Catholic farmer Stephen Tennes is suing the City of East Lansing, Mich. after he was banned from a farmers' market because of his refusal to host a lesbian couple's wedding. Photo courtesy of Alliance Defending Freedom

Catholic farmer ousted from Michigan market over same-sex marriage views

(RNS) A Catholic farmer in Michigan is suing the city of East Lansing after he was barred from a municipal farmers market over his views on same-sex marriage.

Stephen Tennes filed a lawsuit at a federal court on Wednesday (May 31), seeking his reinstatement. 

In it, Tennes says he was prohibited from selling his products after his business, Country Mill Farms, refused to host a lesbian couple's wedding at its orchard in Charlotte, 22 miles outside the city and he stated on Facebook "his Catholic belief that marriage is a sacramental union between one man and one woman."

Country Mill Farms had sold fruit and produce at the market for six years, but after city officials learned about the Facebook post, they “strongly and immediately pressured us not to return to the farmers market," Tennes told a news conference at the state Capitol.

According to the lawsuit, Country Mill is the only business to have been prohibited under the market's anti-discrimination policy.

In a statement, the city of East Lansing said the farmer's refusal to host a same-sex wedding violated a "long-standing ordinance that protects sexual orientation as well as the Supreme Court’s ruling that grants the right for same-sex couples to be married.”

The Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian-based nonprofit legal organization representing Tennes, said his religious views have no bearing on his involvement at the market and said the city’s actions amounted to a First Amendment violation.

“Steve and his farm have been singled out and excluded from full participation in the life of the community for only one reason,” said ADF counsel Kate Anderson. “Steve expressed a viewpoint the city did not like.”

Flanked by supportive state lawmakers at the news conference, Tennes insisted his views on marriage had not prevented him from serving all farmers market customers equally.

“It’s our faith that informs us how to treat all who come to our farm and the farmers market with dignity and decency ... serving customers of many races, religions, cultures and those who identify with the LBGT community,” he said.

Comments

  1. Resistence is futile. You will be assimilated. You will become one with the LGBTQ Borg.

  2. If you can’t play nice with others, bad things happen. 🙂

  3. No, it’s due to discrimination. If he refused to host a racially mixed couple’s wedding, for example, he would likewise be guilty of discrimination and barred from the market. Of course it’s possible for the courts to rule in his favor.

  4. he stated on Facebook “his Catholic belief that marriage is a sacramental union between one man and one woman.”

    If that is his belief, then (from his perspective) the two women are not really getting married. Thus, there should be no problem with hosting the non-marriage ceremony between two women at his orchard.

  5. Christians, you can see the writing on the wall here. East Lansing goes Fascist today; your hometown goes Fascist tomorrow. You have to be prepared.

    Don’t say, “It can’t happen here.” Yes, it can and will, no matter who is President. This kind of fascist mess has already taken place in multiple states. You’re next.

    Not long hence, **you** may find yourself facing a similar Gay Goliath situation in which you must decide to either agree with (and publicly honor), or else disagree with (and publicly dishonor), your own Jesus and your own Bible.
    On that day, what will be your choice?

  6. If he chooses to go into business then he must abide by the (democratically enacted) laws that govern his business. He doesn’t have to sell goods to the public. He is choosing to. No one is forcing him to do anything. He is still free to strongly believe that Jesus really, really, really doesn’t want Ted and Steve to get cakes, apples, pictures taken etc. He is not free to open a business in East Lansing and refuse to sell services to someone because they happen to be gay or lesbian.

    If you think this is fascism you don’t know what fascism is.

  7. He really doesn’t know what fascism is. Or Christian faith for that matter. Poor Floydlee worships a false god, an idol made in his own image, who shares all of his fears and hatreds.

  8. You sound excited about being assimilated into this imaginary “LGBTQ Borg.” If you want to talk to someone, I honestly hope you get the help you need.

  9. The farmer claims “his religious views have no bearing on his involvement at the market”. Sure, that place-restricted use of his religion is convenient. How does he justify taking gay-tainted money for apples grown on his land but not gay-tainted money for the temporary use of his land for a party?

  10. If you are just making up rhetoric, you’re a manipulator. If you actually believe what you wrote, you are divorced from reality.

  11. This fellow acted unethically hence his participation in a community business group is justified.

  12. Of course it’s discrimination – against him. The farmers market is punishing him for his religious convictions. His business at the farmers market is separate from his hosting marriages on his farm. Liberal intolerance at its finest.

  13. They are not punishing him for his religious convictions. This is a mistake even the headline makes, and it is an important point. They are excluding him from their market because of his behavior.

  14. Is it the City Market’s policy to police freedom of speech, and that in another county? From the report, evidently our farmer was selling produce not offering services. Really, this is something of a formal over-reach, practically asking the GOP majority state government to do something. I would have thought E Lansing had a better city attorney, but no.

  15. His business has deliberately violated the policies of the market. He knew the rules before he did so.

    He has a right to practice his religion, every customer has a right not to themselves and still buy all the services and products it offers to the public.

    Another business owner wanting special rights.

  16. An interesting Socratic, or Solomonesque spin, however, I would argue that a case could be made for legally separating the activities on his farm from those affecting the sale of his goods at the Farmer’s Market, which constitute two different economic activities. I am sure he would have no objection to marketing his produce to a gay couple. The unwillingness of people to recognize a distinction between public accommodation and the metaphysical/spiritual aspects of the marriage union as exemplified by the ceremony for those of a traditional and deeply held religious viewpoint puzzles me. Further, his farm is outside the jurisdiction of East Lansing, which can have no compelling interest with respect to what occurs outside its limits.

  17. Because one involves what he considers a religiously sacrosanct activity and the other does not.

  18. Mere sophistry and mental gymnastics.

  19. I would agree to the extent that growing apples and offering them for sale is not/should not be the issue. Too much of a reach. But allowing non-gay marriages on his property as a business but not gay marriages – presumably this is also a money venture – that is a problem unless there is a bona fide Catholic chapel on his property.. But presumably that has nothing to do with the Farmer’s market. (Somehow, think missing a few facts here.)

  20. As with any story involving the Alliance Defending Freedom– three lies for the price of one in the name alone– one has to wonder exactly what is going on. There seem to be some holes in the story

    If the gentleman has a business hosting weddings, but that is not a part of his farmers market business, then even though I am very much for non discrimination laws, he Might well have a point. That doesn’t mean he cannot and should not be sued under Wisconsin’s Non-discrimination law, because he is still violating that.

    However, I suspect that he advertises his wedding business at his farmer’s market stand. In which case, he is conducting that business at the farmers market, and may well be open to charges that he is violating that law. I’m not a lawyer, but I would think that would be the case.

    Moreover, I hope he is very certain that he has never, ever allowed an atheist wedding at his venue, because then once again, despite his professed religious views on the subject of marriage, he is making it clear that he is demanding the right to discriminate on religious grounds in THIS ONE CASE, AND ON THIS ONE CASE ONLY.

    As usual.

  21. During the struggle over the Civil Rights Act, a lot of Christians swore up and down that it was a violation of their religious freedom to serve or sell to black people. They were absolutely sincere in their belief that “race mixing” was a sin. There were a lot of court cases, and a fair number of Christians who objected to following the Civil Rights laws and said they would never give in. Time, public opinion, and the rule of law eventually took care of the recalcitrant Christians. Times change and people change.

    Now we come to the newest civil rights struggle of our current time: the legal and civil rights of gay people. And once again Christians are swearing up and down that laws granting equal rights to gay people are a violation of their religious freedom. They’re absolutely sincere in their belief that same-sex marriage is a sin. And once again, there are court cases and a fair number of Christians who object to legal rights for gay people, and they’re saying they will never give in. Time, public opinion, and the rule of law will take care of the recalcitrant Christians. Times change and people change.

  22. See my Comment above. There are certainly a lot of facts missing here, but then we’re talking about the alliance defending freedom which is not an alliance, only attacks other people and is interestonly in the freedom to follow fundamentalist Christianity

  23. Wisconsin had the first non discrimination law for gay people In The country. I think it was 1983.

  24. Or he advertises his wedding business at the farmers market. Whoops. There goes your argument,

  25. Again, religion does not give you a right to discriminate.

  26. More rabble rousing fundraising by the Alliance Defending Freedom [sic], nothing more, nothing less.

  27. Try this analogy: A self-proclaimed religious farmer uses some of his land for an orchard and rents some acreage out for grazing by other farmers. He sells products from both his orchard and his renters’ land at market, which include both apples and animal products. One renter starts raising hogs. The farmer sells the pork chops at market because he gets a fine profit from them but soon revokes the land lease because of the hogs. The farmer is an orthodox Jew who keeps kosher. Pig products are not kosher. Nevertheless, he continues to sell his tenant’s pork chops at market. Was he justified in terminating the lease? Discuss.

  28. “religious convictions”…what a crock. His religion doesn’t give him special dispensation from anti-discrimination laws. At the end of the day, this idiot is just proving what a lousy business person he is. The one rule of thumb for any business owner is that everyone’s money is green.

  29. 1. Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God.

    2. So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished.

    3. For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong. Would you like to live without fear of the authorities? Do what is right, and they will honor you.

    4. The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good. But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you. They are God’s servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong.

    5. So you must submit to them, not only to avoid punishment, but also to keep a clear conscience.

    Romans 13:1-5

  30. Yes Mark (and Eric) the intolerance of anyone who doesn’t agree with you is actually fascism. People paid the ultimate sacrifice to fight exactly that intolerance, hatred and fascism during the wars yet now you are being so illiberal and hateful of others that you simply won’t tolerate anyone who doesn’t agree with you on marriage. That really is fascism.

  31. No Billy, that isn’t what Romans 13 means at all. Romans 13 does not saying that everything authorities do and say is God’s will at all.

  32. For eg. Christians were persecuted in Rome b/c they refused to burn a pinch of incense and say Caesar is lord. He says allowing gays to marry on his property is a violation of his conscience and so it is. The State must honor that religious conviction.

  33. Rev. 13:17 so that no one may buy or sell except he has the mark of the beast or the number of his name.

    (the LGBTQ beast has been exposed by Gods word)

  34. Acts 5:29 obey God rather than man

  35. But the State has the right to discriminate against you.

  36. Well Mark, I can remember having to use a “For Colored Only” restroom, because of a “democratically enacted law” that governed a certain Southern city.
    “Democratically enacted laws” honestly CAN translate into Fascism, so if they do (as in East Lansing), the phrase provides no excuse for Christians.

    This Christian farmer “refused to host a lesbian couple’s wedding at its orchard in Charlotte.” As a result, he is getting his constitutional religious liberty VIOLATED. He’s being forced to participate in a ceremony / celebration (gay marriage) that is directly & fanatically opposed to his Christianity, or else he gets his livelihood attacked.

    All I said previously, was that **other Christians** must be prepared to do like this brave Christian man, and NOT dishonor Christ or the Bible. Sure I’d love to see that fascist East Lansing law repealed, but as for right now, the critical thing is simply for Christians to stand their ground, refusing to bow and kowtow to the Gay Goliath.

  37. See my reply to Mark, Eric. I think that’s the simplest way to explain it. Refute that explanation if you can, but we both know you can’t. C’est la vie.

  38. You misspelled “librul”, making me question your conservative credentials.

  39. Oh, so he didn’t really get kicked out and he didn’t need an attorney to sue? And the city didn’t defend its position, confirming that he did indeed get kicked out?

    But he lawyers up and that’s “rabble rousing” because the attorneys are ADF? Did I get all that right? Nothing more, nothing less?

  40. “His business has deliberately violated the policies of the market.”

    By commenting on Facebook? What farmers market policy did he violate?

  41. What did he do “unethically” and what is a “community business group” by the way?

  42. And once again, thank you Google. Mr. Tennes has quite a nice business going besides growing apples and selling them at Farmer’s markets- field trips and pick your own to the farm, and produce sales at 5 farmer markets including the one in question. His website notes wedding venue facilities capable of seating up to 400 people but the same venues are also available for parties and corporate gatherings. http://www.countrymillfarms.com/

    But I did find the link between the farmer’s market and the actual farm. He also participates in some kind of initiative called Community Supported Agriculture which allows the public to buy ‘shares’ in the farm with the dividend being produce delivered to one of two farmer’s markets – one of which is the one in question. Presumably this is the grounds for the exclusion.

  43. That “disagreement” is over the issue of whether to deny the existence of other people and seek excuses to attack them with legal and social permission.

    You are on the wrong side of your own analogy here. The person fighting intolerance and bigotry is Mark and Eric. They are right to call it fascist.

    You simply want to deny a group their humanity and reduce them to an isolated issue which can be treated dispassionately. The kind of dehumanizing language which can call genocide “a solution to a problem” or “an action”. Fascist rhetoric.

  44. The text in plain language says what it says. I guess unambiguous language of the Bible is only accepted by some, if it can be used to promote harm to others.

  45. “Play nice” means “Write an unpopular opinion of Facebook.”

    “Bad things” means get kicked out for that opinion.

    That smiley reminds me of the smiley on Jonah Goldberg’s “Liberal Fascism” book cover and is just as appropriate. Just hope you never express an opinion contrary to the majority.

  46. His behavior is based on….his religious convictions.

  47. You “discriminate,” Jim, when you decide which grocery store to visit, which shoe brand to wear, which automobile brand to drive, etc. etc. etc.

    But “discriminate” sounds so ominous when the propaganda is “Love Wins” and “Love is Love” and “Love Trumps Hate.”

    It’s a winning strategy — for now.

  48. The agreement between the vendor with the city market probably has clauses allowing for open discretion of its management. Especially for vendors who may bring bad publicity to it.

  49. You discriminate in an illegal way when you deny goods or services to customers in open commerce based on what class of people they are.

  50. It makes no difference how he excuses bad behavior. Ones beliefs are not at issue, how he allegedly acted on them is.

  51. Read the article first before posting.

  52. Time, public opinion, and the rule of law eventually took care of the recalcitrant Christians.

    Not quite. There are many Christians today who still believe that “race mixing” is a sin.

  53. If you want to harm people, expect a negative harmful response to yourself. Do unto others as they would do unto you. A very basic rule which escapes you. Expect to be treated badly when you act maliciously.

    Bigots always think they are entitled to harm others, able make some excuse for it and do so without consequences. It makes them terrible and dishonest people.

    If your opinion is that certain people should be denied basic humanity and harmed as a matter of course, their opinion is not worth respecting. It’s not just disagreement here, it’s moral imperative to not make such actions acceptable to society.

  54. The Catholic farmer has a misunderstanding of Catholic teaching on marriage: marriage need not be sacramental; it can be “natural” and still be valid. If two unbaptized individuals (man and woman) get married, that is a valid (and “natural”, or non-sacramental) marriage, from the Catholic Church’s perspective.

  55. Two lesbians claiming a piece of paper is a “marriage” is sick, not “basic humanity.”

  56. “If two unbaptized individuals (**man and woman**) get married, that is a valid (and non-sacramental) marriage, from the Catholic Church’s perspective.”

    Just a little emphasis to help the quotation.

  57. Do you believe the Kentucky print shop owner, Blaine Adamson, turned down the t-shirt order because some homosexuals ordered it?

  58. Yawn. I hereby extend to you the same invitation I extended to Eric. Expecting the same non-results as well.

  59. That is true, “gay marriage” is legal fiction. It is like being opposed to a square triangle, it just doesn’t exist.

  60. That is true, “gay marriage” is legal fiction.

    A legal fiction, sort of like how “adoption” is considered legal fiction as well?

  61. There is a huge difference between tolerance and being forced to actively participate in something against your religious beliefs. Try to demand that a devout Islamic business owner host a party where alcohol is served and consumed and see how far you get!

  62. You left out the central issue – his discrimination against LGBT people.

  63. No fiction regarding adoption. It is well understood and well defined and perfectly consistent with longstanding principles of law. So-called “gay marriage” has no legal history outside of the last decade or so, and it is a self contradiction since fundamentally, marriage requires a union of two people who are differentiated with regard to sex. If differentiation of sex is not fundamental to marriage, nothing is including the limit of the union to two and only two people.

  64. By commenting on Facebook?

    You misunderstand the issue. The problem is he stated he doesn’t and would not run the event venue part of his business in compliance with the East Lansing civil rights ordinances. The city said that a business that discriminates, even if it only performs that part of the business outside their jurisdiction, isn’t in compliance with the standards necessary to be a participant in the farmer’s market.

    Stating such a policy ‘on Facebook’ isn’t the problem, its having such a policy at all. If one customer could approach him at the farmer’s market and book an event at the farm and another couldn’t solely because of a civil rights quality that is the violation of city ordinance.

  65. So you are saying that farmer Tennes is fascist! Agreed.

  66. There is no scriptural message, nothing, zero, nada in the Bible that condemns LGBT people or their right to marry.

  67. By suing the town Tennes is in fact “submitting” to the Constitution, asserting the right to freely exercise his religion that our Constitution grants. In fact it is the town, not the farmer, that has failed to properly “submit” to our nation’s ultimate secular governing authority.

  68. That business owner would not have to serve alcohol at his catering hall or restaurant. He would, however, have to serve a same-sex couple whatever he’s serving an opposite-sex couple.

  69. He doesn’t offer a specific service, he opposes same-sex “marriage” because it’s an illiberal, inconsistent and unequal shamble. How does this translates as “not playing nice”?

    He is being bullied for refusing to conform to the regressives’ dogma, that’s what happened.

