to purchase their goods and services while being gay? Should gay customers think twice before asking a business for a product or service that the business regularly offers to all other customers?

            Should black people, or Jewish people, or Irish people, or women, or disabled people, or veterans, or Christians think twice before asking a businesses for a product or service that the business regularly offers to all other customers?

            Should any of us walk into a store or restaurant worried that we might not be served because the owner of the business may not think we are equal?

            Should any of us feel like we have to compromise being treated equally? Should those brave black men respected Woolworth’s policies and compromised their right to be treated equally? Should a Muslim woman compromise and remove her hair covering to keep her job? Should a Jewish customer compromise and hide his Star of David to be served at a restaurant?

            Like Colin said, if an interfaith or interracial couple walked into Arlene’s Flowers in Richland, Washington and asked for floral arrangements for their wedding reception, the business owner would not be permitted to “politely” refuse them service on the basis of their religion or race. That’s not legal. Should the interracial or interfaith couple bring their business elsewhere? Absolutely. Should the owner of Arlene’s Flowers face the legal penalties of her actions? Also, absolutely.

            Only in a minority of the U.S. are gay people protected from discrimination. In the vast majority of the country, it’s perfectly legal for businesses to deny gay people a home, to fire them from their jobs, and refuse them service at stores and restaurants just because they’re gay.

            As a heterosexual Christian, you don’t need to worry about being refused service at stores and restaurants. You don’t need to worry about being fired from your job. You don’t need to worry about being denied a place to live. Gay people still haven’t been granted those rights in most of the United States.

          • Sharon_at_home

            I understand – it is because they are just getting rights and it will take a long time for things to adjust I guess. I just don’t agree with insisting on anyone doing anything against their will I guess.
            I guess I am reaching for stars because I just want them to compromise so no one gets hurt. It’s just consideration to not do something that is against the person’s feelings. You know you seem to think we have no troubles because restaurants and services are not denied to me, but as someone who is basically poor because both of us are on Disability for different reasons, I am discriminated against. I also have a hormone disorder that I could be mistaken for someone who was transitioning. It’s not an easy thing to talk about but because of it, I have been called names, and laughed at in public. The worst times were when my kids were with me because they grew up with it and were used to the way I look. When someone does what ever nasty thing to me, it would backlash onto the kids, or even someone with me. One friend came to a mall with me to see the reactions I get from other people as she did not believe it was “so bad”. Before the end of that time, she was literally yelling at people who were staring at me. She was disgusted by how people were affected by me, and it opened her eyes to how it feels when it was you being discriminated against.
            I definitely understand at least some of the treatment that gays receive and I do know the feelings that are possible when a situation is similar to this.
            But I just want to “fix it so we can all go home happier” I hate seeing people being mistreated and I also hate that people are so determined to what they want, that they miss the chance to offer to compromise and be kind to the other person too.
            Sigh. Now see Michael. This is me babbling. I put what I want understood in different ways all at once so no one has to ask what I mean. lol Blessings Michael. Thank you for your reply. Both Colin and yourself helped me open my eyes further than they were before about the situation. 🙂

          • Michael C

            I just don’t agree with insisting on anyone doing anything against their will I guess.

            I agree. With only a few minor exceptions, I don’t think that businesses should be required to offer products or services that would violate their personal beliefs.

            A bakery, for example, is not actually required to sell wedding cakes to gay customers. If a bakery owner feels that their personal convictions prohibit them from providing wedding cakes to all of the general public equally (without discriminating), they are under no obligation to sell wedding cakes.

            To use an analogy, let’s say I own a restaurant that is open to the public. Now let’s say that I like to make a dish that is considered sacred for people of my religion. Let’s imagine that I’m considering putting this dish on my menu. But then I realize that not all of my customers are members of my religion. What if one of them requests this sacred dish? It would be against my religion to serve this holy dish to someone of a different faith. My religion prohibits me from serving this dish to non-believers and civil rights laws prohibit me from discriminating on the basis of religion.

            As a business owner, it is my responsibility to compromise.

            I choose not to put this particular dish on the menu. If I cannot in good conscience offer this product to all customers equally and without prejudice, I do not offer it at all at my open-to-the-public restaurant.

            There’s the compromise.

            I am discriminated against. I also have a hormone disorder

            Being viewed as different or “less-than” feels horrible. I’m sorry that I assumed you couldn’t relate. I guess we can all relate to those feelings in one way or another.

            One thing about not always fitting in with society is that it can give us compassion for others who may be perceived as outcasts. This should always be seen as a great strength.

            I just want to “fix it so we can all go home happier”

            The overwhelming majority of the nation has no issue with treating gay people equally. Only around a dozen or so wedding related business owners in the United States have refused service to gay customers. This is such a tiny, tiny number of people. There are more Powerball winners in the past couple years than wedding venders who have illegally discriminated against gay customers.

            Conversely, there are millions of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender women and men who need to be protected from discrimination in the workplace, housing, and public accommodations.

          • Oboehner

            “The two women wanted it because they wanted to get married in an orchard and accepted another orchard that was not owned by religious people, so they would not mind doing it.” Yet there were repercussions against the farmer, how nice.
            The Constitution protects religious freedom, not perversion.

          • Sharon_at_home

            And Christianity protects His Children and teaches the right way to behave and talk to others in a kind loving way. You on the other hand obviously don’t agree with how Jesus told us and not even his commandment to love each other. By being the way you are you are mocking God by saying he can’t protect you no matter what happens. It also means that you don’t trust God for the same reason.
            Jesus wanted all to come to salvation but if you do not abide by his commandments, you won’t make it. Even the Elect can lose their salvation if they do not live like Jesus.
            Look I guess maybe I have to be blunt because I will not use all caps to express this, but I do want you to know that I care that you are turning away from the Lord. Every time you say something bad about Muslims, you would have to repent every single time you were posting here.
            I am just doing what the Lord told us to do when we see a brother or sister turning away from the Lord. As family, we are to tell each other about how it looks when someone is going against Jesus. It is so you won’t get lost again. Please. I’m not a bleeding heart, I am Christian, and I follow our Lord as closely as I can because I want to have the salvation Jesus has offered us. We have to look out for each other too.

