Alliance Defending Freedom Secures Victory for Catholic Farmer


The city of East Lansing will pay $825,000 to settle a lawsuit that was brought
against them by a catholic farmer. They will have to pay $783,801 in lawyer’s
fees and $41,199 in damages. This successful lawsuit was possible thanks to the
attorneys for the Alliance Defending Freedom


Steve Tennes is the farmer in this lawsuit. He is also the owner of Country Mill
Farms. In August 2023, the court said that he would be able to be a part of the
Farmer’s Market in East Lansing. In 2017, he filed a lawsuit against the city
because he stated that he was being discriminated against because of his


Kate Anderson is the senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom. She stated that
Steve proudly serves all vendors and customers at the farmer’s market. She also
stated that he has a right to his religion because of the First Amendment.
Additionally, Kate stated that she is happy that Country Mills Farm will still
be able to participate in the Farmer’s Market. 


Steve is focused on two main things, which are glorifying God and making sure that
people are fed. He came under fire in 2017 when he posted a status on Facebook about what
the Catholic Church teaches about marriage. He also stated that he would not
participate in same-sex weddings at his family’s farm. 


The city stated that because of the Facebook posts, they would ban Steve from
participating in the Farmer’s Market. That was problematic for a few reasons.
Steve has never discriminated against anyone. He has also never received any
complaints. Additionally, Steve’s farm is outside of East Lansing city limits. 


Not only is the City of Lansing ordered to pay a fine, but they will also have to
allow him to participate in the Farmer’s Market. Alliance Defending Freedom is
happy to have secured this victory for Steve Tennes. 


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