  70. Correct. Newman v Piggie Park Enterprises being one example which reached the level of SCOTUS review but was unanimously denied writ of certiorari review in 1968.

    The rationale for the civil rights violation is irrelevant. If the business feels they can’t sell a product to the public and respect civil rights then it shouldn’t be offering that product to the public at all. That’s what private membership organizations are for.

  71. His business is not about “hosting weddings” as defined by the State – it’s about hosting natural weddings, or however you want to call marriage before being redefined.

    There is nothing wrong in not offering a specific service.

    Also, opposition to same-sex “marriage” can and often is grounded in the context of a liberal, egalitarian perspective.

  72. Still, this example has nothing to do with the issue at hand – people of different ethnicity can have children as long as they are of opposite gender.

  73. Yes, that is how the businesses try and portray themselves and these silly claims are well skewered by the satirical article.

    Its a business – they either rent the farm out for events/sell flowers for weddings/bake wedding cakes or they don’t as the law requires. Pick one.

  74. Your comparison with racial discrimination is so stupid it’s offensive.

  75. Since his religion doesn’t require him to offer the farm to the public as a rentable event venue his exercise of religion has not been infringed. His practice of religion won’t let him rent to responding customers regardless of their own beliefs about marriage then don’t offer the venue to the public at all.

    Problem solved.

  76. Good thing Paul said in 1 Corinthians 5 that Christians can have business dealings with ‘those of this world’. It was when the Corinthian Christians were acting like this business owner because of Paul’s lost ‘letter of tears’ to them that Paul corrected this error.

    As long as the farmer isn’t being asked to be in the wedding party or take part in any religious ritual he is obeying God just fine even if he is obeying the law and renting to ’those of this world’.

  77. You are free to do so but you risk punishment from our law if there is a conflict.

  78. Or as a Catholic, not allowed adulterers to marry, or divorced to remarry, or marriage outside the authority of the church, which would indicate that the marriages are “not recognized by God.” If he has done so, why would one more style of unrecognized marriage be a problem–except for discrimination against the very nature of it?

    However, this seems to be a free speech issue rather than religious. It would seem that the city couldn’t officially censure him, but only the state. However, other participants in the market could protest his presence and urge customers not to buy from him. The article doesn’t make it clear that they officially banned him, it merely says, “strongly and immediately pressured us not to return to the farmers market.” What was the manner of pressure?

  79. Marriage is a civil contract and two people of any sexes can enter it. That yours or the farmer’s beliefs don’t include that is irrelevant since every single American has a right to have the belief they do regardless.

  80. marriage requires…

    In your beliefs. We can agree that everyone in America has a constitutional right to not share those beliefs, can’t we?

  81. Really? Where is your evidence? That was not the Christianity I was taught, many years ago.

  82. An Orthodox Jew would not sell pork products. A simpler analogy could be, can a Jewish farmer refuse to lease part of his land for hog farming? Answer, yes, the same way that a Jewish supermarket owner could refuse to sell pork products. But he could not base this refusal on the would-be lessee or vendor’s religion, sexual orientation, etc.

  83. You obviously haven’t read the Bible (I think it’s utter nonsense).

  84. I get that you’re one of those that believes acquiring a business license means giving up your 1st Amendment right to freely exercise your religion, but you didn’t read the story close enough. What does the farmer’s refusal to be an accessory to a same-sex “marriage” have to do with whether he can sell his produce in the local market? No one has accused him of refusing to sell his produce to non-heterosexuals, after all.

  85. That the farmer wouldn’t have let the land be used for grazing hogs in the first place would be the minimal change necessary. There is no civil right to raise hogs or any particular animal. As long as the initial agreement said that only potentially kosher foods could be raised on the land, there is no civil rights violations.

  86. It doesn’t matter whether you support same-sex weddings or not – opposing it and not wanting to be involved in one has nothing to do with discrimination based on sexual orientation.

    To those that say, “he advertise hosting weddings and should accept all” the obvious answer is that his definition of wedding is not the one of the State. How do you call the procreation-oriented union of a man and a woman, before it was redefined? There, he is offering to host these, and of course does not care about the sexuality of the people involved.

    He is anti-gay “marriage”, not anti-gay.

  87. Both irrelevant opinions since you both have a right to your own and everyone else has a right to not share yours or theirs.

    This is about civil rights, not religion.

  88. Being required to obey the city ordinances and the bylaws of the city market isn’t being ‘bulled’ by any reasonable usage of the term.

  89. There is no requirement to be co-fertile to enter the civil contract of marriage.

  90. But he didn’t discriminate anyone based on their sexual orientation – opposing same-sex “marriage” and not wanting to be involved in one has nothing to do with it.

    To those that say, “he advertise hosting weddings and should accept all” the obvious answer is that his definition of wedding is not the one of the State. How do you call the procreation-oriented union of a man and a woman, before it was redefined? There, he is offering to host these, and of course does not care about the sexuality of the people involved.

    He is anti-gay “marriage”, not anti-gay.

  91. If someone could book the event venue at the farmer’s market he is in violation. And since there is no religion that requires someone to rent event venues he is perfectly free to exercise his religion, just don’t offer things his beliefs won’t let him sell legally to the public.

    Problem solved.

  92. So, what about a wedding between three people, does that count too?

    If the service he is offering is not hosting weddings as defined by the State, but a different type of social contract – say, whatever you want to call marriage before being redefined – he can refuse based on sex of participants. Either way, this has nothing to do with sexual orientation.

  93. But he didn’t discriminate anyone based on their sexual orientation – opposing same-sex “marriage” and not wanting to be involved in one has nothing to do with it.

    To those that say, “he advertise hosting weddings and should accept all” the obvious answer is that his definition of wedding is not the one of the State. How do you call the procreation-oriented union of a man and a woman, before it was redefined? There, he is offering to host these, and of course does not care about the sexuality of the people involved.

    He is anti-gay “marriage”, not anti-gay.

  94. I thought Trump was going to put a stop to this. What happened? Did you waste your vote??

  95. A wedding is a wedding and he can not make a public accommodation offer that violates the law. He can say he doesn’t do ‘gay’ weddings anymore than a diner could say they don’t make ‘black’ food.

    If he sincerely feels he can’t rent the wedding venue legally because of his beliefs the obvious solution is to not offer the venue for renting to the public at all. Set up a private membership club.

  96. Indeed, but there is the restriction between close relatives and to only two people isn’t it?

    Regardless of those who cannot have children, the reason marriage has always been between a man and a woman across the vast majority of cultures it’s because it’s procreative potential.

    My previous point still stands – the comparison with racial discrimination is meaningless.

  97. Actually, the city is condemning him on his civil policy, not religious. He is trying to defend his religious policy through civil disobedience. It’s like the city is excluding him for having bad apples, but he keeps telling them he has a right to sell oranges.

    The point of civil disobedience is to challenge laws one sees as unjust, and then to accept the punishment as a demonstration of the fullness of its injustices, so that authorities and citizens can see it clearly and hopefully work to change the law, per King, Ghandi, and St. Peter.

  98. He can’t ‘define’ aways the customer’s right. They have a right to their own beliefs about marriage, he could no more refuse customers because of their sexes than he could because of their religion.

  99. I understand your point, and I agree in large part because of how the government defines “wedding”.

    So what prevents him from offering a different social contract defined exactly as natural marriage and calling it however he wants?

  100. No trying to say that some civil rights are different than others is what’s meaningless, they are all the same. A right is a right.

  101. Yes, but once again he is not denying the right to marriage as defined by the State – he just doesn’t want to be involved with the same-sex version of it.

    The reason why people oppose same-sex marriage often has nothing to do with the sexual orientation of the people taking part in it.

  102. No asked him to be involved in one any more than he would be for the Muslim couple that rented his venue.

    There has been no requirement for procreation involving the civil contract of marriage in my state for at least 50 years. (maybe more but that’s long enough for me).

    Again, if his beliefs won’t let him sell something to the public and respecting the customer’s civil rights the obvious solution is to not offer that something to the public at all.

  103. ”he just doesn’t want to be involved with the same-séx version of it.”
    Then he wouldn’t be offering it to the public. Replace ‘same-séx’ with ‘interracial’, or ‘Protestant’, or ‘Irish’ and you see the point.

    If he doesn’t want to run his business as a public accommodation, i.e. make the invitation to buy to the public, with all the regulation that brings to the table he doesn’t have to. If he wants to set up a private membership club and make the availability of the venue to just its membership he can do that. Or just not rent the venue at all.

    What he can’t do is try and ‘define away’ the right of the customer to be free from civil rights discrimination.

  104. Yet, historically and logically the reasons marriage is an asset for the State is the potential for procreation; of course, it cannot be _mandated_ because it would be impractical to enforce.

    And on the other hand it if was about kinship and affection alone there would be zero reasons to deny it to more than two people or close relatives.

    I think there is a better solution: be absolutely clear that the service he is offering is not the State’s definition of marriage; problem solved.

  105. Can’t weasel out like that. The customer can still buy a ‘natural marriage’ rental of the venue and use it for a marriage consistent with their own beliefs. The Photography studio case was about a civil union ceremony and they tried saying they only did ‘weddings’. Can’t base the discrimination on a difference that is objectively no different at all.

  106. So, why don’t we add the number of people taking part in marriage to the list?

    The issue at hand is not the sexual orientation of *a person*. Is not the sex of *a person*. It’s about the specific complementarity of genders and the unique importance of the union of a man and a woman.

    I _can_ decide to value this union more than others, and to cater specifically to it, and to offer a service exclusive to this specific union. Freedom of association implies the freedom to disassociate.

  107. And the customer would still have the right to rent the venue no matter what the definition is and use it consistent with their own beliefs.

    Your solution is not one that will work.

    If he only wants to do Catholic weddings then he needs to set up a private membership club and only allow Catholics in good standings as members and make the offer to just the membership.

    Once he makes the offer to the public then their right to religious freedom kicks in and he can apply no religious test or requirement on their rental of same.

  108. Why not? I should be perfectly entitled to decide which services to offer and this does not discriminate on sexual orientation.

    Messing with this is forcing away the freedom of a private individual or business. It is state-sponsored fascism, it’s oppression.

  109. And when a polygamist tries to rent the venue we can deal with that issue.

    Freedom of association implies the freedom to disassociate.

    And that is what is commonly missed, the business used its ‘freedom of association’ when it made its offer to the public, i.e. everyone. From the moment the offer has been made the business relationship is initiated, our Consumer Protection laws depend on it. From then on the transaction is open to regulation by ‘the public’ and they have said the somethings cannot be used to discriminate against responding customers, civil rights.

    The farmer offers the rental of a venue as a public accommodation and cannot refuse a customer because of creed, séx, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, etc. and knew that before making the offer in the first place.

    Every customer has a right to use that venue for their wedding consistent with their own beliefs, even if they aren’t the same as the owner’s. Owner can’t set with that, then don’t offer the venue to the public in the first place.

  110. Au contraire, not only have I read the Bible I have read it with Jesus’s advice that scripture is presented in figurative language. One has to distinguish between cultural mores, historical facts and scriptural messages when reading scripture. I suggest that you learn the difference.

  111. Sure – but as repeatedly noticed, the discrimination is not about anyone’s sexual orientation.

    And I can certainly choose not to offer the venue for “weddings”, and be specific about the type of activity that can take place on *my* land. Without discriminating on the sex, religion, sexual orientation of any given *individual*.

  112. One, you can’t offer services tailored to exclude a certain civil rights class. As Justice Scalia put it ‘A tax against yarmulkes is a tax against Jews’. Similarly trying to craft something that would exclude renters by séx, sexual orientation, race or anything but just not using those words doesn’t work either.

    Either the farmer is renting a wedding venue to the public or he isn’t – pick one.

  113. Good, because nothing of the sort is happening here, as previously observed.

  114. Exactly what activity is going to be happening on that land that is different?

    You have made it clear your ‘event’ is based on the the sexes of the couple on the dias, that is very much discrimination by séx.

  115. Which business owner are you talking about? I was talking about the one in the hypothetical. The antidiscrimination statutes we’re talking about here bar discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The courts have routinely held that refusing to provide service to a same-sex wedding, marriage, commitment ceremony, whatever you want to call it, constitutes such discrimination. A polygamous marriage has nothing to do with that.

  116. Actually it is – you are requiring the couple being married to be certain sexes, a direct civil rights violation.

  117. You do know what a farmer’s market is, don’t you? It’s a market where farmers come together to sell their produce to the public. It isn’t on the farm, and no one has accused the farmer of refusing to sell his produce offered at the market to anyone, for whatever reason. If the town is really refusing to allow the farmer to sell his produce there because he’s refused to be an accessory to a same-sex “marriage” on his farm, it has nothing to do with selling produce in the local market that is NOT on his farm.

  118. But we are not talking about the definition of marriage that the State holds, nor are we issuing a marriage license.

    If I can choose not to host weddings, I can choose to host a ceremony different from weddings defined in a different way.

  119. And that might be a way to weasel out but only IF no one had ever booked the venue at the farmer’s market.

    But that isn’t even what he is suing about, rather he is trying to say he has a right to religiously discriminate against customers who have weddings that aren’t Catholic doctrine compliant.

  120. Your analogy is an immediate fail on its face. Hosting an LGBTQ couple is not the same as serving forbidden food or drink to paying guests. If the business owner is open to the public, that includes people not of his own belief system. Businesses that want the “right” to discriminate should have to publicly post “If we don’t like your values, we won’t serve you.” Of course, doing that would ensure failure of the business, which is why they want to be able to do so without saying so in advance. There is no constitutional right to do business as a bigot in the public square.

  121. He is not preventing anyone from getting married. He is simply not offering marriages – as defined by the State – as a service.

  122. And yet opposing same-sex “marriage” has nothing to do with discriminating against the sexual orientation of the couple – courts that make this equation do it because they are run by activist judges that are hell-bent on trampling the freedom of individuals to express dissent.

    They would refuse to host it even if the same-sex couple was straight, and many such businesses offered their other services to gays, so this alone disproves it.

  123. Polygamy is against the law, so your “what if” scenario is nonsense on its face.

  124. No because the customers have a right to their own beliefs. What you are trying to argue is that the venue can be reserved for just Catholic doctrine compliant weddings, it can’t no matter how that is cunning stated as a public accommodation.

  125. Yes it is – because my made-up social contract is _designed_ around the complementarity of sexes.

    If I wanted I could offer ceremonies about made-up polygamous marriage with no legal value. I would discriminate on the number of people taking part in it. And if not, why not?

  126. Never said he was, but the customer can rent the space for a wedding consistent with their beliefs no matter what the farmer’s beliefs are if the venue is available to the public.

    Again, what is the objective ‘point at this’ difference between a wedding of a mono-sex and multi-séx couple remembering that difference can’t involve a civil rights class?

  127. Opposition to political matters is separate and different from discriminating against members of the public with differing values in business. By your line of thinking, Republican business owners have the right to refuse to serve Democrats for voting for Clinton instead of Trump. See how many GOP-owned businesses stay afloat that way.

  128. But a polygamous ceremony without legal value is not. Of course, there is also the point that if the State was _truly_ equal he should not discriminate against the number of people taking part in marriage because there are zero reasons to do so, but that’s another story.

  129. And word salad doesn’t protect you – the word ‘séx’ is in your description making it invalid.

  130. How so? The beliefs of the customers never enter the picture.

  131. That’s why I said there were a lot of things missing in this story. When ever the ADF raises their offensive snouts, you can bet it is inside the Prevarication Swamp.

  132. It does if their beliefs are that same-séx couples can marry just fine, which they obviously do.

  133. Again: not if I don’t offer weddings. What’s so difficult to understand?

  134. I doubt the state marriage laws actually have much to do with weddings, let alone natural weddings, whatever they may be.

    There is nothing wrong with not offering a specific service, but if he does, he must offer it to everyone.

    I can’t see how opposition to same sex weddings can possibly be grounded in a liberal or egalitarian perspective, though opposition to all weddings could be.

  135. What you called “word salad” is nothing other than freedom of association. I am not taking away from your freedom by catering to natural marriages specifically.

  136. Again and again, not if I don’t offer weddings.

  137. Bringing up polygamy as an argument against same-sex marriage is simply an intentional distraction from and obfuscation of the real issues. Same-sex marriage is simply a logical extension of equal rights and civil rights, while creating a right for multiple-partner marriages opens up a whole slough of other legal issues. Legalizing same-sex marriage solves more societal issues than it creates, whereas legalizing plural marriage would complicate all sorts of other legal issues. The biggest argument against plural marriage is that as soon as you have three people involved, someone always draws the short straw and ends up in a lesser, unequal place. That’s the main reason monogamy works better than polygamy.

  138. And they can think that same-sex couples can marry, but this is not about the ceremony I am hosting.

    How long do you want to go around in circles? Why are you so hell-bent into denying a citizen the right to be selective in the type of social contracts he participates in?

  139. Because you are trying to allow weddings without allowing weddings. You can’t pick and choose which weddings you are allowing by any verbiage that involve a civil rights category. And so the same séx couple will just have buy whatever word salad thing you try and create and use it for a same séx couple. You can’t refuse them because you can’t describe the reason they don’t ‘fit’ without using a civil rights category.

    Why is that so difficult to understand? There is no legally survivable way to differentiate between two ‘events’ where the only objective difference is the séx of one of the couple.

  140. “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world..” Revelation 12:9.

  141. He is bound to not discriminate by sexual orientation, religion or race; but being an arbitrary ceremony about a couple he can elect to restrict it to a man and a woman.