            You are choosing to not trust God, by feeling that way. He told us in the gospel that every thing that is going to happen and it is for us to watch and wait. I pray you know that Heaven will be a far better place to go to, if this muslim thing you believe is happening. So don’t fear death either. No matter what we have to live through we need to stand up for God.
            You need to listen to your church leader, but you need to start reading some bible scripture every day – at least a verse or two so you might learn something from the Word of God. You have to take control of your own Salvation because no one else can do it for you. No one else can do the things we are supposed to do, and the only one that can end it, is you, on the day you are asked about it. No matter what you learn from any church, you must work out your own salvation using your free will. If you don’t learn what the gospel says, for yourself. Not looking for it will be considered a sin because you had the choice and you chose not to read it, or to follow it, when it is the final Word of God. Remember that he said many will fall away at the end times and we must hang on to make it to the end. That is about trusting and worshiping and praising God. He warned all of us about falling away from God and those people will be lost again. Please take control of your own salvation before it is too late. Read the gospel and realize what you have not learned in your church. It is the final Word of God. Focus in the words in red if your bible has them. If you don’t take an honest look at yourself and learn about the gospel or Jesus will say “I don’t know you” because you are sinning and you don’t even seem to realize it so you won’t repent.
            Read the gospel for yourself and you will see what Jesus actually wanted us to do, to be like. He wants our light to shine while we behave like He showed us. By reflecting Jesus, we are giving Jesus all the glory for helping us live better lives.

          • Oboehner

            “And Christianity protects His Children and teaches the right way to behave and talk to others in a kind loving way.” Not to celebrated unrepentant sin.

          • Sharon_at_home

            So who is celebrating unrepentant sin?
            Look, once they know about Jesus and His love, and about Salvation, they will desire to repent. It has to be done with their free will. How is being demeaning about their sin going to do that? It won’t.
            Jesus gave us two final commandments and there is nothing that says we should only focus on their sins. As long as they understand that getting salvation means they need to repent. But they have to honestly want to repent, because if it’s half-hearted He won’t accept it.
            I am a loving person in the first place. It is not hardship for me to be kind and encouraging to people without making them feel bad about their sins, after all, we all sin. We aren’t made to feel bad about our sins, our love of God is what makes us feel bad and repent. Why do you think dealing with homosexuals is any different. They have to learn all about salvation before they can use their free will to choose whether or not to repent and turn to Jesus. It was not a big deal to me when I joined the church. It was my choice to repent and follow Jesus. No one else could choose for me. No one else can attain salvation for me. It all depends on me, and the only person that can make a choice is each individual. We have to get them to listen or they won’t want to come to Jesus. If you want to attain your own salvation you have to choose for yourself.
            You also are responsible to keep an eye on your own salvation too. If you don’t reassess your sins all the time, You won’t realize you are doing something that is a sin and therefore not repent, and lose your salvation for not reviewing yourself.
            Unless you are baptized by fire you are kind of on probation. You are still able to sin, and lose your salvation until you are close to what Jesus is and continually praying to God; Praising and worshiping God; and following what Jesus said to do, to obtain it. There is no other way and that is what you are missing by not reading the Gospel yourself and learning for yourself and not expect anyone else to be able to affect your chance of salvation. You are aware there is a New Testament and that you have read Revelations so if you don’t follow what Jesus said and try to blame it on your religion to Jesus, He will know that you did not learn about your salvation even though you could have and you didn’t.
            Your loss. Jesus’ loss.
            I admit I am not trying to pretty anything up for you. I’ve already tried to guide you to the gospel before and until you do, while you comment here, I will still tell you to read the gospel and have salvation. Now I’m being blunter with hopes of getting through to you. Jesus told us to take care of each other and if we see a sister/brother who is falling, we are to bring them back to Jesus using our best efforts to tell you that you are slipping and need to go back to your bible and read the gospel and take responsibility for yourself.
            I pray for you; God bless!

          • Oboehner

            “they will desire to repent” There are none in the USA who haven’t heard the gospel.

          • Sharon_at_home

            I top that with Yes there are.
            Any of the immigrants could be missing it.
            Converts from Islam need to learn it too.
            Younger people whose Parents are of the generation that stopped going to church are having kids now.
            I wasn’t aware of the actual plan of Salvation until I was 52; I knew nothing about Jesus except the birth. I knew the story of Noah’s Ark and remember coloring it.. Not much more than that. My parents took us camping instead of taking us to Sunday School. I’ve seen a lot of the states, but knew little about Jesus.
            Besides, from what I can determine from just this comment board, a lot of posters here don’t know the gospel. They accept what they are taught as the Only Word of God that they have; None seemed to know about the gospel at all. They don’t seem to have taken it upon themselves to read God’s Word for their own salvation.
            So unless they were all from other places, not everyone in the USA knows the gospel.

          • Oboehner

            But you knew who he was.

          • Sharon_at_home

            FYI in case I didn’t make you aware of it, I am a Canadian living in Canada. Ontario if you wanted to know.
            No I did not know who he was, I did not know more than his name, and the story of him being born in the stable, really. You know it was just a story for me because I didn’t know anything else. The only songs I could relate to the story told some of the Christmas carols, but none of it had any significance until I joined my church at 52.
            Depending on where you are really says whether you would know the bible or not. It still doesn’t reach some people so they can read the gospel for themselves. They only hear about it if their preacher talks about it. and now they have removed the story of Christ’s birth from the schools and from every public place the Word of God in the USA.
            The Gospel has even spread more in other parts of the world, in the past few years than ever before. Christians offering bibles to the 3rd world nations to help them learn the Gospel.
            But in the USA, there are still some people who are out of touch with the way the world is going and might die not knowing. IE. born to unbelievers, in a small town of mostly unbelievers. Daughter married man who is also an unbeliever, has kids. Those kids are not going to learn about it from anywhere in town until they leave and find out about it on their own.
            It actually could have Mormon in place of the word ‘small’, because they don’t teach the gospel either.
            So, No, If I had known even as much as my best friend did about churches and their beliefs, I didn’t go to church and I can’t remember ever discussing it other than whether or not we both believed in God. It never occurred to her to give me more than that I guess, or she would have insisted that I go with her to church because she did with every thing else that she needed support for. I probably would have looked into it before my time, and God had perfect timing planned in mind for all of us for our destiny, right? Of course you would know that if you are Christian.
            God bless!

