Orchard owner who won't allow gay weddings banned from Farmer's Market

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Controversy is growing in East Lansing over a farmer's right to take part in the city's farmer market.

The apple grower says he's being discriminated against because of his religious views on same-sex marriage.  In order to sell your crops at the market, you have to agree to the city's nondiscrimination ordinance.

"I think it's a very strong principle that you should not be discriminating against somebody elsewhere then come here and want to participate in our market," said George Lahanas.

Lahanas, the city manager, says that's why Steve Tennes with the Country Mill was told not to come back to the market.

Tennis says he won't allow same-sex couples to get married on his orchard because of his religious beliefs and he says he is being bullied for his faith.

"Hosting weddings at our home and backyard of our farm have nothing to do with the city of East Lansing," Tennes said. "Nor does it have anything to do with the produce that we sell."

He says he has the right to freedom of religion and freedom of speech.

"It has nothing to do with their free speech, it has to do with their business practice," Lahanas said.

He says the city of East Lansing is a welcoming city and discrimination won't be tolerated. He says this issue has been going on since August when the city told Tennes he was violating the ordinance so the Country Mill stopped holding weddings altogether.

They were allowed to stay in the market but in December, they announced they would hold weddings again and still exclude same-sex couples.

Lahanas said if they allowed same-sex couples to get married or stop holding weddings altogether, they would be welcomed back.

Tennes said he is going to fight for his beliefs.

"We have to stand up for what's right," he said. "And to be able to speak freely about our beliefs and to live out our own beliefs at our own home, our own farm."