  142. And the same sex couple will just rent for a ‘natural marriage’ then involving a same séx couple. Same like the florist shop that wouldn’t sell flowers for a ‘gay wedding’ – I’d just say “ok, I’ll take the straight wedding flowers then”, Hint: they look exactly the same.

  143. The customers will just buy whatever you are offering and use it for their same-séx couple’s usage.

  144. That’s exactly why you can buy coffee, tea, tobacco and/or alcohol in Utah, even the Mormons know that business is just business, and they are some of the most homophobic religionists around.

  145. We are going in circles because it doesn’t matter the ‘type of social contracts’ he caters to, a same séx couple can buy whatever it is he is offering and you don’t seem to understand that.

  146. I am not involving _any_ civil right category. I want to celebrate the union of a man and a woman specifically, and if in order to do so I have to ditch the word “marriage” I will do so.

    The difference in sex of a couple has consequences. Why I am not allowed to cater to these consequences?

  147. You are repeating yourself. Just like I can offer birthday parties and refuse graduations, I can refuse weddings when I’m not offering one.

  148. The only thing I don’t understand is your intent in restricting the people’s freedom to support a specific type of union (“Union”, not “individual”).

    Just because some people’s feeling would be hurt in the process that doesn’t make it unfair.

  149. No one is required to share beliefs. The issue is whether coercion and in particular governmental coercion is tolerable in a free society and nation regarding the truth of marriage. The truth does not change simply because one believes it or not. Those who uphold truth must be free to speak and witness to truth without fear or undue hindrance.

  150. No, it’s a logical consequence of removing procreation from the picture. Since the definition of marriage is arbitrary, it may be defined with or without procreative ties.

    In the first case it makes sense to restrict it to a man and a woman.

    In the second case it makes no sense to restrict it to two individuals.

    Either definitions are perfectly equal.

  151. I give up – you have clearly too much time on your hands.

  152. Sorry just did more research. They are operating at the farmers market as “The Country Mill” which is a destination venue. You can even rent for ‘parties’ which totally ruins your argument that they could exclude a same-séx couples ‘party’ because of religious grounds.

  153. Again, your argument isn’t the one the business is making, they do weddings just fine and allow for the renting for other events as well.

  154. On this you are right – a same sex couple could definitely hire a party and they should not be able to refuse it.

  155. The Country Mill rents venues for parties, and a wedding is just a type of party.

  156. No, The Country Mill rents not just for weddings but for parties and even a same séx wedding is just a type of party.

    There is no right exclude a customer responding to a public offer because their beliefs allow them to have one person of the ‘parties’ central couple to be any séx.

  157. Well I’m on the west coast and work late – I’m in my kitchen still having breakfast. Blame it on the tiny computers we all carry around now and my watch that beeps every time you respond. 😉

  158. I support their right to do so. At the same time, I don’t think it would be a viable business practice.

  159. …the same discussion is happening up there, and I don’t feel like copy-pasting all my replies…

  160. 1st amendment: Freedom to associate implies freedom to NOT associate.

  161. The Country Mill Orchard & Cider Mill specifically offers wedding venues:

    ”Our spacious barn offers the perfect location for your celebration. You have the freedom to choose your own caterer, DJ, and other services. With a modern kitchen, restrooms, and private changing room you can enjoy your special event with privacy. Saturday barn rentals, are allowed the opportunity to decorate from 1-5pm on Friday. Saturday rentals are $3000 and Sunday rentals are $2000.”

    And the even have parties rentals.

    Sorry, this has come up in other locations. If the only difference between the wedding of one customer and another is the séx of just one of the couple they are violating the farmer’s market discrimination policy and they do business at the farmers market as ’The Country Mill.’

    A statement that the business discriminates is all it would take to be in violation.

  162. I’m quite certain 5 people in black robes made up the “law” by overturning the democratic process.

  163. There is no limitation on the wedding either than having enough cash.

    “Our spacious barn offers the perfect location for your celebration. You have the freedom to choose your own caterer, DJ, and other services. With a modern kitchen, restrooms, and private changing room you can enjoy your special event with privacy. Saturday barn rentals, are allowed the opportunity to decorate from 1-5pm on Friday. Saturday rentals are $3000 and Sunday rentals are $2000. Email us for availability and contract.

    Sorry, this has come up before – there is no right to require a wedding comply with the business owner’s religious orthodoxy.

  164. I’ll go look – I just respond on the disqus page which doesn’t show the thread.

  165. Marriage creates kinship between unrelated people. Related people don’t need marriage because they already have legal standing as such.

  166. Freedom to not associate does not include discrimination in business. That angle failed back in the days of barring blacks from eating at lunch counters in Woolworth’s Drugstores. The lunch counter was included as a way to get customers to shop longer and spend more, but business owners decided that they had the right to limit blacks to buying merchandise without mixing with whites at the lunch counter. Woolworth’s was wrong and so is your silly assertion about LGBTQ.

  167. Thank you for that clarification. I thought it would probably be the case. Nothing coming out of the Alliance Defending Prevaircation and (some people’s) Freedom can be counted on as factual.

  168. He wanted to tell a gay couple, “Eff you, I’m Christian”. There is no such thing as well intentioned discriminatory behavior. It was meant to be malicious and harmful
    Much like your tirade.

    You want to deny the existence and humanity of gay couples. That is not playing nice with people. There is no way to spin personal animus into something which is deemed well intentioned and beneficent.

    Nobody ever has to navigate through the personal prejudices of shop owners and vendors for things sold in open commerce. We did they before. It was called Jim Crow. It was awful.

  169. Probably this description pre-date Obergefell. As it is defined currently you are right – especially as they don’t specifically mention a religious wedding.

    Yet, if they have the freedom to limit their choice of service to religious events they certainly have the right to offer “not-weddings”.

  170. Yeah, they tried to make it sound like he was some poor little farmer just trying to ends meet when this is an entire destination venue operation ‘farm’ with its own ‘farm market’ that even has custom etched glasses and an adult hard cider bar. 😉

  171. Well, that’s Orwellian of you. Specifically mentioned are his religious beliefs and sexual orientation.

  172. There is no right to do so while holding a license to do business in public. When you apply for and get a business license, you pledge to making your business accessible to all of the buying public. If you discriminate, the government entity issuing the license has the right to revoke it. Case closed.

  173. You are a terrible person who wants to harm others with impunity. I got that from your posts. Thanks for making it crystal clear. Now I don’t have to mistake you for someone trying to make a reasonable argument.

  174. Unfortunately, as a Christian, I have to agree with you. It is so frustrating that so many “Christian pundits” use half-truths, obfuscation, outlying examples, and omission to “prove” their agenda.

    Also, though the business is physically outside the city’s authority, when it comes into the city, the city then has right of regulation within its limits–I would assume.

    They are not stopping him from doing all business, just that within their corporation limits.

  175. That’s a definition as arbitrary as any other; yet the benefits that marriage offers are not enjoyed by relatives with a legal standing, and I don’t see how kinship justifies them.

    Also it may be just me, but I don’t see why you should discriminate on different kinships simply because some are already existing.

  176. Except in open commerce. You are recycling failed arguments for segregation. Thank you for demonstrating bigots don’t change tactics, just targets.

  177. It was a good guess, and it turns out to be true.

    There goes your argument,

  178. Your tirade makes no sense whatsoever. Celebrating the unique importance of natural marriage has no inherent malice – if someone choose to be offended, it’s their problem and theirs alone.

  179. 26% of LGBTQ couples include minor children in the home, making that argument equally specious. The government does not require a “fertility test” to apply for a marriage license. That is a decision for the couple to make on their own, gay or straight.

  180. Woolworth’s was wrong morally, but right logically and constitutionally. I hope you can see that distinction. Any assessment to the contrary is carving out a political exception which opens up a huge can of worms – which we are now currently dealing with. Either people own their own property or they don’t. We seem to have implicitly decided that they don’t.

  181. It doesn’t require a test because it would be impractical, because sterility can sometimes be cured and for a myriad of other reasons.

    Still I hope you can realize that the biological potential for procreation is not a difference that should be ignored, and has nothing to do with sexual orientation.

  182. Yet, if they have the freedom to limit their choice of service to religious events

    And they don’t as a public accommodation. They have to take weddings regardless of the customer’s religious beliefs or the nature of their wedding.

    This is an instant loss. Again, this has come up before in New York, that business lost too before Obergfell.

  183. You are 1ying. The very purpose of such actions is to demean and attack. To use religion as an excuse for one’s bigotry in order to make it sound acceptable. No different from any other bigot looking to discriminate.

    You are simply trying to pretend your bigotry gives you a right to harm others and rewrite laws to your liking.

    I don’t ever have to give a crap what you think.about marriage or what your religion says about it. That is what freedom of speech and freedom of religion ultimately mean.

    The laws define it.

    If you hold yourself out to the public as a venue for weddings, your personal views are an irrelevance. What matters is that you treat customers within the limits of the laws.

  184. Oh right, I forgot the “except in open commerce” clause.

  185. Your accusation of bigotry is bigotry in the first place: intolerance of someone else’s opinions.

    I am entitled to offer a service at the condition that I prefer; how do you call marriage before it was unfairly and inconsistently redefined? That one. I can choose to specifically offer it if I don’t call it marriage.

  186. Wait – this is new to me. I cannot choose to host a specific religious ceremony in a public business?

  187. Yep.

    An entire body of jurisprudence and statutes.

    It is telling you use the same exact arguments used to support segregation in the wake of Brown and the Civil Rights Act.

    H8rs gotta h8.

  188. It’s not nice to call an apple farmer Satan.

  189. Not exclusively, no. If you rent for weddings and marriage ceremonies as a public offer it has to be available to everyone since every customer has a right to have both according to their own beliefs, not the business owners. e.g. can’t have a business that only does Catholic weddings.

  190. His stated reasons are in fact sexual orientation discrimination and discrimination on the basis of religious belief.

    As for a “procreation oriented union of a man and a woman”? Are you seriously suggesting that he is saying “if you wanna get married here, ya better start the baby makin’!”

  191. Not at all. Every Christian in America dodged a bullet last November. (And so did the nation of Israel, by the way.)

    But as I have posted before, Trump did NOT promise Christians that he would fight Obergefell, nor intervene to stop Gay Goliath attacks against Christian businesses and families.

    All Trump promised, honestly, was to buy Christians a little religious liberty. Buy us a little grace time, so we can get our own act together.

    So he made Mike Pence his veep, and issued a religious liberty order that will at least chill-out the pro-gay IRS fascists and offer a starting point. That’s good enough.

  192. I see nowhere in any religion the notion of renting a property or baking a cake as sincere religious belief. In fact, denial of rentals to people based upon religious belief is a direct violation of civil rights laws at every level of government.

  193. Are you really sure? I find it hard to believe that I cannot limit my offering to services of religious nature, for the same reason that I oppose the draconian invasion of this farmer’s freedom.

    Also a religious marriage is different from a civil marriage, it’s something else entirely. What is the rationale from forcing me to provide an arbitrary social contract if I also offer a religious wedding? It’s because they are called in a similar way?

    I see no consistence in this.

  194. If he is marketing his venue at that farmer’s market, it is probably legally conducting business at that farmers market.

  195. Sorry, I believe in the actual Constitution. I’m not one of those, the “living document/the ends justify the means” types. I, like Jefferson, lament even Marbury v. Madison who saw that it would make the Constitution “a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist and shape into any form they please.”

  196. And everywhere else in the Bible?

    Render unto Caesar, obey the governing authorities INSTITUTED BY GOD, and so on.

  197. I tell ya what: we’re not going to agree. What you call “hate” I call “religious liberty” and what I call “freedom” you call “oppression” and “discrimination.”

    So I’ll say that “live and let live” died a long time ago, and poll numbers and court opinions and slogans like “Love Wins” won’t settle this issue for us.

    Only a civil war will do it. Think about it. How many more bakers, photographers, chaplains, florists, fire chiefs, pizza shop owners (“Burn that bitch down!”), Silicon Valley CEOs, b-and-b owners, and print shop owners have to get harmed on behalf of “marriage equality” for you to understand that winning legal and public opinion battles is not winning a war?

    Here’s why a real war starts: the next target is churches and “public accomodation” laws and “freedom to worship” and, I promise you, some people will resist violently. They are the ones who are asleep at the moment — too busy to debate the likes of you. But when truth and reality shows up at their doorstep, and they read some SCOTUS opinion about “hateful opinions” and “antiquated bigotry,” they will assume there is nowhere else to run if the church and our homes are no longer a safe refuge. And they are much more terrible than me, I promise.

    How’s that for a reasonable argument?

  198. The accusation of bigotry is well founded. You seek to treat gays as less than people. To excuse harmful behavior against them and break laws to do it. You recycle arguments used by racists to uphold segregation.

    Your opinion is that certain people aren’t really human and can be treated badly with impunity. It is not worthy of respect. Neither I, nor a civil society have to respect it. Your opinion here makes you a bad person. Disagreement is a moral imperative. I have no need to tolerate your intolerance and malice.

    Nobody has to argue the validity of marriage equality with you. It’s the law of the land. Your opinion doesn’t change that.

    You didn’t like it being redefined but lacked any compelling rational and secular reason why gay marriage had to be banned. Which is why you guys lost in court. You don’t get to pretend it didn’t count. You don’t get to have your arguments taken seriously. You already lost in a legally binding way. I don’t have to care whether you or your religion like it.

  199. How does choosing not to host a wedding that violates conscience (and two millennia of Xian orthodoxy) harm the couple and deny their basic humanity? Has the farmer prevented them from marrying or choosing a location that might better suit them? It’s staggering how hostilely some will fight for the “right” to give their money to people they detest and whose views they find morally reprehensible.

  200. Indeed he is wrong in framing it as an issue of religious freedom, just like other similar cases. Being religious do not grant extra rights – this is a civil freedom issue.

    And of course no, it is just not practical to enforce procreation in marriage; nonetheless, the historical and practical reasons for its importance are related to the potential for it.

  201. There is a restriction on people not being too closely related cause MARRIAGE defines next of kin legally. You marry someone, and that person becomes your legal next of kin. Not your parent, not your sister, not your cousin.

    Try again.

  202. This comment is so nonsensical and full of strawmen it doesn’t warrant a reply.

  203. Absolutely sure, the federal and state outlaws discrimination based on race, color, religion, séx, or national origin.

    The business must rent to customers of all theisms including atheisms. That’s not even in question.

  204. You left out you were only complaining about ADF.

  205. Owning the premises of a business and conducting business in those premises are separate ideas under the law, and rightly so. When a business is closed for the day (or forever) the property and/or lease holder has every right to limit access as they see fit. But when the business is open under the licensing authority of the license-granting government entity, the legal conditions for conducting business all apply. Problem solved, but not the way you think it would be.

  206. The five people in black robes were in fact enacting the democratic process.

  207. And for which reason this should prevent marriage? The reason I know of is the genetic problems that children can have if their parents are siblings, but with procreation out of the way this doesn’t hold water – there are zero reasons why I should be defined to “marry” my brother, or my grandfather.

    Also, you ignored the glaring inequality in number.

  208. Don’t blame them for something they didn’t do. The only question before the court was “does the federally recognized civil contract titled marriage benefit from the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment?”

    They said ‘yes’.

  209. No you don’t. You just want to pretend the 14th amendment worst exist and ignore notions of equal protection under the law.

    “Drop your drawers Sally, here comes Long Tom!”
    -Thomas Jefferson to his unpaid household staff

  210. Participation is the word fundelibangelists Christians have invented to justify reigious discrimination. They are not participating, except in their own minds.

    I was a high end wedding photographer for 30 years. The only vendor I have ever seen participating in a wedding was the officiant. Not one vendor I have ever known would ever call his acceptance of a job “participation”.

  211. The Brown family didn’t go to court to legalize gay marriage. Period.

  212. I… start to think you REALLY are confusing “discriminating on the religion/gender/sexuality of the customer” with “offering a service based on a religion/something else”.

    Priesthood is limited to males in Catholicism. By your logic I could not offer cards or ceremonies that celebrate someone becoming a priest because it would – naturally – be limited to men..?

  213. The civil contract of marriage creates an enduring legally recognized familial relationship between two people in a similar manner that an adoption contract does.

    The reason we don’t allow entering it for close relatives is because, just as Moses said, it is a ‘confusion’.

  214. Licenses are wonderful things aren’t they? They are turn a perfectly natural right into a government granted privilege.

  215. I think it unlikely that in such a case the landowner, if devout, would lease the land for the purpose stated, though potentially he might rationalize that since he himself is not raising the pork he has not violated his own convictions, though I find it hard to believe that such an individual would market the chops.

  216. Why don’t you organize all of the polygamists, as well as the brother bangers, sister shaggers, mother makers, and father fornicators together to do what gay people have done for the past 50 years? RAise money, petition officials, legislators and courts, conduct public relation campaigns, conduct lawsuits, go door to door talking to neighbors and friends, come out to families, and all of the other things that gay people have done ?

    Instead, you simply assume a right to piggy back upon our efforts. If you truly believed in your cause, instead of truly believing in recycling shopworn arguments that have been rejected repeatedly by anyone who matters, that’s what you would do.

    But you are not pro-those-people, you are simply antigay.

  217. And its isn’t limited for Lutherans. And a customer could rent that for a ‘priesthood’ ceremony consistent with their own beliefs.