          • Sharon_at_home

            I thought I already posted my reply to this… lets see what I remember…
            1) Immigrants
            2) Converts from Islam
            3) This generation of parents as well as the children; the parents hated having to go to church and sit still through it all, and after they had had some kids, they swore they would never sit through it again, and there was NO way their kids would either. So both of them might not know the gospel.
            4) I am 60 – it was actually the generation between me and my children 33, 27, 26 and they were the first to skip church. It started in my generation but was not talked about until the next generation.
            So I would say there are plenty of people in the states who don’t know their gospel.
            It is the desire to repent that brings you to salvation. To believing. To Trusting. Loving Jesus so much that you desire to repent for the Eternal Life that Jesus has offered everyone.
            If you do not repent in your heart, God will see that and not accept the request for forgiveness based on what was in your heart.
            Honestly, I came into my church, felt the presence of the Lord from the 1st visit, have been with my church for 8+ years, was water baptized as an person who was repenting all sins before I was reborn. That is what being reborn is all about TBH and I believe that the sprinkling of babies, or whatever rite is used, should merely be a blessing from Jesus just like he blessed the children in the Bible. Then as an person responsible for their own salvation, we learn the gospel, we read the bible regularly, and when we decide it is time, we are baptized with water, and are forgiven all past sins. You are then a Saint or an Elect. Point> Jesus nor John baptized children; it was always adults they preached to and baptized in the water. Even Jesus led them to the river, and the disciples baptized crowds in. The disciples were told they would receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit when He had gone away.
            Those disciples that remained with the Apostle’s were given the baptism of fire (and wind) too. Because some of the disciples of the days of Jesus being on the earth received the 2nd baptism, we are considered His disciples, and we can receive the Holy Spirit through the fact that the disciples were given it freely because they believed, and if we have a strong belief we can get the Holy Spirit by fire. Please know that the 2nd baptism is not real “fire” but the feeling that is given while it happens, and the wind preceded it which if you are seeking the Holy Spirit of fire and wind, you will feel a cool wind around you that has no reason to be there. no windows open, no fans in that area – signs like that. If you have ever experienced those kind of winds, you know they are not just wind. You should expect it yes, but you can’t experience it without being aware of it happening. It stands out to you.

            I had not been there very long before I felt it the first time. No one had mentioned it yet. So I did not know about the cool wind until after I mentioned it to a sister, so I wasn’t expecting it the first time I felt it.

            Acts 2:1-4
            1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
            2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
            3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
            4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

            There are other scriptures where Jesus discussed the gifts of the Holy Ghost including speaking in tongues. will post them if you want me to.

          • Oboehner

            Like I said, there are none in the USA who haven’t heard.

          • Sharon_at_home

            IMO You would be wrong. So tell me what is it that you are trying to say then?

          • Sharon_at_home

            So you are basing this totally on the people of USA heritage alone, not one added to the nation at all?
            I based one of the examples on someone who is not familiar with what happens in the world, but the person was still of US heritage.
            What about them? Or are they considered not part of the Nation?
            Or maybe I am misreading the intention of your short statement.
            Could you please explain what you want me to understand about what you are saying. The statement alone gives me no indication.
            God bless!

  • bowie1

    In effect Lansing is also discriminating based on their religion for not allowing them to sell their produce at the farmers market.

    • Colin Rafferty

      No, they are discriminating based on the actions of the company. The fact that the company is claiming to do it because of their religion is irrelevant.

      • tu.mult

        Obviously you are not familiar with Supreme Court ruling in Hobby Lobby case?

        • Colin Rafferty

          I am quite familiar with it. Enough to know that a ruling about how employers treat their employees has nothing to do with how a business treats its customers. And that how an employer treats all its employees has nothing to do with how it treats some of its customers.

          Maybe I’m missing something. Tell me how a ruling about employers not being required to provided a benefit to all their employees also means that it may discriminate against its customers because of their gender.

          • tu.mult

            Two things factored heavily in Supreme Court ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby. (1)Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA), (2)”Free” exercise of religion by for profit corporations.

            The actual majority opinion by Justice Samuel Alito is incontestable with regard any legal analysis about this case.

            “The plain terms of RFRA make it perfectly clear that Congress did not discriminate in this way against men and women who wish to run their businesses as for-profit corporations in the manner required by their religious beliefs.”-Justice Samuel Alito

            Do you wish to rephrase your argument?

          • Colin Rafferty

            No, not at all. They are perfectly free to choose how to run their business. This has nothing to do with it. Hobby Lobby says that they could choose to not serve pork, or not give their employees birth control. But it doesn’t say that they can treat their customers differently based on their gender.

          • tu.mult

            The farmer has not treated anyone different because of their gender? He has taken a position about hosting gay marriages on his private property that reflects his religious beliefs?

          • Colin Rafferty

            Why are you putting this in the form of questions? Well, I’ll try to answer.

            Yes, he is treating his potential customers differently because of their gender. I thought that was pretty obvious.

            Yes, he says that he blames his gender discrimination on his religion.

            I really don’t see what the point of these questions are. In East Lansing, he is violating the non-discrimination laws, which is why the market is refusing to allow his business to set up there. They are not doing this because of his religious beliefs, but because of his discriminatory actions.

          • tu.mult

            First, I ask questions when I am puzzled. First, refusing to host gay weddings on private property is gender discrimination…how?