  218. This is vague and arbitrary – all I see is two people that gain significant benefits simply by deciding to enter this contract with no other requirement, and three people, or people that are related, being discriminated against for no good reason.

  219. Israel is no safer with Trump as president. Pax Israeliana is doomed to failure. And he’s already abandoning his promises like moving the embassy. Never was going to happen, never will happen absent an actual final peace agreement with a two-state solution and agreement on Jerusalem’s status, but like I said, with Trump and Netanyahu in charge, it doesn’t seem likely.

  220. If a man can marry a woman, why can’t he marry three? Why can’t he marry his sister or his mother? why can,t he marry his cow, assuming she would have him?

    The answers to those question have nothing to do with same sex marriage at all. That’s why they have not been allowed to piggy back on that issue.

  221. He is not offering marriages at all. That’s what’s called a lie, a straw man, a prevarication.

    He is offering a venue as service.

  222. Oh yes, but I _can_ offer the Catholic version of it? And if not, why not?

    It has no legal relevance for the State. It’s literally me making my own rules on something that doesn’t affect other people.

    And of course, it ties back to me offering my non-marriage as discussed above. Why the state interference?

  223. You pledge to serve your customers, NOT to give up your constitutional religious freedoms for them. Toss those customers out the window if need be!!

  224. And yet I have a license from my state, I am recognized in every American jurisdiction and quite a few foreign ones as legally marriage.

    It would seem your argument does not exist.

  225. In other words, your arbitrary definition of equality works only your way, and if someone calls you out on it, he’s a bigot.

  226. Apparently, you missed the part where same sex couples have been able to be married since 2001, and have enjoyed many of the rights of marriage since 1981.

    An appeal to tradition is the weakest argument you could make,

  227. They do and I explained it before. Not acknowledging it is a different thing entirely.

  228. Wow. You’ve got all the leftist attacks(name calling, appeal to authority, SLAVERY!) down pat. Good job. But, to your weak point, I do not believe the 14 amendment justifies the acceptance of the incorporation doctrine generally, nor should political winds affect the legal meaning of words.

  229. Benefits and responsibilities. And if you truly want to extend the ability for very close relatives to marry then have at it – lobby your legislators. Since the civil contract is a simple contract by definition having more than 2 cosigners radically changes its operation, e.g. one person is in the hospital and the spouse has defacto- power of attorney. Which one has that power? What if they don’t agree?

    We already allowed some people to enter the contract with a man, others with a woman, all marriage equality did was allow everyone to do what others already could do. That is qualitatively different than allowing any one to do what no one was allowed to do.

  230. No, you don’t want religious liberty. Yoy want special privilege. To harm others with impunity. To ignore laws protecting others. To force your alleged religious views on others.

    Free exercise of religion never entailed harming others in the name if your faith. You have no more a right to discriminate as part of religious freedom as I do to sacrifice your children to the dark lord Cthulhu.

    Discrimination is defined by actions and law whether you like it or not. Defined as the denial of goods and services sold in open commerce based on the class of people is as objective a definition as one gets here.

    Business sued or fined into bankruptcy for violating anti discrimination laws get no sympathy from me. Eff them. They are no different from those who refuse to serve people because of race or ethnicity. As I said originally, bad things happen to people who can’t play nice with others.

    “Here’s why a real war starts: the next target is churches and “public accomodation” laws and “freedom to worship”

    Which is why white supremacist churches like Christian identity and antisemitic faiths/sects were legally abolished. /sarcasm.

    Despite your yattering, you already lost. Once bigotry loses legal sanction it loses public acceptance as well. Slow evolution into irrelevance.

    Not reasonable, bit unhinged and definitely missing a basic understanding of the situation.

  231. Of course you can offer a Catholic compliant version but the customer can buy that and use it consistent with their own beliefs.

    Again, I am rather surprised anyone didn’t know they couldn’t discriminate against a customer because of their beliefs.

    Again, you have yet to point out the objective difference between other-han-weddings that differ only because of the séx of one individual there. That is the problem with your ‘offering’.

  232. Well, yes, 5 judges (or one) can overturn democratically elected laws. I’m not sure I follow your point though because you do realize (don’t you?) that this gentleman is asking the court to do precisely that. He is asking a judge to overturn a law that was democratically enacted. Are you now against the farmer? Are you saying that this court cannot overturn the law?

    I mention that the law is democratically enacted only to point out that the community supports it. I’m not arguing that the law is therefore immune to judicial review.

  233. Was he discriminating against anybody at his booth at the market? If not, this is horrible government overreach, and as an atheist I hope he wins his lawsuit.

  234. That’s a level-headed reply, but I would argue that bureaucratic complexities should not get in the way of _actual_ equality.

  235. Great, make the argument. If enough agree with you it will become the law of the land.

  236. More straw men. I didn’t call anyone a bigot. And you want our struggles to be the struggle of other people simply because of YOUR arbitrary definition of equality.
    The gay civil rights battle has been fought with one goal in mind– absolute equality of heterosexual people and homosexual people in all matters before the law. If you want to define it as something else that is up to you. Which brings me right back to my original comment…

    If YOU want to redefine– love that word– our decades-long struggle, “Why don’t you organize all of the polygamists, as well as the brother bangers, sister shaggers,
    …..

  237. Yep. Especially since the venue was open to the general public. If the owner wanted to be a malicious discriminatory bigot legally he should advertise by word of mouth, in his church or by membership. Closed commerce.

    Denying goods and services sold in open commerce based on the class of the customer is a deliberate harm meant to demean them. Denying their basic humanity as a customer just seeking something normally given to all comers as a matter of course.

    “It’s staggering how hostilely some will fight for the “right” to give their money to people they detest and whose views they find morally reprehensible.”

    As if they should find separate but equal facilities to patronize. 1

  238. That you are ignorant of the law is not my problem. If you think that equality includes whatever you really don’t believe in, then I can only suggest that “”Why don’t you organize all of the polygamists, as well as the brother bangers, sister shaggers,
    …..”

  239. He was operating as the business at the farmer’s market, a business that offers the rental of wedding venues. If he stated that business didn’t operate legally then it is a discriminatory business no matter where the weddings actually take place.

  240. They were not rejected for their beliefs. They were rejected for their actions.

    As Catholics, they probably also believe sex before marriage is wrong, the use of contraception is wrong, divorce is wrong, Catholics marrying non Catholics is wrong, and remarriage after divorce is wrong.

    I also expect they have hosted many weddings of non virgins who use contraception. And weddings for lots of other people who don’t follow Catholic teaching.

    Nobody is telling them they cannot believe ehat they want. But as business owners, they need to offer the same service to gays getting married as they offer to everyone else. All it takes is kindness, not approval.

  241. “And of course no, it is just not practical to enforce procreation in marriage; nonetheless, the historical and practical reasons for its importance are related to the potential for it.”
    There isn’t a jurisdiction in the world that requires procreation, or even the potential for it, as a condition of marriage. But if you wish to include the word “potential”, you have just invalidated your own argument.

  242. And to your larger point, judges in this country have always been able to make law. In any system that considers precedent binding, as ours always has, judges make law. That’s how the common law works. We also allow judicial review, since Marbury v. Madison (the ability to overturn a law if it contravenes the constitution). If you have an issue with either of those then you have an issue with the constitution. .. and, I note again, if you support the farmer’s case you, by definition, support the power of judicial review. The farmer is asking the Court to overturn a democratically elected law.

  243. Would the couple getting married there be able to have their marriage recognized by the state? If not I think he’d have few customers.

  244. I completely disagree with this restrictive interpretation of the law that is clearly against freedom of association.

    My non-marriage is defined around the potential of procreation that only people of different sex have.

    If you don’t want one, don’t buy one. But don’t force me to alter it simply because it “discriminates on sex”: being arbitrarily defined yes, it does so – for reasons of my choice

  245. Do you allow at all for the consistent public expression of privately held faith, or should backasswards bigoted beliefs in flying spaghetti monsters remain within the walls of houses of worship and disconnected from actual practice?

  246. Product versus customer.

    “My product is a venue in which no alcohol is served. You are free to rent my venue or not as you wish. But those are the terms.”

    Versus

    “My product is a venue in which no alcohol is served. Therefore I will not rent my venue for an Italian wedding or an Irish wake.”

    Big difference.

    “I do not sell that product” versus “I sell that product all the time, I just won’t sell it to you.”

  247. Yes. You can choose your product but not your customer

  248. Your right to public expression of faith ends at the point you are trying to harm others in service of it. You can walk around with the big cross. But if you try to beat people with it, we have to take it away 🙂

    Please don’t insult my intelligence by claiming discrimination in open commerce isn’t harmful to others or meant to be seen that way. It is a legally recognized harm. You wouldn’t want to be treated in such a fashion, why do you think it would be OK if you did it?
    (Answering own question, christian privilege)

  249. That might be a legitimate point, but the article says he was just selling fruits at the market. It would be like me selling my banjo CDs at a public market and then being told I can’t because I I have some discriminatory policies in my private teaching practice. I mean, how far do we want the purity police to reach into our lives?

  250. Honor the conditions of the business license or don’t apply for one. You are not required to do business or apply for a business license. But if you apply for that license, you are obliged to conduct business under the conditions specified or risk losing it.

  251. So a woman who’s had a hysterectomy can’t be one of the couple who can rent your venue? Don’t laugh, a man who lost his genitalia in an accident was denied a Catholic ceremony in Europe a few years ago.

    But no, you can’t require the potential for breeding as a requirement to rent the venue since marriage is a fundamental right no matter how you try and ‘gerrymander’ around the word. There is a right to “equal protection of fundamental interests”.

  252. No he was doing business as The Apple Mill, which is a business that among selling apples rents space for a large number of events, catering to weddings, wedding and bridal showers, birthday parties and ‘corporate events’ and parties.

    Be like saying the couldn’t exclude a business that won’t let blacks on the farm for self-picking but will sell them picked apples at the farmer’s market. The standard for civil rights is ‘full enjoyment of all services’ the business has to offer, even if they don’t offer all of them at that particular sales point.

  253. “Your right to public expression of faith ends at the point you are trying to harm others in service of it.”

    You’ll need to do more than assert it to prove that refusal to participate in a wedding is real harm. Do you think the same standard should apply to ministers who perform weddings? How about musicians?

    And for the record, while my view of marriage is dully traditional and conservative, I’d stage the best damn event possible and then donate every dollar received to my church or one of the half-dozen Gospel ministries my wife and I support. I simply don’t buy the notion that my conscience should sovereignly rule another’s.

  254. I’m not sure that there is a constitutional right that alcohol be served at a party.

  255. There have been and always will be conditions for doing business in a community. There is no “natural right” to conduct business without complying with community standards. Issuing a public business license is the most accommodating way to allow the largest and most diverse number of people to do business. Back in the middle ages, you had to have the permission of the town’s noble to do business, and your license amounted to a generous cut of your profits, along with demands only a fool would refuse. So, yes, licenses are wonderful, compared to anarchy and piracy.

  256. I’m sure you weren’t taught that “race mixing” is a sin; it’s not an orthodox Christian teaching, though some do teach it.

    As of 2011, white evangelicals were more likely to oppose interracial marriage than other Americans. One could speculate that religious reasons might account for some of that opposition.

  257. I didn’t see any remorse over forcing churches to follow “public accomodation” laws, which means if they allow weddings they must allow “gay” weddings, too.

    Nor did I see any remorse for twisting “freedom of religion” to “freedom of worship,” which means confining tens of millions of people to their “bigoted” house of worship to spout their “hate” from the pulpit.

    I hope other readers, including the fence sitters, read your words and grasp what you are defending.

    I actually understand the situation quite clearly and attempted to explain to you why the bullets will be flying or, to use your own words, “bad things happen to people who can’t play nice with others.”

    You inspire me, sir, to buy it cheap and stack it deep. Thanks so much.

  258. Umm .. Chad. If you support the farmer in this case you support the power of judicial review (the ability of a court to overturn the will of the people when that will runs counter to the constitution .. marbury v. madison). You do realize that the farmer is asking for precisely that don’t you? He wants to Court to overturn a democratically enacted law.

  259. Or how about this… “Your right to public expression of faith(lessness – also a 1st amendment right) ends at the point you are trying to harm others in service of it.”

    What happens when your public expression of faithlessness harms my ability to faithfully follow my own sincerely held religious beliefs? Dilemma, thou art mine.

  260. You are trying to pretend discrimination doesn’t exist if you call it something else. Your dishonesty here is apparent. It’s more than refusal to participate, its denial of goods and services sold in open commerce, to the general public, because the owner doesn’t like that class of person. So no dice there. You don’t get to pretend discrimination isn’t happening or harmful. You wouldn’t want to be treated that way, but want to do it to others.

    For the record, I don’t care what you think of the marriage of others. It’s an irrelevance here. What I care about here is how people behave towards one another in a public commercial settings

  261. You’re completely wrong on that point. We have always, always, allowed the elderly to marry without a second thought. We have always recognized their marriages as valid. Always. We have never, logically, historically (or legally) considered the ability to procreate essential to marriage. It’s simply not true. It’s false. And dozens upon dozens of courts have said as much.

  262. But he doesn’t. He is doing business at the farmer’s market as the same business that rents venues at the farm. We’re back to the businesses that would sit blacks in their restaurant but not allow them at the lunch counter. The entire business is still running illegally whether the customer is using the restaurant part or not.

    And your appeal to some mystical aspect of marriage ignores we all have that right, every single customer has a right to NOT share the beliefs of the business owner and still buy any of its offered products and services without discriminate by belief.

    My beliefs think people can marry regardless of their sexes and I can rent the wedding venue for such purposes. Once the offer to the public has been made its far too late to whip out a religious orthodoxy test the customer must pass to actually get the product – my own right to religious freedom and exercise shields me from any such test the business owner might point my way.

  263. Because it never happened.

    The one example trotted out by you guys was a non sectarian, secular wedding chapel (as advertised to the public)
    .the only one twisting religious freedom is you. You are under the mistaken impression it gives Christians a right to harm others in service of their faith.

    For the record bigots like you would scream bloody murder and call for the lynching of a Muslim business owner who refused to serve people for being Christian. But you think doing the same to others is your right as freedom if religion.

    You are a bigot because you seek to harm an entire class of people in service of your personal prejudice. You are a spineless bigot for pretending religion excused such bad behavior.

  264. The business used that ‘freedom to associate’ when it advertised to the general public, i.e. ‘everyone’. Too late after that to say they were only going to rent to people who’s beliefs comply with Catholic doctrine.

    ‘Freedom of association’ means that they can run a private membership organization where they can have whatever criteria they want for membership. Then they can make the offer of sale to just the membership. That’s why the Boy Scouts won their case before the supreme court.

    There is no right to advertise to everyone and then reject responding customers because of their civil rights class.

  265. Your answer does not address the question of jurisdiction on the part of the municipality. They can or should only be able enforce codes within their geographical limits, violation of that code outside their jurisdiction is not within their bailiwick.

  266. Ha, that joke video. As you probably don’t know Crowder had to recant all that because it was a misrepresentation. He has admitted most businesses had no problems and the 3 shown one was a bread bakery that didn’t make cakes, one was a baklava bakery that didn’t make cakes and the only one that did didn’t understand what he was asking for since he wanted a picture put on the cake and they didn’t have the equipment to do such things. Point of fact it had sold a same séx wedding cake and the couple’s first anniversary cake previously.

    Your link just doesn’t demonstrate what you wish it does other than only a rare form of ‘Christian’ is even asking for special rights.

  267. And yet in your own dishonesty, you refuse to acknowledge the discrimination against the religious believer. You don’t get to pretend discrimination isn’t happening or harmful.

    So back to the minister who openly offers marriage services, should s/he be required to perform a wedding that violates conscience? If not, what’s the difference?

  268. As I said to start off this thread, there is a simple rule to consider. Christians of a certain stripe seem to have deep problems understanding a simple rule set forth in Leviticus, explicated by Hillel the Elder and restated by Jesus,

    “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”

    “Do not do to others that which is hateful to you. This is the entirety of the Bible. The rest is commentary”

    None of the bigots on display here would ever accept such harmful discriminatory behavior as described directed towards themselves. They would consider it an affront, outrage and personal harm. Yet the hypocrites and sociopaths think nothing of doing so to others.

    If you are respectful to others, this sort of thing does not happen.

  269. And since the discriminatory business is doing business in their jurisdiction your answer makes no sense. I think you are mistakenly thinking that the actual infraction must occur within the jurisdiction but it doesn’t, only that the business does discriminate any where.

  270. lol…..homosexual “tolerance” rules again! lol

  271. There is no discriminate against the believer, they of their own free will offered the availability of wedding venue rentals to the general public, a group that includes all beliefs even those that belief in marriage regardless of séx. And they knew they couldn’t refuse any customer because of their beliefs before the made this completely voluntary offer.

    A minister is not a public accommodation. A minister can refuse to perform a service because he doesn’t like the way you tie your shoes, no law being broken.

  272. If I define my service in such a specific way, yes, I could. Or to people wearing funny hats if I so desire. I’m not discriminating on a protected characteristic and nobody has the right to force me to provide a service I don’t want to.

  273. Christians do, “do unto others as we would have them do unto you”, Spud. They try to help everyone enjoy the blessings of God. Telling someone they are sinning is one means of opening them up to the reality that there is something better for them.