            Second, Free exercise of religion is a constitutional right as ruled in Hobby Lobby case. If it is infringed or denied it becomes a federal issue. The constitution trumps any state laws the are in conflict.

            Third, the city is not the market…the market would be the private citizens who purchase his goods.

          • Colin Rafferty

            > How is refusing to host a gay wedding gender discrimination?

            Because the issue is their gender. If one was a man, they would not be refused. That’s like asking how refusing to host a mixed-race wedding is racial discrimination.

            > Hobby Lobby is about free exercise of religion.

            Burwell v Hobby Lobby is about how certain companies (like this one) are exempt from a regulation its owners religiously object to if there is a less restrictive means of furthering the law’s interest. Note the second part of the sentence. For example, in Hobby Lobby’s case, the government had a less restrictive way to provide contraceptive services for their employees

            So Burwell v Hobby Lobby has nothing to say about a company discriminating against its customers. Unless you can think of a less restrictive way to still have the company provide the wedding venue.

            > Constitution trumps State laws.

            Correct, which is why same-gender marriage is legal in that State.

            > [T]he city is not the market…the market would be the private citizens who purchase his goods.

            I’m not sure what that means. The City of East Lansing runs the East Lansing Farmer’s Market. They rent space to businesses that want to set up stalls. There are many objective rules that these businesses have to follow to be allowed to rent a space, and one is that their business, as a whole, has to follow the non-discrimination laws of East Lansing. Because Country Mill Farms discriminates against same-gender couples, which is protected in East Lansing, they can’t get a stall.

            Now some people have argued that what happens outside of East Lansing stays out of East Lansing, and shouldn’t be able to apply. And that argument may be correct. But it’s not what Country Mill Farms is arguing.

            They are claiming they are being discriminated against because of their religion. This is factually incorrect. The rule is neutral to religion. The owners may be discriminating because of their religion, but that is not why they are being denied a stall. Anyone of their religion who does not discriminate can get a stall, and anyone who discriminates, regardless of religion, cannot.

          • tu.mult

            The farmer’s religious belief is that GOD sanctified marriage between man & woman. This belief has existed for millenia. He is against participating in ceremonies that redefine the institution of marriage. this is not a “gender” issue…he has never been accused a discriminating against gay individuals. This is the apples to apples argument you are trying to promote.

            Hobby Lobby decision is about whether a corporation can conduct business as dictated by their religious beliefs. The conduct involves customers, employees, business practices & shareholders. If you read the opinions from both sides this is clearly evident.

            Without private citizens renting booths & paying for products what do you have? I am referring to private citizens who make the market a success… my fault for not explaining.

            East Lansing cannot (legally) refuse access because the farmer did not allow a certain event to be held on his private property. East Lansing would have case if the farmer refused service on city property or city sponsored events.

          • Colin Rafferty

            Your last paragraph is definitely a reasonable argument. And you are probably right, that they don’t actually have jurisdiction. But your first two paragraphs are either wrong or irrelevant.

            As I said before, the issue isn’t why the Country Mill Farms is discriminating, but how they are. You say, “because marriage is being redefined.” The law says, it doesn’t matter. And I have not once said this is about “gay” discrimination. It’s about the relative genders of the people involved. You yourself are saying it, “man & woman”. That’s gender. It literally can’t be clearer.

            As for Hobby Lobby, you are misunderstanding it. Read oyez dot org /cases/2013/13-354 to get an unbiased view. The issue with the contraception mandate is that “it creates a substantial burden that is not the least restrictive method of satisfying the government’s interests.”

            But if you would like a trivial example of how this doesn’t apply, can you imagine that someone whose sincere religious beliefs thought interracial marriage was a sin could use that argument to deny service to a mixed-race couple? Seriously, if you want to argue that people can deny service to a same-gender couple, you have to argue why that’s different from mixed-race, or agree that mixed-race discrimination is also allowed.

        • Blake Paine

          Hobby Lobby is based on the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act that has nothing to do with case.

          • tu.mult

            Please read Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s opinion for the majority:

            “The plain terms of RFRA make it perfectly clear that Congress did not discriminate in this way against men and women who wish to run their businesses as for-profit corporations in the manner required by their religious beliefs.”-Justice Samuel Alito

            This has everything to do with “Free” exercise of religion by a corporation.

          • Blake Paine

            You just quoted your self it was because of the RFRA, not the free exercise clause. The RFRA has nothing to do with this case since the law that would be applicable at all is a city law, not a federal one.

            You just proved my point. Thanks.

          • tu.mult

            First, free exercise of religion is a constitutional right & if infringed by any entity, government body or even an individual it then becomes a federal issue.

            Second, I noticed how you have not used any reasoning from the actual case opinions? Interesting….

          • Blake Paine

            actually you are the one who hasn’t and the court’s reasoning was laid out in just a few lines:
            • The ACA provided a means for religious organizations to have contraceptives supplied by the insurance companies directly and not the business.
            • Hobby Lobby qualified as a religious ‘person’ under the RFRA.
            (this is important now…)
            • the employees must still get their full coverage regardless.

            And that is why Hobby Lobby was decided for the company. If there was no alternative coverage Hobby Lobby would have had to provide it.

            In case you doubt that the justices specifically said about the ruling:

            …Nor does it provide a shield for employers who might cloak illegal discrimination as a religious practice.

            Read it and weep. The Hobby Lobby ruling doesn’t allow the business to illegally discriminate against employees or customers, neither can be denied equal treatment one way or the other.

            As with so many you haven’t bother to actually read the ruling.

          • tu.mult

            The government (lead by the left) decided that their worldview trumped any religious beliefs & decided they would compel a targeted group to comply…or else.

            Actually, the government cannot force anyone to comply with what a certain political movement deems as just, honorable & inclusive.

            “Since RFRA applies in these cases, we must decide whether the challenged HHS regulations substantially burden the exercise of religion, and we hold that they do.” Yes, so called ‘discrimination’ is permissible.