  274. Chad, you seem to have a confused position. You decry Marbury v. Madison and the power of judicial review. Courts should not, in your mind, be able to overrule the democratic will of the majority. And yet, that is precisely what you are asking for here. You want to Court to overturn the East Lansing law, the law that the people enacted.
    You have yourself in a pickle. The majority WANTS same sex marriage. The majority also supports anti-discrimination ordinances that bar orientation based discrimination. So, by your logic, they should stand. Right?

  275. See you don’t understand, yarmulkes are just a kind of ‘funny hat’ and no you can’t refuse a customer because they wear them if they say it is a requirement of their belief.

    The business freely made the invitation to the public knowing it couldn’t refuse a customer because they held non Catholic beliefs and practices.

    Either rent to the public legally or don’t rent to the public at all, those are the choices.

  276. Hmmm I doubt that the entire city or farmer’s market board is ‘homosexual’.

  277. What you seem not to understand…..they cannot help someone who chose to defy the Lord and not wear a sign around their neck saying, “this is my sin”. Homosexuals wear that sign and are open to being helped by the people. A Christian does not endorse immorality.

  278. I can restrict the scope of my service as I see fit. I can offer to make sand castles but refuse to have political symbols on it. I can train football teams and turn down a women-only team if I prefer male soccer.

    As long as I’m not discriminating on protected characteristics, I can turn down any specific request.

  279. Then its not about ‘homosexual tolerance’ but that of the city’s. And of course its not about tolerance at all since it is only the business who is refusing customers, they are just refusing businesses that refuse customers.

  280. Yes it is. Since the world has become fixated on homosexuality, they have lost all respect for tolerance. “Tolerance” used to mean – if you did something and I didn’t like it, well, I just look the other way – now it is meaning, if you don’t stand up and celebrate immorality, you cannot participate. (edit)

  281. Hmmm, the only one fixated on homosexuality is the business, no one else really cared about it.

  282. Then why are they not being allowed to participate in the market?

  283. Because of their negative fixation on homosexuality that violates the city ordinances and farmer’s market code. If they weren’t fixated on homosexuality they wouldn’t have been excluded.

  284. I’m sure it will with time. This restriction has no rational reason to exist, and if we recognize that something as generic and vague as “love” alone is the source of those rights, then anyone should be entitled to it.

  285. Agni – well you used the right term, “white evangelicals” – the latest on the liberal hated list, so no one will want you to verify your supposition. God bless you.

  286. Actually there are a number of rational reasons, polygamy in all its forms would require a new and different contract.

    Allowing close relatives to marry would engender the possibility of grooming of spouses during child rearing and give unreasonable prior access to the child for such purposes. Add in that excluding of these handful of people doesn’t drop the person’s prospective spouse pool by even a drop its qualitatively different than saying a person has no opportunity to marry the person they would want to that excluding an entire séx did.

    All has nothing to do with just letting all people enter the contract with another person regardless of that other person’s séx.

  287. In this case, however, there’s no evidence the farmer refused service to anyone or is even being accused of it. (Though even if he had, I suspect the line between public accommodation and religious liberty is not as distinct as you suggest.) He simply posted a public statement that affirms 2,000 years of Christian orthodoxy regarding marriage.

  288. Actually the article says a lesbian couples was refused and he stated on Facebook the business would refuse such customers. if you have a link to the actual Facebook post I would love to read the actual text.

    And since it is the religious liberty of the customers that has been infringed I’m not sure what you are saying. Every customer responding to this freely made public invitation has a right to NOT share the beliefs of that business owner and use any purchase they make consistent with their own, not his.

  289. Okay then, let’s simplify things. You said, “Absolutely sure, the federal and state outlaws discrimination based on race, color, religion, séx, or national origin. The business must rent to customers of all theisms including atheisms. That’s not even in question.”
    But in Texas, it’s legal for Christians to stand up for their constitutional religious freedoms. Gay Goliath got no clout there.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3464222/Gay-couple-feel-dehumanized-Christian-baker-refuses-make-wedding-cake.html

  290. A better analogy: the secular form of shunning. Figures.

  291. And that is because if they made a religious claim the business could just say they refused them because they were gay, which is legal in Texas. As such there would be no point in filing suit.

  292. You can’t tell someone what their religious convictions are.

  293. Genesis 2 God created Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve

  294. Exactly! And the farmer knew that when the advertised to the public which includes people who think that couples of the same-séx can marry just fine. He can’t hold them to his religious standard in a public offer.

  295. Evidently not only do they ignore it, they look for excuses to do actions which are the very opposite of it. As you do. Such contortions to pretend hateful and malicious actions are well intentioned.

    If your actions are indistinguishable from those of malice, hate and harm, they are.

    You would not like to have similar behavior visited upon you. So we can quit pretending.

  296. “In a statement, the city of East Lansing said the farmer’s refusal to host a same-sex wedding violated a “long-standing ordinance that protects sexual orientation as well as the Supreme Court’s ruling that grants the right for same-sex couples to be married.”

    That ” “long-standing ordinance that protects sexual orientation . . . ” could not possibly relate to how a farmer uses his own land! His selling his produce at a farmers’ market has nothing to do with his beliefs about the right of same-sex couples to be married, and EVERYTHING to do with cooercing a Christian to believe that politically-correct crap about the rights of same-sex people trumping all other rights for Americans!

    Areas of Michigan may have a large Muslim population, but nothing like big enough numbers to override the rights of non-Muslims in matters such as this. One can easily forsee the future of the right of expression–guaranteed in the US Constitution, if Sharia law is ever instituted anywhere in Micigan!

    Non-Muslims will need to drink lots of hard cider from this farmer’s orchard!

  297. Abrahamic polygamists wouldn’t want ‘marriage equality’ anyway since that would mean their wives could have as many husbands as they wanted to and be able to enter these contracts without anyone else’s approval just like the men could.

    Even Reynolds was only about common law marriages, no one was asking to be able to have multiple civil contracts simultaneously. Can you imagine in a community property state? First one wife files for divorce and then all the rest not wanting to get half of halfs file suit too.

    The poor guy would end up at eternal Zeno’s paradox levels of brokatude 🙂

  298. How is the discriminatory part of his business affecting East Lansing at all? Do you imagine the mind control rays travel 22 miles?

  299. You are avoiding there main issue.

  300. Its a discriminatory business that operates as the same business at the farmer’s market and the farm. That the rented venues are not physically at the farmer’s market is immaterial. The standard is is ‘full enjoyment of all services’ the business offers without discrimination, emphasis on the word ’all’ . Does the business do that? No. So they can be considered to not be in compliance and excluded from the farmer’s market.

    Similar to the old case of Piggie Park Enterprises which included several locations including restaurants and drive-ins. Just because the discrimination only occurred at the drive-ins doesn’t mean Piggie Park Enterprises is only breaking the law there, its a complete package deal. If PPE is breaking the law anywhere then PPE is breaking the law everywhere.

  301. I will have to wait and see what East Lansing’s legal position develops into. Based on their press release, it’s difficult to see how this farmer violated the ordinance by stating a position that he make take, outside East Lansing. On the other hand, the ADF is well known for exaggerating their claims for media impact (in fairness, this is the purpose of any press release..). So there may be an altogether different set of facts leading to different defenses.

  302. So basically, you’re arguing that all Catholics should be excluded from society and shot because they won’t go along with YOUR religion. Your government is more discriminatory than the Catholic business by a long shot, and you’re nothing but an anti-Catholic bigot, no different than the KKK nazis that used to burn crosses on our lawns.

  303. No basically I’m saying if a business are going to advertise something to the public do so respecting the customer’s constitutional right to NOT share your beliefs. That should be a given whether there is a law requiring it or not.

    And since no one has religiously discriminated against the business your rant makes no sense. It is the business that is applying a religious test that responding customers must pass to actually get the service they came for, not anyone else.

    Of course most Catholics would have happily sold to the customer without religious discrimination, this guy is the outlier.

  304. Unless of course, he was selling his wedding venue at the farmer’s market. That would change the thing considerably.

    But since you bring up Muslims, or indeed, anyone else who is not his type of Christian, would he also be able to refuse to rent his venue to atheists, Muslims, liberal Christians?

  305. Sandimonious is also fixated on homosexuality. Well, that and her own sinlessness.

  306. If you don’t share in my beliefs, don’t buy from me- it’s that easy.

    In other words, don’t force the business to share in your beliefs either. The rule should go BOTH ways.

    He is happily SELLING to the customer without religious discrimination, he just won’t rent his farm to them. I for one have no problem with that, why do you?

  307. Ben, you are ‘way out in the weeds (presumably the weeds in this farmer’s orchard! You might even find a tasty apple or two out there!)

    This Slingshot article didn’t he was attempting to market his wedding venue at the farmers’ market!

    And regarding “his type of Christian:” It wouldn’t matter to me if he were Rastrafarian, athiest or agnostic. His rights as an American do not depend on his beliefs for or against same sex-marriage!

  308. So you are saying you want to remove religion from civil rights laws. Go ahead and get on it.

    No one has asked the business to share in their beliefs, just legally sell what the offer the public. If their beliefs won’t let them legally sell it to the public don’t offer it to the public. Simple.

    And rental of venues is one of the things the business offers for sale so the last makes no sense.

    no one is forcing the business to offer wedding venue rentals. if they do they must if the customer’s share the business owner’s beliefs or not.

  309. I am saying that the entire concept of civil rights laws is discriminatory and highly offemsive to begin with, and a civilized people do not need such laws to force their beliefs onto others.

    I do not care for regulation of businesses under draconian mind control schemes such as yours. I disagree strongly with government intrusion into the freedpm of association and find such laws to be dictatorial sledge hammers, destructive of freedom.

    You are not God and you do NOT get to dictate to somebody else who they allow into their home.

  310. And so we are talking about different things.

    Civil rights laws are constitutional, don’t like them vote them out legally.

    The business freely associated with the public by advertising to them, too late to whip out a religious test the customer has to pass to actually get the advertised item.

    Can only sell for certain beliefs? Do it as a private membership organization making the invitation to buy to just that pre-selected membership.

  311. Other sources seem to indicate that he was, including a posting or two further down in this thread. However, that’s why I put it under the category of “unless he was selling…”

  312. Civil rights laws are not constitutional, and among other evidence, suggest that the constitution has no weight of force in our law at all anymore, just a shell of an “interpretation” of the constitution pushed by social justice warriors on the Supreme Court, who hold dictatorship powers that cannot be countermanded by either Congress or the Executive.

    Voting has been worthless for about 180 years now. It’s just an exercise in picking Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle Dumber, both of which are under the thumb of the court who holds all the power. Neither one of which cares one whit about anything other than their own wallets, of course, they’re only interested in power to begin with to fatten their own wallets.

    I still don’t see you putting forth any reason why one set of religious beliefs (LGBT gender nonsense and so-called “civil rights” discrimination) should be given priority over another set of religious beliefs.

  313. You might almost have a point if his actions had anything to do with the City of East Lansing and the Farmers Market. They didn’t. He’s being harassed by a municipality for his perfectly legal actions on his own property in another community in deciding not to sanction a practice that he correctly finds immoral. Had he been asked to sanction a wedding conducted under the auspices of The Satanic Temple, the KKK, or which promoted any other viewpoint he found offensive he’d be perfectly within his rights, at least in a nation that had the foggiest notion of what rights are and from where they originate. Hint: it’s not the “almighty” State.

  314. You’ve missed the part of Michigan law, only allowing gay/lesbian pseudo marriage since the Obergefell abomination. That occurred long after 2001. And you reject an “appeal to tradition” (actually it’s not it’s an argument based on natural law and common law; something you evidently know nothing about) but applaud the judgment of five sanctimonious, anti-democratic, jurists on the USSC, legislating from the bench in concocting a “right” out of thin air. That’s worse than weak. It’s both weak and wrong.

  315. And you might have a point if he wasn’t operating as the same business in both places.

    if a Satanist wanted to rent the venue at his they could and the KKK is considered an ideology and not covered by civil rights laws.

    and it’s the public that passed civil rights laws to regulate how the public is treated in the civil arena.

    All you’re looking for is a right to religious discrimination of the public and that would be a disaster that would bite everyone eventually.

  316. The 2001 reference was to the first legalization of same sex marriage per se. Domestic partnership laws date to 1981.

    You are certainly entitled to your opinion on all sort of things. You are clearly very butt hurt that the people you so clearly despise are being treated the same as you. You’re also entitled to that.

    Natural law is a Catholic construct. It means “seems good to me.” It is also concocted out of thin air.

    Anti-democratic? Another opinion. but equal protection of the law is not an opinion, but a fact, and not concocted out of thin air.

    I suspect that I know far more about the subject than you do, because I am not blinded by natural law nonsense. But that is also an opinion.

  317. hmmmm…Spud, are you so immersed in hurting homosexuals that you’ll find anything to make right, wrong? It isn’t hateful to want someone to share Christ’s blessings. Maybe you should learn what you are discussing? It would only be termed, “hateful”, by someone who wants them in bondage.

  318. Who cares when the “first legalization” was, or the status generally of Domestic partnership laws? The parties: the farmer, the supposedly offended couple, and the city of East Lansing are all in Michigan.

    You can equate gay sodomy and other forms of gay/lesbian intimacy with sexual intercourse between a man and a woman all you want. They are utterly dissimilar, one being a possible basis for procreation, the other being utterly and totally sterile, 100% of the time.

    Natural law is the basis of all law and all morality. It’s knowable by all, whether Catholic or not, Christian or not. All it takes is honesty and a well informed regard for truth.

    Equal protection is a doctrine of U.S. constitutional law, not “a fact”. It strains credibility to suppose that a right to pseudo-marriage escaped notice for approximately 150 years before the Obergefell Court discovered it.

    I’m not sure what you consider “the subject” to be. I think it’s the story of an individual in Michigan being harassed, threatened and bullied by LGBT activists and the city of East Lansing. All I know about it, is what I’ve read.

  319. I do not pretend hate and malice is helping people. It’s the difference between us. 🙂

  320. There is a case where a man wants to marry himself. Then according to you, no inequality to mess with.

  321. Are you aware that the Adam and Eve story is fiction, a parable, and should not be taken literally? The story shows the dangers of giving into ego and relativeness of actions it has zero to do with child bearing or rearing.

  322. Thanks for another silly objection as distraction from and obfuscation of the real issues.

  323. I’m not making this up. There is also the case of a man ‘wanting’ to marry his computer. All this comes about because of the strangeness of marrying the same gender. Not that you’ve noticed it.

  324. Actually, I could say the same of you. I see you as pushing these people and endorsing immorality that well end them up in Hell. I have more proof for what I say, than you do.
    I’ve got it straight from God.1 Corinthians 6:9-11English Standard Version (ESV)
    9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
    That’s what you’re doing to people. You consider that love?

  325. Civil rights aren’t a religious belief and the customer’s expected the opposite of religious discrimination – they expected the freely made offer to be a legal one, made without any implicit religious discrimination.

    If the business can’t sell to people of all beliefs it shouldn’t have invited the public to rent from them in the first place.

    Civil rights laws are constitutional as per the 9th amendment.

    Don’t like that the customers have a right to their own beliefs complain to the first amendment. Until you change it the customer’s have a right to accept a freely made offer regardless of their beliefs.

  326. I, sure you believe whatever you think.

  327. lol….I’ve seen that video several times…..

  328. I’m aware you don’t believe God’s word

  329. LGBT is a religion. It certainly is not science, no matter what a bunch of carefully cherry picked judges say.

    And ypu do not get to be a nazi dictating who can go into business and under what terms.

    The 9th Amendment says nothing about stealing people’s right to free association, regardless of your lies.

    The customer has every right not to be a customer. Let market forces, not guns, decide.

  330. A farmers’ market is a community business group, a cooperative effort supported by government.

    Discrimination is unethical.

  331. Jesus explicitly stated that he speaks in parables. If you are not going to believe him and learn to recognize and understand figurative language then you are not and cannot be a Christian.

  332. Matt. 22: “You err, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God.

  333. Matt. 19:4 He answered, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’[a] 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’[b]? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no man put asunder.”

  334. seems your true nature is coming out.

    There are many beliefs that include marriage regardless of séxes, just as valid as any that don’t. Any business making offers to the public must respect them all. And that people do have sexual orientation is without question.

    The business made an invitation to the public of its own free will, no one stole a thing from it. If they only wanted to associate with a subset of the public they would find them first and then make just them the offer. That’s how ‘freedom of association’ works and why the Boy Scouts didn’t have to follow New Jersey’s public accommodation laws. But invite everyone, it’s too late to then try and apply a civil rights discriminatory rule or test the responding customer must meet to actually buy the invited product or service.

    Not lies, just the way business works. From the moment of invitation the business transaction with the public is open to regulation by health codes, building codes, consumer protection laws and, yes, even civil rights.

    The public has decided by constitutional and legal means that invidious discrimination because of belief, race, séx, ethnicity, sexual orientation, ability, marital status, military status and more are not acceptable in civil congress and recognized the right to be free from such discrimination in same.

    No guns, just business regulation by legal means for a higher purpose. There is a way the business can still discriminate if their beliefs demand it by being a private membership organization. Its their need, they are the ones that have to bother to do the due diligence to make it happen.

  335. Yes, that passage is speaking directly to you. Learn figurative language and remember that scripture is presented in figurative language as Jesus stated.

  336. Your reply is so reminiscent of how Christians were treated by Rome and are treated by communist countries.

  337. Again: Acts 5:29 obey God rather than man

  338. And this passage is for you: Isaiah 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!
    Repent of your apostasy and arrogance.