            “If the Government substantially burdens a person’s exercise of religion,under the Act that person is entitled to an exemption from
            the rule unless the Government “demonstrates that application
            of the burden to the person—(1) is in furtherance of
            a compelling governmental interest; and (2) is the least
            restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.”

            Yes, another quote from majority opinion.

          • Blake Paine

            Nothing you quoted refutes what i said, just expands on it.

            The wording of the RFRA let the Hobby Lobby corporation be considered to have religious rights, I agree. The court decided there were less restrictive ways for the employees to get cost-free coverage for the contraceptions and gave two examples: the government could assume the cost or the AFA’s mechanism for religious non-profits could be used by this religious for-profit corporation.

            But no matter which way it happens the Hobby Lobby employees still get their contraceptive coverage. Similarly no matter how it happens the customers will still be rented the advertised venue or purchase the advertised cake service, etc if that is required by the civil rights law or the business can be found guilty of a civil rights violation.

            The RFRA doesn’t apply in these civil rights cases because they are:
            1) based on state law, the feds aren’t the ones requiring anything from the business, and
            2) The customers, just like the employees, will still get what the law requires – service without civil rights discrimination.
            3) No RFRA can put the rights of one citizen above another and all of these cases involve actual customers that have been illegally discriminated against by the business.

            Again, read the ruling – its quite short. The only thing new in it was they allowed for a for-profit company to have standing as a religious ‘person’ under the federal RFRA.

          • tu.mult

            I agree I am expanding because your assertions continue to omit key facts.

            1. Free exercise of religion is a constitutional right.
            2. If a violation of this constitutional right occurs on any level then it is a federal issue.
            3. Contraception was a component affected by the ruling on whether a corporation could operate & make business policy based of religious beliefs. It was not central to the ruling as the quoted majority opinion clearly addresses.
            4. Free exercise of religion clearly negates frivolous arguments of ‘discrimination’.

          • Blake Paine

            in response:
            1) free exercise protects the customers too and it is the business that invited the group the customers belonged.
            2) and the courts have already said that laws that protect rights regardless of belief are not infringements on that right.
            3) what was central is whatever the business didn’t want to provide personally the employees or customers would have a right to it whatever solution is used, i.e. the customer’s would still get the advertised service or product.
            4) Civil rights isn’t a ‘frivolous’ claim ever since they are recognized because they are considered important.

            Again, claims that religious freedom trump recognized civil rights have been rejected by the SCOTUS federally as early as 1968.

            Simple solution, don’t offer something to the public they aren’t willing to sell legally to the public, there are other business models that allow civil rights discrimination, they just need to bother to use them.

    • Michael C

      …Lansing is also discriminating based on their religion…

      Not really. The city of Lansing is attempting to discriminate against a business that refuses to treat gay customers equally.

      It’s the business’s actions, not beliefs, that are of issue.

      • Faithwalker

        Actions emanate out of everyone’s beliefs you can’t separate the two.

        • Michael C

          Actions are born of an individual’s beliefs.Yes. Okay. Sure.

          Beliefs and actions can, however, be separated when it comes to adherence to the law.

          In this great nation, any individual can believe whatever they want. This does not, however, mean that they can do whatever they want. Freedom in the U.S. means that I’m free to believe and preach that all Swedes are horrible people and they sacrifice children and they should all be imprisoned. I’m not, however, permitted to refuse service to people from Sweden at my public accommodation (even if I really, really don’t like them because of my personal beliefs).

          So yes, actions can be separated from beliefs. That’s why we have laws. That’s one thing that laws do.

          Does that make sense?

          • Sharon_at_home

            Michael, I wrote a post below that is a question that you can probably answer. It’s my reply to Oboehner and I babbled until I asked a question, the way I do, and am very sorry so I am trying not to do it anymore, anyway I think you could help me with an answer if you don’t mind looking for it. If you do mind, reply to me and I will find it and paste it – I was hoping that I could post it once and not fill the board with it. Let me know, ok?

            I know that if you have patience with me, that you just smiled when I told you I babbled.Please forgive me until I teach myself a way to avoid it.
            Thanks I do appreciate the information you have given to me in other discussion and want to let you know that. Thanks again.

          • Michael C

            =) I don’t think I’d ever accuse you of babbling. I’ve never read one of your comments and felt unsure of your opinions/beliefs.

            I responded to your other comment (with more questions than answers). My reply got really long so you can feel free to poke fun of me for babbling now.

          • Sharon_at_home

            I accused myself I am trying to stop babbling and limit my posts.
            I’m sorry if I made it sound like you had I didn’t mean to. LOL

            We have chatted, but not gone into a discussion.
            I will look at your other post, Thank you for it.

            And Thank you for permission, and I’ll keep it in mind.

          • Faithwalker

            Beliefs and actions are inextricably tied, it’s impossible for one to operate without the other being activated. To further illustrate, humans operate fundamentally from a cognitive approach which are grounded in assumptions, perceptions, learning, remembrance, thoughts, reasoning, and understanding and bias. Out of the cognitive, behavior follows.

            Do you see the connection?

            The laws that legalized same sex marriage along with integrating it under the civil rights statute created the greatest culture war in history across the globe. Why is it a culture WAR, because of the populace’s opposing set of beliefs.

            To further add, the individuals that control legislatively, whether from level of the U.N., federal, state, local or municipalities create laws that stem from their particular worldview. Based upon the premise of their perspective, laws have been enacted and amended sometimes to suppress people, nations, countries, or to control a populace, and not to often, for the common good.

            Man made science and laws are unable to answer the complexities of human nature. Only Christ can.

            Are we really free? that’s a topic for another discussion.

          • Michael C

            The laws that legalized same sex marriage along with integrating it under the civil rights statute…

            You’re ignorant of the law. Legally recognized marriages and non-discrimination laws are separate topics and completely unrelated legally. Gay marriage &#8800 non-discrimination protections. Learn stuff.

            …created the greatest culture war in history across the globe.