  339. Affectatious and pretentious, too.

  340. No, it is about religious freedom. The State in redefining marriage undermined religious freedom.

  341. And there is no reason to force the two to mix. There is no reason to oppress this man, other than him being Catholic.

    What a dogmatic statement on sexual orientation. Nothing can be without question.

    A business can offer whatever it likes. It can also choose not to do business with whomever it likes.

    I have no respect for bigots like you, and see no teason to believe anything your type says.

  342. Obviously you don’t like that a number of religions support marriage regardless of sexes, too bad. Just as valid and constitutionally protected as any other. That’s religious freedom.

    All the SCOTUS did was recognized valid federally recognized state-licensed civil contracts and say that recognition made them valid for the person everywhere through all levels of government as per the 14th amendments equal protection clause.

  343. They can if they choose. My point is this: if he chooses not to based on his religious conscience he shouldn’t be forced to. There are plenty of other venues gays could go to. In fact there may be Christians there who would be more than happy to let them have a marriage on their property.

  344. So you only believe what you want to believe regardless of Constitutions, laws, or common sense.

    The business is the one that invited the public, their problems are self created.

  345. No one forced him to invite the public to come do business. if he can only do business with people of certain beliefs there are ways to do it, just has to bother to do it.

  346. As is my right under the Constitution YOU claim to respect. First amendment trumps 9th, your government has NO right to establish a new religion, or make any law respecting religious rights for anybody. That includes business owners. This is precisely why the United States is now an enemy of the population and must be replaced.

  347. The first amendment is what protects the customer from invidious discrimination by the business. Don’t invite the public if there is no intention of respecting their first amendment rights.

    The majority of the public, i.e. ‘the population’, supports marriage equality and civil rights laws. But as you’ve made clear you don’t want a government for and by the people.

    Looking to create Gilead in real life?

  348. The whole point of the Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden story was not to engage in labelling and partaking of things as good or evil. Apparently you haven’t read that part yet.

  349. oh and if you are going to call for the overthrow of the government you maybe shouldn’t have a link to your home address and other very personal information on your disqus page.

  350. No, the First Amendment is supposed to protect citizens from the government. Businesses shpuld not be affected by the First Amendment in any way. The fact that you think so is more proof that the Constitutional Government has been destroyed beyond repair.

    A constitutional government is NOT a democracy. Democracy destroys constitutional government. Democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what is for dinner.

    Gilead has already been created. Your democracy created it.

  351. You apparently haven’t read this part: Matt. 19:4 He answered, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’[a] 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’[b]? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no man put asunder.”

  352. What I don’t like is for the government to force people to violate their religious convictions.

  353. It is interesting that you copy my writing style. Cannot you not think for yourself? There is nothing in the passage you quoted that prevents LGBT relations, especially when you factor in the idea that G-d doesn’t make mistakes.

  354. You seem to have a script you are working from. This is a democratic constitutional republic.

    Civil rights were acknowledged by constitutional and legal means. Everyone has the identical right to religious freedom so here is the scenario:

    • Business invited public to rent a wedding venue.
    • Responding customer is rejected because their wedding isn’t Roman Catholic enough.
    • Sued and goes before a court.
    • Judge looks at both claims of religious freedom, but can’t put one citizen’s beliefs over another so it’s a draw.
    • So the judge then asks ‘Why are these two citizens in conflict?’ and the answer is ‘Because the business invited the customer to come rent a wedding venue.’
    • Judge rules for customer.

    Don’t want to do business with people of certain beliefs about marriage, don’t invite a group they belong to, i.e. the public.

    Problem solved.

  355. No one forced the business to invite the public to come rent wedding venues.

  356. One I wrote many years ago, when I realized the fatal flaw in the Constitution: Article I Sections 8 to 10 gives the federal government too much power. All else, including the enforced moral decay, was inevitable. Governments are incompetent at building civilization, they can only destroy. Power corrupts, and absolute power, even of a majority, corrupts absolutely.

  357. Then why are you here or is there any world government that meets your standards?

  358. I am here because I was born here. Your government invaded and occupied Cascadia. We were given no choice in the matter, herded onto reservations like sheep after being poisoned with your malaria.

  359. Neither scenario is all that new or interesting. King David of Israel “married” personal possessions, prized animals, and even male and female servants with the sole objective of putting a capital punishment penalty on their theft from his possession. Jewish law did not allow capital punishment for thievery, but did for either adultery or abduction of a wife. So, Israel’s “righteous king” bent the rules to put harsher penalties on people who wanted to steal his stuff. His “marriage” to the gold in his treasury was deemed legal and okay by “God’s prophet” at the time. So, big yawn on your silly little distractions.

  360. Yeah………. nothing treatable there.

    Again, any government in the world you do like?

  361. 2 Tim. 3:16,17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. That the man of God may be complete equipped for every good work.
    Jesus interpreted Gen. 2 correctly unlike you. Your interpretation was something you’d find on Oprah.
    Jesus using God’s word has refuted you.

  362. It is still discrimination. Not legally permissible regardless of beliefs. He is no different than any other business that provides wedding receptions.

  363. Isn’t it amazing that god can give you two sets of contradictory instructions? And you can apply whichever one you wish to different situations, according to your needs!

  364. Every year approx. 4 million babies are born for our society, without it our society cannot continue. How many of these come from same sexes? Zero. Not even one. Is this equality?

  365. That entire statement is misleading, at best. 26% of same-sex marriages include children, both biological and adopted. Approximately 62,000 of your estimated 4 million babies per year in the US came from in-vitro fertilization. Israel is now offering IVF services along with surrogate moms to same-sex couples as part of their single-payer, socialized medicine. Israel expects every Israeli, gay or straight, to become a parent and add to the population. Oops. There goes another one of your holy hypocrite myths.

  366. Are you saying that same sexes can procreate babies? Don’t obfuscate, can they? That our civilization can come from Homosexuality?

  367. But first you have to understand the scriptural message and, as Jesus also said, they are given in figurative language. You can quote the Bible all you want but you should first understand it to avoid embarrassing yourself.

  368. The business owner cannot discriminate based on religious beliefs.

    The customer does not have to conform to the businesses owner’s beliefs.

    The business owner may choose to sell nothing but ornate Christian crosses. If that is his product that is his product.

    But he cannot discriminate about who buys his product. If a Jewish person or a black person or an atheist comes into his store he cannot say “We don’t serve your kind.”

    Edit fixed typos

  369. The point is that in some states Christians can legally say “No” to this mess, and cannot be legally forced to participate in gay weddings (which automatically and directly oppose Christianity) via providing goods or services that celebrate or affirm the mess.

  370. Not in some states, when it comes to gay weddings (there really isn’t any such thing as gay marriage anyway, because men and women are not interchangable).

  371. But business licenses don’t specify a requirement to participate in or do goods / services for gay weddings.
    And some states, at least, do not force businesses to pretend any such requirement exists.

  372. You can, but you would be wrong. I respect personal boundaries, you do not.

    A Bible quote won’t make malicious, harmful actions into loving good natured ones. Just make you feel better about doing them.

    You sound like every wife beater and child abuser. “Why are you making me break your ribs? I am only doing this because I love you”. 🙂

  373. He’s saying that he has the right to express an opinion about his determination to follow his church’s moral teachings. No one has accused him of actually refusing to be an accessory to a same-sex “marriage.” Someone posted to his Facebook page asking him if he would, he replied that he wouldn’t, the town learned of the exchange and decided not to allow him to sell his produce in its market. Note that his farm, where any weddings would or wouldn’t be hosted, is twenty-two miles outside of the town limits.

  374. Would they rent the venue for a Jewish or Muslim or Hindu wedding? Those people publicly reject the gospel, right? Yet they can rent the venue. And the owners don’t whine about “participating” in a pagan wedding. They take the money.

    Do they reject weddings where the couple’s young child is present? Isn’t that flaunting their premarital sin? Yet they take the money.

    Discrimination against gays is about enjoying the feelings of power, superiority and self righteousness they get when they push someone else down. For a long time, most gays were hidden so discrimination could proceed unabated. Now society is changing and the rationalizations no longer work. It is clear that the hatred of gays is nothing more than typical, run of the mill hatred. Gays are no more or less “sinful” than any other human, Christians included.

  375. So do you believe that all laws penalizing being an accessory to a crime should be abolished, on the grounds that the activities themselves are not crimes even if they are intended to advance one?

  376. Clearly you haven’t. You have bought into a gnostic hermeneutic and are confused. Jesus interpreted Genesis correctly – that was doctrine. You were reproved and corrected by Jesus’s interpretation and you were instructed in right behavior thereby. That you continue in your false belief tells me you have never believed in Christ or you have fallen away from Him. Sad either way.
    Professional development opportunity: Whenever Jesus spoke in a parable He always told his disciples that He did. The Matthew 19 text above is not in a parable form neither is it wrtten in figurative language.
    Free advice: Get out of your cult now and get yourself to a Bible teaching, Bible believing, Bible preaching church.

  377. He used the farmer’s market to advertise the venue and drum up business. So the farmer’s market had the right – and the responsibility – to enforce its rules.

    Aren’t Christians the ones who tell others to n follow the rules or shut up?

  378. I haven’t heard anyone claiming that he has. What I do know is that the town is penalizing him for something that doesn’t involve it at all — there are no allegations that he has ever discriminated against any of his customers at the market, for any reason. The town is extending its reach twenty-two miles outside of its jurisdiction.

  379. There is no “pretend” to treating people equally and fairly. All pretense goes with the notion that being unfair and unequal is honest, ethical or moral. The same fake “Christians” were thumping their Bibles half a century ago against interracial marriage until a Supreme Court decision forced them to act like the Christians they never really were.

  380. And actually, telling someone that they are hurting themselves and protecting them from suicide is not wrong. You may think that is a boundary not to be crossed. A Christian does not.

  381. First, you twist and conflate the issue with the deceptive nonsense about LGBTQ becoming the majority when history doesn’t support any such silliness. Then, you further obfuscate by ignoring stated interventions that allow gay men to father kids. Lesbians have always had a range of choices in getting pregnant. Pretending to be that obtuse does not help your weak argument.

  382. Its very tasteless for you to discuss suicide when attitudes such as yours have driven many a person to it.

    I think it’s best to conclude that we are not going to have a fruitful discussion here. You may continue to pray for me. 🙂

  383. No people make their own choices, Spud. Your attitude sends them to death Spud. Death where God will not rescue them from. Something for you to think about.

  384. A crime, versus, “oh noes! You have offended me and my sincere religious belief! Now I have to treat you just as I would like to be treated!”

    So I Guess YOU think that laws which forbid discrimination on the basis of religious belief have no place in a civilized society.

    Your cake or your flowers don’t advance anyone’s alleged sins. A cake is for a party. flowers are adornment and decoration. And your participation in in advancing someone else’s alleged sin is imaginary.

    I have been reliably informed that IT IS A SIN AGAINST THE HOLY SPIRIT NOT TO BELIEVE THAT JESUS DIED FOR YOUR SINS.

    It would be just exactly like providing flowers for a Hindu wedding, where demons and false idols are worshipped and invoked. Or a Jewish wedding, where the Son of God doesn’t even rate a mention, in fact, would be blasphemy. Or an atheist wedding, where the very notion of a personal god is ludicrous.

    Funny how you are advancing sin in one case, and in ONE CASE ONLY!!!!

    Why, you’d almost think that someone is hiding behind his religion to justify egregious discrimination on the basis of religious belief.

  385. A god who needs to threaten people into worshiping him is not a source of moral thinking. Pray for me Sandi. 🙂

  386. I think that when the government forces people to act against their religious beliefs it had better have a VERY good reason — and minor inconvenience and hurt feelings doesn’t cut it. It seems the couple that asked about the farm hosting their “marriage” three years ago took the refusal like adults and just looked elsewhere (the farmer recommended another farm, I don’t know if they used it).

    And your example fails, because I don’t know of a single major religion that holds that getting married in another religion is sinful. The sin lies in the same-sex nature of the “marriage,” not in the religion (or lack of it) of the participants.

  387. A moralizing, Sandimonious busy body with delusions of godhood and no personal boundaries whatsoever is certainly willing to cross that boundary.

    A decent, compassionate human being does not.

  388. Christ also condemned not believing that Christ could condemn you.

    But you are willing to make an exception for that, as long as you Get The Gays,

  389. “Aren’t Christians the ones who tell others to follow the rules or shut up?”

    Yes they are!

  390. And isn’t that convenient that you think so. Except that you couldn’t be more wrong.

    Christians don’t hold that getting married in another religion is sinful. They hold that not believing that Jesus died for your sins is sinful, that believing in any god but the Christian god is sinful, that invoking any god but the one true god is sinful, that invoking false gods is blasphemy, that praying idols is blasphemy.

    You are going through major contortions to prove your point. There is absolutely no difference between a venue owner standing at the back of his venue and watching a sin committed by two people getting married and watching a sin being committed by the worship and invocation of false gods, demons, and idols.

    It both cases, he is enabling the sin, partipating in that sin, and approving that sin. But apparently, in fundyworld, the only thing worse than rejecting the Jesus message entirely is two people who love each other getting married without the approval of the rulers of fundyworld.

    And that says something about the nature of your “faith.”

    And it isn’t very nice.

  391. Your contempt– “minor inconvenience and hurt feelings”–is palpable.

    This from someone claiming persecution and fascism because they have to obey the laws that govern all of us, to treat other people the way they would want to be treated, and would be screaming bloody murder were it otherwise.

    And they do, as you are demonstrating.

    I was a high end wedding photographer for 30 years. There were all kinds of people whom I did not wish to serve, though NEVER would I tell them ever-so-politely because they were hyper-religious a-holes who belong to fundelibangelist churches. There are a host of perfectly legal ways to avoid doing business with others, starting with “I’m booked. Call so and so.”

  392. Your perfect, inerrant, unchanging, guide to absolute morality requires that gays are to be murdered by throwing large rocks at them until they die from skull fractures and multiple broken bones. It can take hours for the victim to die.

    Throwing people off buildings is actually much more humane than biblical requirements.

    Christians burned gays alive when they had absolute political power.

    American Christians encouraged Uganda and other African countries to pass laws making homosexuality punishable by death.

    Every religion throughout history commited atrocities when merged with political power. It is happening in Muslim countries now because religion controls government. But Christians behave exactly the same when given a chance.

    And Jeebus never mentioned homosexuality.

  393. You are misinformed. From the complaint filed with the court:
    “Tennes had been contacted in fall 2014 by two women who were seeking to have their same-sex wedding ceremony at an orchard. Because promoting and participating in a same-sex wedding at Country Mill would violate his deeply held religious beliefs, Tennes referred the women to a nearby orchard he knew hosted same-sex weddings.”

    And of course the business had the legal right to do that outside the city. And of course the city has a right to exclude businesses that don’t follow their guidelines.

    They both have a right to choose, right?

  394. Marriage is a civil contract and the cosigners can fulfill all responsibilities of the contract regardless of their sexes, race or any other civil rights quality.

    And yes some states allow discrimination, that’s a negative not a plus.

  395. Yes some places can discriminate, that’s their burden.

  396. Silly boy, minorities move to urban centers to be with more like themselves.

    I recommend the book Running on Empty: Overcoming Childhood Emotional Neglect by Janice Webb, it could help you in the immediate and long term.

    God Bless, becoming a hermit is not the answer.

  397. Jesus spoke in parables to encourage literalist people like you to try harder to change their mentality so that they could understand what he said. it didn’t work in your case.

  398. You need a village to be with people more like yourself. All you get with an urban center is crime and rape.

  399. An interesting perspective that tells us more about you than the world.

    I sincerely suggest you consider you are the one who needs a perspective change. Your POV seems reasonable to you but you know you’re missing some of the needs and outlooks most others have. Internalizing and only listening to your own council is not in your best interests.

    If you want to continue discussing let me know, i have your email. Otherwise i consider this discussion closed.

    Take care.

  400. Lol. You are ignorant as well as confused.

  401. Christians were burned alive.
    The Bible teaches that we should help homosexuals to find Christ – just like any other sinner.
    The Uganda story is a lie.
    Christ spoke about homosexuality from Genesis to the Book of Revelation.

  402. Persecution complex Ben? We just want you saved and blessed.

  403. A godly person does. Quit fighting Him, Ben.

  404. I think you are a part of the group who I do pray for every night Spud. That’s why you are looking for answers.

  405. Well that is just the kind of thoughtless response everyone has come to expect! Floydlee rightly said that East Lansing had gone fascist, I merely have pointed out that he is completely right!

  406. Christians were burned alive.

    True. Christians were frequently burned alive … by other Christians for being the wrong kind of Christian. Burnee and Burner flipped back and forth for a few centuries based on what type of Christian the current monarch / political leaders were.

    The Bible teaches that we should help homosexuals to find Christ – just like any other sinner.

    Then why are gays denied wedding at this venue while gluttons, blasphemers, gossips, adulterers, etc. are welcomed? Only gays are singled out for exclusion. I call this lying for Jesus – Christians absolutely do not treat gays “just like any other sinner.”

    The Uganda story is a lie.

    No it is not.

    The Uganda story is the dead truth. Pun intended. The Anti Homosexuality Act was passed Dec 20, 2013 and signed Feb 24, 2014. It established life imprisonment and the death penalty as consequences. US Christians Scott Lively, Caleb Lee Brundidge, Don Schmierer and others promoted the anti gay hatred feeding this law, including conferences and meetings with senior politicians.