            When interracial marriage bans were struck down by the Supreme Court in 1967, only about 20% of the U.S. population approved of interracial marriage. Only 20%! The “greatest culture war in history across the globe?!” Ma’am, no. No, ma’am. The equal recognition of the marriages of gay couples was approved by 50-60% of the population when the gay marriage bans were struck down.

          • Faithwalker

            Michael, no I do not claim to be a legal scholar. Nevertheless, it took a legislative body to enact rights and protections for gays. Why, because the gay community’s lobbying efforts and activism for their rights has been taking place within the judicial system for over 20+ years. Sure there are many who agree or have changed their minds in reference to the legalization for the population that have their special type of sexual preferences. But, I question the statistics you presented?

            Where did you get your statistical data from reflects 50%-60% of the nation agree with the homosexual ideology? You do realize that sampling data only reflects a subset of the sampled population and not the entire population…right?

            Also, I would question the type of sampling techniques used that represents your percentages? What type of sampling techniques were used? stratified random sampling? cluster sampling, non-probability sampling? convenience sampling? or quota sampling?

            Finally, splitting hairs on the topic does not lead to a conclusion on the subject. Again, the cultural war is Global and not just Nationally.

            I would love to continue this dialogue, but I have assignments that are due tomorrow night. Until the next time, have a great weekend.

        • Blake Paine

          The courts say you can, a law that limits actions regardless of beliefs isn’t a violation of belief.

        • Sisboombah

          Yes, you can. I believe you’re a twit who should have been neutered at birth. But I choose to let you keep your gonads. Get it, boy?

          • Faithwalker

            Let me ask…how old are you? Because your reply was childish and ignorant. I am sure your mother taught you better than that.

      • tu.mult

        The CITY cannot legally “discriminate” against anyone because they believe a “law” was broken. I believe the courts are designed to prosecute violations of law. Lansing is going to write a huge check.

        • Michael C

          To my understanding, this farmer violated zero East Lansing laws.

          No laws were broken.

          • Blake Paine

            That is the question, in a city with anti-discrimination ordinances, if a business does so even outside the city’s judicial jurisdiction can the business still be considered a discriminating business by the city and treated differently because of it?

            There may be a due process complaint here but that isn’t the argument the ADF is making.

          • tu.mult

            There is an East Lansing anti-discrimination ordinance which the East Lansing City government is citing as a defense for their actions.

      • Amos Moses

        really ….. did they refuse to sell them FRUIT or VEGETABLES …………… is that not what they sell at a FARMERS MARKET ….. it is PUNITIVE and lacks DUE PROCESS ……….

        • Sisboombah

          Repeating the stupid argument will never change the fact that yours is a stupid argument.

          • Amos Moses

            i see ….. but ad hominem changes everything ….. ahhhhhhhh …………

        • Michael C

          Dude, chill out and read my other comments.

          The farmer never discriminated against anyone in Lansing and (in my opinion) should continue to be permitted to conduct business there.

          • bowie1

            Well, we shall see how the court case turns out if it is reported here.

      • neenerpuss .

        Not tolerating someones discrimination in and of itself is not discrimination.

    • Sisboombah

      Good. Enjoy.

  • Croquet_Player

    He’s claiming that his Catholic beliefs are the reason he won’t let gay couples rent his event space for weddings. Does he also not rent to divorced people? What about couples that live together before marriage? What about couples that use, or plan to use birth control? What about couples where one of them is, or was, a Catholic, and is marrying outside the faith? There are a lot of prohibitions about marriage in the Catholic faith. It seems he’s only focusing on one of them

    • neenerpuss .

      ….which makes it OBVIOUS that it is discrimination.

      • Croquet_Player

        Well, it certainly doesn’t look good for him. He may apply whatever “standards” he likes, but if he’s going to do it willy-nilly, applying one, and conveniently ignoring all the others, it’s a potentially fatal blow to any case he might have. But let’s face it, if he evenly applied all Catholic standards for marriage, he wouldn’t have any wedding business. Because Catholic couples are supposed to marry in a Catholic church, not in a rented orchard.

  • Blake Paine

    If the business had illegally discriminated within Lansing they would obviously been able to do so, the law is about actions not the justification for the action.

    The only legal issue of merit on this case is can a city say a business is not complying with their non-discrimination ordinances when the infractions occurs outside the city’s actual jurisdiction?

    The ADF has filed suit only on first amendment issues in their eternal quest to try and nullify the first amendment and so they’ve missed the mark once again. they should have filed in state court and that’s what the feds will tell them.

    • Michael C

      “Federal lawsuit” sounds better when fund raising.

  • neenerpuss .

    I find it IRONIC that the farmer is suing because the city is treating him the exact same way he is treating the gay couple.

    The City refused to let him use their space at the farmer’s market.
    The Farmer refused to let the gay couple use their space at the farm business.

  • michael louwe

    It is a fact that a government is overwhelmingly more powerful than citizens/individuals and corporations/businesses, and corporations/businesses are considered as persons by Law.

    Based on their past experiences in Europe of being persecuted by Roman Catholic and Anglican govts and fleeing to USA as religious refugees, the mostly Protestant Founding Fathers of the 1776 US Constitution prohibited the powerful US govt from persecuting the citizens and corporations based on their religion and speech and even gave them the right to bear arms to overthrow a tyrant US govt.

    After the “side-effects”(eg Jim Crow laws in the South) of the 1861 Civil War, the 1964 Civil Rights Act which was rammed through Congress by the liberal Blue States, prohibited the Southern Red State govts and corporations/businesses from persecuting or discriminating against the Blacks, ie based on color, besides based on religion, gender/sex and national origin.
    ……. Thus began the vote-pandering for the Black-vote, Hispanic-vote, LGBTQ-vote, etc-vote by the liberal Blue States, in order to defeat the conservative Red States.

    The crux of this issue is that the US Constitution prohibits the powerful US govt, whether Federal or State, from persecuting or discriminating against corporations/businesses and citizens based on their religion or speech, even if their religion or speech discriminates against homosexuals and other criminals/sinners/evildoers/law-breakers.
    ……. The govt should have no business meddling in businesses because of their religion or speech unless it’s against national interests. That’s anti-business or vote-pandering.

    As an analogy, we know that Jewish and Muslim food businesses do not sell pork because of their religion. Should the liberal US govt force them to sell pork, in order to pander for the votes of pork-eaters.?
    ……. Also, Hindu food businesses do not sell beef and some Buddhist food businesses(= vegetarian) do not sell meat.

    • Blake Paine

      You need to understand what discrimination is. If a business doesn’t sell pork to anyone then everyone is being treated the same so no discrimination. if the same business would sell pork to Gentiles but not Jews that would be discrimination by religion and not allowed.

      In the same manner this business renting wedding venues must do so for all faiths, even those that have same-sex marriages, or not rent for weddings at all. That is their choice.

      • michael louwe

        You need to understand what discrimination is. In my analogy, the Jewish and Muslim food businesses are discriminating against pork-eaters when they sell to beef-eaters, chicken-meat-eaters and lamb-eaters but not to pork-eaters.

        In the same manner, such food businesses selling food must do so for all meat eaters, even those who eat pork or only eat pork, or not sell any meat at all. That is their choice.

        • Colin Rafferty

          That’s silly. You choose what is on the menu that you sell. In fact, the typical way that Kosher restaurants make sure that they comply with both equal protection and their religious rules is to have the restaurant either Meat or Dairy. So it’s impossible to order a cheeseburger. It’s a mice loophole.

          Now technically, if there were something special needed for a same-gender wedding that a mixed-gender wedding didn’t need, then a venue could simply not provide that, and that would be legal. But of course, there is no difference between mixed-gender and same-gender marriages. Except the people involved, but (almost) every marriage has a different pair of people.

          • Blake Paine

            Exactly. As long as the customer can use the advertised product as sold they can use it as their beliefs dictate, not the business owner’s.

        • Blake Paine

          No, the pork eaters are completely free to buy the products offered by the business, there is no discrimination by the business. That the pork eaters don’t want to is their choice to make.

          • michael louwe

            The main point is, pork-eaters or pork-lovers cannot buy or eat pork at Jewish and Muslim food businesses = discrimination against pork-lovers, pork-boys, pork-pushers, pork swordsman, pork-slappers, pork-beacon-locators, etc.
            ……. This is similar to homosexual-lovers cannot hold their same-sex wedding at certain Christian business venues.

            So, if according to you, Jewish and Muslim food businesses can discriminate against pork-lovers, then Christian businesses can discriminate against homosexual-lovers who wanna have same-sex weddings.

          • Colin Rafferty

            They cannot buy pork because those places do not sell pork. This place sells the venue for weddings. They can’t refuse someone because they don’t like the particular couple, especially if it’s because they don’t like the genders.

            If you wanted to make a restaurant analogy, it would be illegal for a restaurant to force a Jewish person to remove his head covering while eating.

          • michael louwe

            “While he has employed homosexuals at his farm, Tennes believes it would
            be a violation of his faith to participate in or allow a same-sex
            ceremony to be conducted on his property.”

            Your statement is false.

          • Colin Rafferty

            You just agreed with me. I said they refused because of their genders. You said they refused because they are same-sex. That’s the same thing. And they are gender discrimination. And that is illegal in East Lansing, and the farmer’s market does not allow businesses that don’t follow the East Lansing discrimination laws.

          • michael louwe

            No, Tennes refused to hold same-sex MARRIAGE on his farm/property. He did not refuse same-sex people or homosexuals from his farm when they were not practising same-sex marriage ceremonies.

            As an analogy, a few homosexual men are also convicted pedophiles who had preyed on under-aged boys. After release from prison, they have to be registered as child-sex offenders for monitoring purposes by the community and Law Enforcement Agencies.
            So, they are targeted because of their pedophilia and not because of their homosexuality.

          • Colin Rafferty

            I honestly don’t understand your point. They sell wedding packages, but not to people of the same gender. That’s gender discrimination, and illegal in East Lansing.

            The fact that they sell other things to gay people doesn’t change this from being discrimination.

          • michael louwe

            Well, it’s similar to Tennes refusing a polygamous marriage ceremony or incestuous marriage ceremony or child bride ceremony or Satanist marriage ceremony.

            It’s also not very different from banks “discriminating” against bankrupts, ex-felons or those with bad credit ratings by refusing to give them bank loans or credit card services while giving to others.

          • Colin Rafferty

            Your Satanist wedding is a bad choice. It would be illegal for them to refuse, just as it would be illegal for them to refuse a Jewish wedding. The other weddings you mention are illegal.

          • Blake Paine

            All you are saying is that the owner is admitting he is religiously discriminating against the customers (everyone has a right to NOT be the business owner’s beliefs, right?)

            If you invite the public – a group composed of all faiths – there is no excuse to say they didn’t know people who had same-séx marriages would be customers.

          • Croquet_Player

            This is identical to saying if I run a bookstore, I’m discriminating against people who want to buy lawnmowers. Or if I run a fish and chips shop, I’m discriminating against people who want to buy hot dogs. Owners may carry or sell whatever they like. If they’re selling to the general public, they don’t get to pick and choose their customers

          • michael louwe

            That’s an analogy with false logic, ie forcing a shop to sell different categories of products, eg selling books vs lawnmowers or cars.

            If you run a fish-n-chips shop, you are already automatically picking and choosing your customers, ie picking and choosing only those who are fish-n-chips-lovers. In effect, you are not selling to the general public, but only to fish-n-chip-lovers.
            ……. Customers who hate fish-n-chips would feel discriminated against by you and could not stand going into your shop. They may complaint to the government to close you down.

            Should the powerful government come to the “defense” of fish-n-chips-haters by forcing you to sell foods that fish-n-chips-haters love.?
            ……. Eg hated by some because fried potato chips tend to make people fat and unhealthy.
            ……. Should the powerful government also ban fish-n-chips shops because they make some people fat and unhealthy.?