    Christ spoke about homosexuality from Genesis to the Book of Revelation.

    Seriously? No.

    There are 27 books in the NT. Homosexuality is mentioned only 3 times, in Romans, 1 Corinthians and 1 Timothy. I’m fairly certain the apostle Paul, the author of the epistles, is not the Christ.

    Jesus is called the Christ and never mentioned homosexuality in the gospels. However, the Centurian’s servant – who Jesus healed – may have been the Centurian’s lover based on the Greek terms used to describe the relationship.

    Facts are your friends.

  407. Because a Christian does not endorse immorality
    Yes the Uganda story is a lie. Just because homosexuals think the people running Uganda are too stupid to think for themselves – racism? – they choose to blame this on Christians.
    Seriously – yes – learn your Bible
    So you need a Sunday School Lesson on RNS?

  408. Charismatic individuals with an agenda can influence culture. Individuajs from the US went to another country with the goal of inflaming existing religious prejudice against a specific category of of people. They succeeded. The race of any of these people is not relevant. They were all human.

  409. What normal business would not have pretty pictures of their party venue at their stall, plus flyers on how to rent it?

    That would be normal and natural. They have a party venue 22 miles out of town, and hundreds of people walking past their stall. Of course they are going to advertise.

    Their beliefs are not the issue. Behavior is.

    A person can believe child car seats are unnecessary, they still have to use them.

    If you run a business, you have to obey the law. The business can select its product, but they cannot discriminate and sell the product to one person but not another due to the race, religion, gender, etc. of the buyer.

    A motorcycle dealer who thinks that riding motorcycles is unladylike cannot refuse to sell a woman.

    A butcher may choose not to sell pork.
    But if he does sell pork, he cannot refuse to serve a jewish person who wants to buy spareribs.

    Businesses have to obey the law.

  410. So, you figure the people of Uganda aren’t smart enough to think for themselves – racist on the part of the homosexuals.

  411. You are not providing the contract. You are providing a room with a kitchen area and folding tables.

    What the people do with that space during the rental period isn’t yours to judge beyond basic rules that apply equally to all customers.

    No alcohol
    No open bar.
    No hate speech.
    No pets
    Pets only with deposit, case by casee
    No pork
    No confetti
    No candles or open flames

    Any or all of those would be fine.

    You must serve pork
    You may not display non christian religious symbols
    No Greeks

    Those would not be okay.

  412. Take a reading comprehension course. Or retake 4th g

  413. as long as riding & others do not recognize truth or the law of non-contradiction, it will always be hard to have a conversation because lgbtq want their will to be accepted, honored & cherished. Up until 20 years or so ago, same sex couples could not have children in truth. Yes, a sperm or egg may be used via a surrogate but this is not a true SAME sex marriage . Just as a bachelor is an unmarried male, a marriage is a male & female who make a family & hopefully add to it by birthing their own children. Sometimes they cannot but that is the anolmaly, not the norm. You can add that some cultures didn’t follow that plan but a great majority of cultures built families & had children that needed both a dad & mom. Is it equal to have same sex partners (not a true marriage) but not give a girl or boy the male & female they need for healthy upbringing.

  414. Marriages are not based on procreation. Gay marriage is already a legal thing in existence. Nobody has to debate it with you. You guys lost that argument. Get over it. Your opinion doesn’t change anything about the subject.

  415. Did you answer the simple question? No. Can same sex couples together, make babies? No. Can Homosexuality continue our civilization? No. Can you simply recognize any LGBT in a crowd? No. How do one give credence to the unknown? No, one can’t.

  416. So every elderly or infertile person should be barred from marriage?

    Biological children and procreation do not form the basis of marriage.

    And you have the nerve to claim others are redefining marriage?

  417. You can’t restrict who can use it (class of people) if you are open to the public.

  418. Our civilization does not depend on marriage, it depends on procreation, by males and females. Get over it.

  419. No, you are full of crap. You do not get to claim discrimination because you are barred from harming others.

    You want to break laws and harm people with impunity in the name of your faith, go eff yourself.

    If it were done to you, you would call it creeping sharia and call for that person’s head. You are a hypocrite and a legitimately immoral person. To disagree with you and call pit your bigotry is a duty of those who value morals and rule of law.

    Your example lacks relevant context. Is the minister in a church, or a chapel, a military chaplain or just a guy running a store?

  420. His services (location rental) are open to the general public. He is a bigot who wanted to say, “we dont serve fags”. His intent was malicious.

    You are under the mistaken impression that you can excuse malicious and harmful behavior towards others. I don’t have to care what rationale is used here.

    All you have demonstrated to me is you are a bigot who does not want to recognize gays as people and have no respect for their rights.

    The guy is hateful.scum and you are as well for condoning blatant discrimination. He is not being bullied. He is paying the consequences for malicious harm to others.

  421. It’s a legal definition and controls anything important on the subject.

  422. Yet you can’t find any to point out. Your position recycles failed arguments for segregation.

  423. Your opinion has no bearing here. You are being silly. Overpopulation is a global problem.

  424. I guess I could point them out, but if you can’t understand that valuing the fundamental importance of procreation has absolutely nothing to do with demeaning people for the color of their skin, I’m not sure it would lead our conversation anywhere.

  425. Nope. All of your “points” amount to self-delusional nonsense. No one in their right mind ever asserts that LGBTQ will ever be more than an ongoing minority within the human race, making all of your other prejudicial “points” pure nonsense. Furthermore, the need for intervention to procreate is not limited to gay men. All of the interventions they use were developed to help infertile heterosexual couples but also help them to parent. You keep ignoring all of those real points to favor your dark fantasy ones.

  426. Thanks for letting all the sensible people know just how badly your bigotry messes with your thought processes. The real impedance to communication is that you want to dictate the terms of communication and the outcomes thereof, thereby rendering yourself totally irrelevant to the pertinent issues.

  427. Lark62, this comment shows that you’ve now left the weeds and apple cores to go out into the dry dessert! You assume Mr. Tennes was promoting the renting out of his place for weddings, bar mitzvahs, quinceaneras, etc. when no mention of ANY of that was ever made in this article!

    This short article just mentioned that he was marketing products from his farm. Tennes assured the writer of the articel that (he had been) “… serving customers of
    many races, religions, cultures and those who identify with the LBGT
    community.”

    Prohibiting Tennes to sell his farm produce at the farmers’ market was the action of bigots all right! They are bigots who oppose anyone with a deeply held belief that marriage should be between one heterosexual male and one hetersexual female!

    Lark62, please don’t respond to this and any other writing of mine, and make an even bigger display of your ignorance and bigotry!

  428. Ahhh. Feel that speshul kristchun luv.

    If you can read, you will notice that I said advertising their venue at the Farmer’s Market would be normal behavior. I did not conclude absolutely that they did, just that it would be reasonable and normal behavior. Most competent farmers with a party venue would advertise it at a well attended farmer’s market. Why wouldn’t they?

    Tennes stated plainly that he discriminates against gays when renting out his party venue. The fact that he lowers himself to let gays buy his produce does not undo the discrimination in other parts of his business.

    You will also note, if you can read, that I differentiate between beliefs and actions. Others may feel that distinction isn’t valid, and that would be a reasonable area for polite discussion with those capable of conversation.

    I trust you are aware that most people, including business owners, have deeply held beliefs. Despite these deeply held beliefs, most business owners manage to obey the law and serve all customers. Those obsessed with gays think they are upholding some wonderful standard. Everyone else can see the double standard as they reject gays while welcoming every other variety of “sinner.” Christians will mouth platitudes like “We are all sinners” and in the same breath subject gays to treatment no other category of “sinner” has to endure. This is about hate. We can all see the hypocrisy. Nobody is fooled.

    Discrimination is unkind. Discrimination is unloving. And in many places, it is illegal.

    The bible says pretty clearly that Christians should obey government authority. Hmm. Are those sinners allowed to rent the venue?

    I notice that you were too busy calling me names to actually respond to anything I actually said. However, after writing this long response I am not so arrogant as to tell you are not allowed to respond.

  429. May the Lord Bless you for every truth you have pronounced. I guess I really know my place now that you have set me & the whole internet straight…….O I forgot, everyone isn’t straight, are they. Hmmmmmm. PTLA!

  430. You are obviously an insecure person with a sick, inordinate need to be right.

    GET A LIFE!

  431. Then you have a very dishonest and extremely reductive view of marriage.

    Par for the course for people who are looking for excuses to cover up their personal prejudices.

    Those who are just looking for socially acceptable excuses to act badly to others.

  432. “PTLA” is the “Jesus Jihad” shout out, right?

  433. Actually the majority of Catholics support civil gay marriage, so this is not about “all Catholics.”

    We also have to respect the importance of the market place as a space where all citizens should be able to expect equal treatment.

    I was born in the segregated South, lived there during the years of the Civil Rights marches, moved away for about 20 years, and then returned over 25 years ago. The ones behaving like the KKK are those who chose to discriminate against LGBT people, marginalizing them, pushing them to the fringes of economic life, denying them the opportunity to eat in restaurants, sleep in hotels, and rent venues for weddings that are available to those judged “acceptable”. That is how it worked in the segregated South. Is that what you want?

    The farmer needs to stop trying to rent space on his farm for weddings unless he is willing to rent to people of any color, ethnicity, religion, or sexual preference. Then, he can sell his apples in Lansing. He, too, has a choice.

  434. Any Catholic who is for “civil” gay marriage, is breaking the 7th precept of the church and is placing their own soul in eternal damnation.

    Better that we should have zero contact with the barbarians and no businesses and no profit, than to lose heaven.

    And if you try to force it on me, I will fight for my family rather than submit to your LGBT jackbooted thugs.

  435. Posts like this are the definition of bigotry, and anyone reading your comments can attest that.

    I don’t recall seeing such a display of intolerance, self-righteousness and intellectual dishonesty in a long time. I see no point in talking to someone that _doesn’t want_ to understand.

  436. I don’t think that any of those concerns cannot be ironed out by a robust legislation or are more important than _actual_ equality.

    And yes, it can have to do with marriage, depending on how you (re)define it, as discussed earlier.

  437. It’s simple: if it is determined that love and commitment should be the sole driving force behind state and federal marriage laws, then it is utterly and completely illogical to deny five people who love one another the right to marry as a group.
    Anyone who suggests otherwise is suggesting that government should play favorites and show prejudice.

    If two men can marry, despite having no biological ability to reproduce (which some argue is the government’s stake in heterosexual marriage) and without having both genders represented as role models in the household (which others argue is the government’s stake in heterosexual marriage), then certainly two men and a woman can marry. No one can credibly argue that three people cannot be in love.

    If you are entering a contract with two (or more) citizens and you are treating them better than others there must be a return for that. It makes sense to invest on a union that can contribute to society with their offspring; on the other hand I find it pretty silly to demand a special treatment just because you love someone and that person returns the feelings.

    I am more and more incredulous that I have to explain this every time – I think it should be self-evident to anyone pondering on the issue. But hey, doing this would conflict with the the narrative that anyone on the other side of the fence is a bigot… I guess shouting “love is love!” is easier…

  438. I guess that the hat example _can_ be distorted in a way that violates a protected characteristic, I concede that.

    Nonetheless, unless I advertise my services in a very generic way I don’t see any reason why I cannot be as arbitrary and specific as I want:

    -I can make custom cakes, but refuse to print on them pictures I find _subjectively_ offensive;
    -I can hold dance lesson and deem it a women-only school – this doesn’t count as “sex discrimination”;

    Conversely, I can establish my own “made-up” social contract based on the complementariety of genders and advertise it. I wouldn’t even have to give a justification for my arbitrary definition, it’s simply my choice of service to offer.

    I see no reason why the State should interfere with this; what I _cannot_ do, is selling cakes and deny them to a customer based on their sex, ethnicity or sexual orientation – but this is not what we are talking about here.

  439. Oh I know – in the Catholic marriage, the sexual intercourse must be possible for it to be celebrated.

    I disagree about marriage being a fundamental right; what’s a fundamental right is living with and loving the person(s) of your choice, but there can be no fundamental right to a social contract with the State, precisely because of its arbitrary nature.

  440. This applies if I sell a product: I cannot sell carrots and deny them to a customer based on their sex, ethnicity or sexual orientation – but this is not what we are talking about here.

    Nonetheless, if I am offering a service I don’t see any reason why I cannot be as arbitrary and specific as I want:

    -I can make custom cakes, but refuse to print on them pictures I find _subjectively_ offensive;
    -I can hold dance lesson and deem it a women-only school – this doesn’t count as “sex discrimination”;

    Conversely, I can establish my own “made-up” social contract based on the complementariety of genders and advertise it. I wouldn’t even have to give a justification for my arbitrary definition, it’s simply my choice of service to offer.

    I see no reason why the State should interfere with this fundamental freedom.

  441. This applies if I sell a product: I cannot sell carrots and deny them to a customer based on their sex, ethnicity or sexual orientation – but this is not what we are talking about here.

    Nonetheless, if I am offering a service I don’t see any reason why I cannot be as arbitrary and specific as I want:

    -I can make custom cakes, but refuse to print on them pictures I find _subjectively_ offensive;
    -I can hold dance lesson and deem it a women-only school – this doesn’t count as “sex discrimination”;

    Conversely, I can establish my own “made-up” social contract based on the complementariety of genders and advertise it. I wouldn’t even have to give a justification for my arbitrary definition, it’s simply my choice of service to offer.

    I see no reason why the State should interfere with this fundamental freedom.

  442. And again, you are free to make your case to the public and the courts. But what ever your rational it isnt the case of just allowing all to do what somecould alway do – enter the civil contract with a male/female cosigner.

  443. You can set limitations but they can’t directly or indirectly target a civil rights class and there is no way you can define this thing you are creating where it doesn’t to creed, séx, or sexual orientation in some way and actually prevent rental to where there is a mono-séx couple as the center of attention.

    [ran out of breath typing that!]

  444. It’s not a social contract, it’s a civil contract just like adoption contracts are. In America it is a long acknowledged fundamental right and would take an amendment to the Constitution at this late date to change that.

  445. It is also Consumer freedom not to patronize your business for your bigoted beliefs.

  446. So following Jesus Christ in the religion He started is evil to you? Thank you for proving my point that heterophobes are anti-Catholic.

  447. Let me translate this from SandiSpeak, sandimoniously spoken.

    Hey, Look! THem dirty Muzzies throw the homosexuals off buildings, so I get to be a total douchebag and look good in comparison. I get off Scott free, at least in my moral free mind. If you didn’t have such low standards of morality, you would have no moral standards whatsoever.

    Christ condemned not believing in Christ. Sanctioning that is no different than sanctioning your obsession with homosexual immorality.

  448. Just sharing electrons with you and your ilk every couple of days is enough to make me nauseous and slimed.

    The idea of sharing eternity with people like you?

    No thanks.

  449. I would think it would make you feel nauseous and slimed. Talking with people who are cleansed by the Blood of the Lamb would do that to you. You don’t need to remain in that condition though.

  450. My, my , aren’t we jealous this morning.

  451. I am astounded by the sheer hypocrisy of refusing service to a lesbian couple because of conflicting values only to file suit for getting the same treatment as the farmer has given. Obviously, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is not part of that farmer’s religious values. He appears to believe in the Greed-O-Pede “Golden Rule,” which is that those with the gold make the rules. Hypocrisy is the 11th Commandment for social conservatives after all.

  452. Nope. It sounds like you’re jealous of those muslims. Always has sounded that way, dear.

  453. People that want to bathe in blood do tend to make me nauseous. But thanks ofr understanding.

  454. I understand, but I see that you don’t. Good morning to you Ben.

  455. No, my God wrote that we should not murder. I’ll leave that to you. As always, nice to see you.

  456. How about this? Discrimination in commerce should be fought by consumers, not government. If we don’t like what the farmer is doing, boycott the crap out of him. Organize, picket, etc. But bringing the government into it is a Nanny State approach that encourages passivity by the public.

    Also, (side issue) once again, the article never said he sells his facility rentals at the market place.

  457. If He wasn’t who He said He was He was either a liar or a lunatic – in which case He certainly wasn’t good. Or He was who He said He was – Lord. Only 3 choices: liar, lunatic, or Lord.

  458. What did otters ever do to anyone except be insufferably cute?

  459. Mentioning someone’s allegedly poor education is a fallacy. I also notice that you failed to address my point, or explained _why_ you claim it to be a fallacy.

  460. It takes a certain level of delusion, dishonesty and malice to pretend criticing discrimination is a form of bigotry.

    I am not the one who wants to deny goods and services to people based on personal prejudices. So take that “you are the real bigot” BS and shove it. I am not trying to find excuses to attack people with impunity. You are.

  461. It’s not, but I don’t see any point in wasting my time on someone so insecure and intellectual dishonest to having to resort to insults, and who doesn’t even know what a logical fallacy is.

  462. You have a point here – any gay couple could certainly book for a party and celebrate their “marriage” in that party. They might do with some better wording, or a very big and easy-to-read disclaimer.

  463. That is certainly true – although the last time regressive leftists tried to boycott Chik-a-fil, their business actually went up. And not all reasons to oppose same-sex “marriage” are bigoted.

  464. Why should a Municipal Market exclude people that hold a given political position? He is certainly entitled to offer a less generic, more specific type of ceremony in his business. The word “marriage” means different things to different people.

  465. Yeah, Nothing like a little bigotry with your chicken,

  466. You’re on a first name basis with the “king”? Impressive (albeit a little creepy)
    However, instead of talking with a dead man I’ll talk to the living man King Jesus who ever lives to make intercession for Christians. (btw I’ll put in a good word for you when I talk to Him)

  467. Bigotry: intolerance towards those who hold different opinions from oneself, especially on religion or politics.

    I love the irony when bigots use it!

  468. And you are on friendly terms with a mythical animal. Disturbing.

  469. The word “discriminate” means something very specific to the city hosting the market and he violated that meaning. He had one standard in selling service on his farm and expects a different one when buying a city service. He expects the city to give him preferential treatment and ignore his religion-based sexual bigotry. That’s pure hypocrisy.

  470. “And not all reasons to oppose same-sex “marriage” are bigoted.”
    Yes, they are, under the law. You have no greater right for your superstitions to be respected than an LGBTQ married couple does. Since you cannot recognize their unions as marriage, I cannot recognize your superstitions as “religion.” Fair is fair, and unfair is a sin in my book.

  471. “You wrote, “do unto otters”.

  472. Discriminating which services to offer on one’s business does not violate anyone’s rights. His standard is about his own definition of marriage, not about the sexual orientation of the people involved – the city of East Lansing is openly lying.

    Supporting natural marriage is not bigotry, just as not allowing three people to marry is not number-based sexual bigotry.

    People are entitled to their idea of what marriage should be, and are entitled to not be discriminated or persecuted for it.

  473. Of course they are entitled to believe whatever they wish. THat is not the point. He is engaging in business, not merely expressing his opinion.

  474. Funny. I suspect that is not what you were saying when the conservative Christians were waging war against gay people, their families, and the churches and denominations which wanted to see their gay parishioners legally and religiously married.

  475. Nope. Being bigoted about the application of law under the constitution means that you choose to live outside of the US constitution and set yourself above it. You folks are on the path to treason due to bigotry. Bigots and traitors.

  476. He is, and you are free not to buy a service if you don’t like it. What you are not free to do, is expect a business to offer services you would like to see offered.

    Your hurt feelings are not constitutionally protected.

  477. You may have a point – hats may not are not the best example when singling out a specific hat coincide with an ethnicity or group.

    Still, this applies if I sell a product: I cannot sell carrots and deny them to a customer based on their sex, ethnicity or sexual orientation; but if I am offering a service I don’t see any reason why I cannot be as arbitrary and specific as I want:

    -I can make custom cakes, but refuse to print on them pictures I find _subjectively_ offensive;
    -I can hold dance lesson and deem it a women-only school – this doesn’t count as “sex discrimination”;

    Conversely, I can establish my own “made-up” social contract based on the complementariety of genders and advertise it. I wouldn’t even have to give a justification for my arbitrary definition, it’s simply my choice of service to offer. Within this contract I cannot discriminate on race or sexual orientation. but I can define it as a function requiring a man and a woman, or three.

    There are zero reasons why the State should interfere with this fundamental freedom.

  478. That’s great then, because nothing of the sort happened here.

  479. Of course, that is just more disingenuousness on your part. But if antigay people didn’t have disingenuousness, they would have no ingenuousness at all.

    He is offering his venue for weddings. There is no difference in the service he offers and the service that is accepted by his clients whether gay or straight, any more than there is a gay wedding cake and a straight wedding cake, gay flowers and straight flowers, or in your particular whine….

    Between heteroseuxal Christians getting married under the auspices of their faith and gay Christians doing so.

  480. well, then. You ought to be all for those boycotts.

  481. At this stage, the only thing I am interested in is what kind of environment could have generated such a level of dishonesty and bigotry.

    Did you study gender studies at Harvard or something like that? Not sure how else you can confuse “deny a service” with “not offering a service I would like to to see offered”. Different people have different definition of what marriage should be… but of course, I guess these distinctions are lost in the authoritarian, conformist lala-land you seem to live in.

  482. “Prohibiting Tennes to sell his farm produce at the farmers’ market was the action of bigots all right! They are bigots who oppose anyone with a deeply held belief that marriage should be between one heterosexual male and one hetersexual female!”

    Nope. Just the opposite. Bigotry is what bigots do, and “bigot” originally described religious zealots who want to impose their zeal on others. You and the farmer fit that to a T. People wanting equal treatment for everyone under the law fit another word to the T, it’s called “patriot.” When you set your religious bigotry above the law, you cannot be a patriot, but rather a traitor to the law.

  483. The city rules for commerce are legal and the farmer violated them.

  484. He did not discriminate anyone for their sexual orientation. He doesn’t hosts same-sex “marriages” even if the people involved are straight. Are we _still_ confusing sex with sexual orientation here?

  485. Belief about marriage was his pretext to discriminate and put himself above the rule of law. He is asserting that his particular superstitions are above the law and untouchable. Technically, that amounts to treason and makes him vulnerable to Russians or anyone else aimed at hurting America who feeds his need to put himself first above the law.

  486. There are absolutely zero laws preventing people to oppose same-sex “marriage”. And if you are claiming that all those who do are bigots regardless of their reasons, you are bigoted, intellectually dishonest or both.

    In fact, one doesn’t have to be religious to oppose this ridiculous nonsense – equality and common sense is all that it takes.

  487. Thanks. I fixed it. Writing on a tablet while exercising can do that.

  488. He has his own definition of what marriage should be. Faith-based or opinion based, any social contract is arbitrarily defined and everyone has a right to think what it should be.

    Treason? Are you joking?

  489. That makes no sense at all. No one was renting his venue to have sex there. They were renting it to have a party there, the theme of which was to be a wedding. He was not on the guest list, and could have been “absent” if he chose to be. So, your attempted obfuscation is a fail.

  490. Nope. Because you assert that you have a religion-based right to ignore the US constitution in favor of your religious bigotry. That sets you outside the Constitution. Those Americans who stand in opposition to the US Constitution are traitors to it.

  491. You can believe any horse manure you like, but you will either obey the law or suffer the consequences. That is what equal protection means. There is no hallelujah hall pass.

  492. So, one cannot be specific in the theme of the parties that they allow? Wedding receptions are a very specific type of parties and advertised as such.

  493. you keep missing the point – whatever you craft a customer can buy it without civil rights discrimination by the business. And so no you can’t define the genders of the couple since each one has a right to the same treatment regardless of their gender. a customer can buy your ‘man woman’ package and use it for the genders of their choosing, the business has no say in it.

  494. He is free to discriminate, that is to choose which services to offer. He can have any reasons he sees fit for it, and you are welcome not to use his services if you don’t want to.

    Just don’t pretend to tell him what he should do with his business – in the context of what he is serving he is not discriminating anyone by sex, religion, sexual orientation and the like.

  495. That is precisely what he is doing. Yet people are persecuting him and his business because they choose not to offer a service they like.

    Get it straight: your hurt feelings are not constitutionally protected.

  496. Nobody has asserted this. You are making it all up.

  497. Sorry what did you say? I can’t hear you, you’re too high up the clouds of self-righteousness!

  498. Offering to celebrate or host natural marriage is not civil rights discrimination.

    The restriction in sex is not a choice to discriminate people because one doesn’t like women or men, it’s a requirement of this particular social contract. I definitely _can_ offer only a “man woman” package.

  499. Of course you can offer it and someone could buy it for a same-sex wedding.

    Can no more restrict the purchase by the sexes of the couple than you could their race, religion or any other civil rights class.

  500. The city enforced its anti-discrimination policy which is in compliance with the US Constitution. You claim an unconstitutional “hall pass” to equal protection due to religion as if you your claim to freedom of religion gives you the right to ignore the rights of others. “Jesus Sharia” has no more place under the constitution than religious “law” of any sort. Putting such “law” above the US Constitution is treason or on the road to it.

  501. There’s no “hurt feelings,” there’s moral outrage for religious extremism as harmful as a homemade suicide bomb or a terrorist’s knife in the back while walking on the street. Religious hatred cannot be tolerated or accommodated. It tears apart the very fabric of civilization.

  502. If you want to reduce this all to ”hurt feelings”– a clear statement of contempt– then the “hurt feelings” of Mr. apple that he has to serve everyone equally are also beneath contempt.

    But here ya go: the civil rights acts of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of religious belief in public accommodations. This is a constitutionally valid law. By that law, your “hurt feelings” that your religion does not supersede anyone’s else religion are invalid.

    But hey! feel free to challenge that law in court. In fact, I would absolutely encourage it. THe ADF keeps losing just about every single challenge they make to non-discrimination laws. (Of course, losing is as good as winning to them, because they then get to continue scamming the faithful, but that’s not the point). Maybe we will finally get a ruling from SCOTUS which will either toss the religious discrimination clause of the CRA, which will make the fundelibangelists scream in frustration,

    or we’ll get a definitive Ruling that seeking an exceptions to these non discrimination laws simply underlines why we have them.

  503. Yep. But once you open a business to sell that “very specific” service, you are obliged under the law to provide the service to everyone who can legally purchase the service to be rendered. You don’t get a “hallelujah” hall pass to ignore those conditions of business under the law.

  504. “Your hurt feelings are not constitutionality protected.”

    Sure they are if “hurt” by a violation of the law. Discrimination is as much an emotional injury as any other sort. Your effort to minimize injury to “hurt feelings” is actually a whole new effort to injure by means of discrimination through insult and attempted intimidation. The fact that you fail to intimidate does not abrogate you intent to discriminate.

    Thanks for providing a textbook example of “schoolyard bullying” and demonstrating the correlation between bullying and religious extremism.

  505. You are very confused.

    Of course, there aren’t any laws against bigotry. That’s just what goes on in your foggy brain and dark heart. Within those confines, you are free to think whatever you want, or even to think it is thinking.

    What there are laws against is discrimination, a legal concept that has been a part of our laws since at least 1952. And that’s what we’re talking about here.

    Keep trying.

    But what you should do is endorse this statement: “I believe that discrimination, as legally defined, against other people should be legal.” And if you really want to go all the way, “I absolutely support discrimination on the basis of religious belief… except against me and mine, because we are a certain sort of so called Christian.”

  506. Not to mention, protected classes.

  507. Now you are just flinging poo here.

    I am not the one who seeks to attack people without consequence.

    I am not declaring an entire class of people unworthy of the most basic level of civility which is demanded in open commerce.

    I am not the one pretending to be harmed because they face the consequences of harming others in their malice.

    The whole , “choose not to participate” line of BS is in action no different from any other act of discrimination in business. Calling it something else does not change what happens, or even the reason for doing it. There is no beneficent intention here. It is meant to be malicious and demeaning to those on the receiving end.

    Nobody has to give a crap what you think of their marriage if you are in business open to the public providing services and goods for one. Your definition of marriage is your own. The legal, binding one which has real consequences is a different one.

    You are a dishonest bigot who simply wants to rationalize behavior you would never tolerate if done against you.

    People who are moral and civil to others don’t have to worry about such things. Conflict only seems to arise when people feel entitled to attack others out of personal bigotry here.

  508. Scripture says that we are all cleansed by the Blood of the Lamb. But if you mean, “Talking with Christians would do that to you,” it can’t be very good christians. How are we to go out and make disciples of all nations if our goal is to make sick those who disagree with us?

  509. And here is your fundamental misunderstanding – the sex of a person is a protected class, but the sex of a group of people in relation to an arbitrarily defined service is not – otherwise, there could not be sex-specific activities. According to your logic I could sue the Olympics for refusing me to participate in the race of the opposite gender because “civil right classes”? (oh wait I can already do that, I can choose to “identify” as them…)

    Hot dogs are not different if a man or a woman eats them; graphic designers can perform their job irrespective of their sex, hence I cannot refuse a customer on the basis of it.

    But a procreation-oriented marriage ceases to be such when there is no difference in the gender of the people partaking in it. You cannot credibly argue that offering ANY service based on the fundamental difference between man and woman is forbidden on the ground of an arbitrarily defined notion of “equality”; you cannot get rid of any distinction between sexes by claiming that sex is a protected category – this is not the goal of protecting in the base of sex.
    Natural marriage is not suddenly unconstitutional because we allow two (and only two!) people of the same sex to marry.

    There is no greater inequality than calling equal two different things.

  510. Country Mill sells all their products to anyone, hires LGBT people and doesn’t discriminate on sexual orientation of any of their customer.

    They have a right to not host marriages as defined by the State regardless of the reason they choose to do this for.

  511. > “religious extremism as harmful as a homemade suicide bomb or a terrorist’s knife in the back”

    Ok, this takes the cake. You are mistaking opposition to same-sex “marriage” to religious hatred and/or terrorism? Seriously!?!

  512. On complication that is often unstated is that the same word, marriage, is used for the civil contract between spouses and the sacramental (or for non catholics) religious union between two individuals. If this catholic person were to be consistent, he would check into whether or not anybody using his venue for marriage had been married before. If they had (most) any second marriage would be just as illicit as a same sex marriage. In this country, religious leaders are authorized to act as agents of the state in officiating at weddings. This blurs the civil and the religious. Perhaps we would be better of doing as many European countries do and require a civil ceremony and if a religious one is desired that can be added on later.

    But it is not a religious ceremony taking place there, it is a civil one. It is not unreasonable to expect the individual to follow civil laws regarding discriminatory behavior. Also, unless the individual was donating the use of his space, it is hard to imagine how he is “participating” in anything.

  513. but the sex of a group of people in relation to an arbitrarily defined service is not – otherwise, there could not be sex-specific activities.

    Sports are given some latitude in sports by title IX. And that is about it. A business making public offers can’t discriminate unless they can demonstrate:

    • Not excluding members of one sex would harm business operations,
    • The customers’ privacy interests are entitled to protection under law, and
    • No reasonable alternative exists to protect customers’ privacy rights.

    Since there is no privacy concern with a single person at the event being another séx it doesn’t allow the business to discriminate by séx.

    You don’t understand about discrimination laws, they protect everyone involved from illegal discrimination from the couple getting married to the bartenders.

    And pregnancy is protected under civil rights laws under séx laws – no one could refuse customer because of the potential fertility of the couple.

    And it’s perfectly natural for homosexuals to marry their own séx. You can’t define that away and avoid civil rights laws. You could advertise ‘natural marriage’ floral arrangements to the public, and a customer could buy them without discrimination for a wedding of a same-séx couple.

  514. The business does offer the renting of two wedding venues and the customers want exactly what is being offered for sale.

  515. He is not hurt, precisely because he _does_ serve everyone equally – he makes perfectly clear what services he offers and which ones he doesn’t.

    He does not discriminate anyone on the basis of their religious belief nor of their sexual orientation, as continuously reiterated and demonstrated, so I’m not sure what you are talking about.

  516. I’m not sure you know what YOU are talking about.

    No actually, I am sure.

    You don’t.

  517. Neither me and him are “anti gay” (whatever that might mean) – what we both certainly are, is that we are anti gay marriage. Because it’s a travesty and makes no sense at all, from a civil standpoint.

    Having said that, his definition of wedding is not the same as the State’s, in particular the type of service he offers is marriage, as it was defined before its nonsensical redefinition; I guess he may have to clarify this better in his website, but that’s as far as reasonable criticism goes.

    I shouldn’t have to point out that he is free to decide which services to offer and which one he doesn’t, just like a female ballet school (or a female figure skating team, or a circus looking for a male performer) can refuse people of the gender they don’t serve (or not compatible with the service they provide). Within the context of the service they provide they cannot discriminate on protected classes – and indeed, they don’t.

    Because, believe it or not, freedom of association implies the freedom to disassociate. And little left-wing fascists like the town of East Landing – and whoever supports them in their pathetic anti-freedom crusade – will better realising this sooner rather than later.

  518. lol…..I’m figuring a guilty conscience……what about you?

  519. That’s called “rationalization.”

    If you don’t think my life, my love, my family, my children, my faith, my freedom, my participation in society, and my assets are every bit as important as yours, then you are indeed ANTI GAY.

    You can pretend you’re not if it makes you feel better.

    As for left wing fascists? More crap. the civil rights act of 1964 was passed By democrats and republicans, not fascists. The same with the anti discrimination laws that you think are fascist.

    we have laws at every level of government which forbid discrimination on the basis of religious beliefs. this is one of those examples. The vast majority of the courts have all decided that nonsense is all coming from anti gay people who want to pretend they are not antigay.

    Just like you.

    He does not “offer marriage.” HE can’t. he is neither officiating the services, nor is he offering the the marriage license. All he is offering, no matter how much you or he wish and demand to pretend otherwise, a venue for an event. It has nothing to do with freedom of association. Any more than “you can’t sit at my lunch counter” has to do with freedom of association.

    I’m sorry you don’t wish it to be true. take it up with the courts.

  520. My friend, you’re ‘way on the other side of “the line!”

    What does a farmer’s belief about marriage have to do with PATRIOTISM, one’s love of country?

    Speaking of patriotism–and presumably the US constitution and how Americans are different from those living under totalitaritarian regimes, Mr. Tennes was just practicing his freedom to believe however he chooses without the interference of political correctness and the totalitarian tactics of those who would force their views on others. (What you cite as the original description of a bigot!)

    Your comment here sounds as if you haven’t read ANY of the discourse on here! You are apparently,are looking to add your blather to anyone’s comments to make a wonderful demonstration of your IGNORANCE!

    PLease don’t respond to this–or any other posting here! You merely affirm that ignorance to everyone reading Slingshot’s religious news articles!

  521. No, you are not sure what YOU are talking about. You’re simply pretending that what you think is true. IT’s not.

    a word of advice. d