          • Croquet_Player

            “…… Customers who hate fish-n-chips would feel discriminated against by you and could not stand going into your shop. They may complaint to the government to close you down.”

            Do you truly feel discriminated against by shops that sell things you don’t personally care for? I find that highly doubtful, but it’s a good example of the preposterous lengths people will go to in an effort to defend actual discrimination.

          • Blake Paine

            No the customer is deciding why they buy the product – they could hate them and be buying for someone else.

            The business offer is to the public and the customers self-select themselves.

            A wedding venue is just which a customer can purchase without civil right discrimination for a use consistent with their own beliefs.

          • Blake Paine

            You are thinking a wedding that happens to have a same-sex couple is some how different in any event space way than one with an opposite-sex couple.

            They aren’t.

            in your analogy that would be like the business selling what the customer wants – pork – but they are just labeling it ‘beef’. The customer can buy what the business is selling – a wedding event – and use it for their wedding of a same-séx couple no matter what the business labels it as.

      • Amos Moses

        they are not renting wedding venues in the farmers market …. they are selling fruits and vegetables to EVERYONE ………..

        • Blake Paine

          And businesses were happy to sit black customers in their restaurant but at the lunch counter discriminated.

          This is the same business, that one business operation doesn’t discriminate and another part of it does still means the business is a discriminatory one.

          The question is can the city treat a business differently for discrimination that occurred outside its jurisdiction?

          • Amos Moses

            no …….. they ARE NOT discriminating against anybody at the market and HAVE NOT for 6 YEARS ………. what they do else where is THEIR business ……… AND NOT YOURS ……..

            so if a church wanted to hire this REALLY GOOD muslim singer to sing at their Easter service ….. and the muslim “offered his services” to the public ….. but the muslim wanted to refuse to sing for them …… should he be FORCED to sing at their church ………… because the law says he cannot discriminate ……….

            should a black baker be FORCED to make a cake for a KKK rally with swastikas and burning crosses on it …………… just because he opened a door to the “public” ………..

          • Blake Paine

            Amos you are conflating many dissimilar things:

            the black-owned bakery doesn’t have to make that cake since the KKK isn’t protected by civil rights laws and can have policies they don’t make disparaging cakes.

            The muslim singer wouldn’t offer their services to the public if they couldn’t sing for people of all faiths, why would she refuse anyway?

            And the issue is the business freely admits to having discriminated in the past and stated they would continue. Such discrimination is illegal in East Lansing.

            i do think the city is in the wrong, they can’t treat a company different if they haven’t done anything legally because of ‘due process’. But the ADF is way off the mark with a federal lawsuit since it’s not a federal issue. All they would have had to do is file with the county court and instantly win.

            The federal lawsuit is just grandstanding

    • Sisboombah

      Maybe it’s time to do what the UK did to the Puritans and kick you chumps clearn out of the continent…

    • TheLastHonestLawyer

      One problem here is the Plymouth colony failed, and failed long before any of the Founding Fathers were born. They considered themselves to be English. Remember the phrase “No taxation without representation”? Nothing about religious freedom there. The main complaint was economic freedom and the refusal to allow the colonies to send representatives to Parliament. The Establishment Clause wasn’t so much a direct response to the Anglican Church, but a historical understanding of how state religions could sow dissent.

  • http://batman-news.com Elizabeth Innes

    No amount of shaming, denial of religious freedom, name calling and oversight by the thought police will change the fact that homosexuality is a sin.

    • Blake Paine

      A belief everyone has a right not to share with you.

    • This style 10/6

      Sin is just a thing in your head, generally caused by too much bible.

      • Amos Moses

        no …. sin is a thing you DENY in your head ………… generally caused by very little bible ………..

        • neenerpuss .

          Sin is something other people do that you can point to, to make yourself feel superior. If it doesn’t harm you or others…how is it “sinful”?

          • Amos Moses

            it does harm you and others ….. and so it is sinful …….. but that is not the definition of sin ….. and other men is not who is offended by sin …… just as when you get a traffic ticket …. the offended party is not the officer giving you the ticket ……….

          • neenerpuss .

            How does it harm me or others?

          • Vince

            You mean like accusing someone of “homophobia” makes you feel superior to others. You people are blind to your own hypocrisy. You say you want tolerance but you do not tolerate others. You hate everyone who disagrees with you.

          • neenerpuss .

            Being intolerant of discrimination is not discrimination in and of itself.

          • Nick Bush

            Aww poor snowflake gets so offended that people don’t like him because he’s a homophobe. Just like those poor, misunderstood KKK members who cry every night that people hate their racist ways.

      • Sharon_at_home

        Good one!
        I’ve never heard that one before!
        Thanks for the laugh!

    • Sisboombah

      No amount of foot stomping, hair pulling, pig squealing or waving of stupid crosses will change the fact that the vast, vast majority of the country doesn’t give a rat’s ass what you think is a sin, for the simple fact that 100% of ALL Khristians think their “god’s” rules are negotiable. Shoo. Back under your rock, insect.

  • https://smultronstalletoutsidethecamp.wordpress.com Smultronstället

    Moderators should block some of these fagnostics and gaytheists who spam every single article on this site. They have the whole mainstream media and Hollywood and Academia, but they are like cancer: always spreading until they destroy EVERYTHING.

  • Sisboombah

    The rules.

    0. Thine speech is free as in freedom, not free as in beer.
    1. Thou mayst speak thine mind.
    2. Thou shalt do so in the appropriate forum (see definition of the word “discretion.”)
    3. Thou shalt recognize that speech has consequences to thine self and to others, some legal, some financial, some painful.
    4. Thou shalt not force others to pay for the delivery of or the consequences of speech they may not agree with.
    5. In Michigan, thou shalt use language a parent would not mind their 12 year old hearing.
    6. Failure to obey the rules will result in State action. If thou dost not understand, see thou commandment 4.