Michigan farmer uses sign to protest federal case over religious - WNEM TV 5

Michigan farmer uses sign to protest federal case over religious beliefs

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If you're driving north on U.S. 127, you might see a sign that catches your eye. In big, bold letters it reads: "The City of East Lansing DISCRIMINATES AGAINST FARMERS."

It’s eight words one man hopes will send a message to those traveling by.

“If you don't agree with what the City of East Lansing believes in or their policies, then you might want to keep your mouth shut, or the city of East Lansing is going to discriminate against them,” Kyle Barnhart said.

In May, the Tennes family filed a lawsuit against the City of East Lansing after it banned them from selling their crops because of religious beliefs. The Tennes’ farm is often a site for weddings. He said he reserves the right to reject same-sex weddings.

When Barnhart heard about it he knew as a fellow farmer he needed to take a stand.

After reaching out to the city to share his opinion about banning the Tennes family, Barnhart decided to protest, hoping others will also realize the significance of his sign.

“Maybe take a little more interest in what is going on with a city that's that close by,” Barnhart said.

Barnhart said by targeting the Tennes family, the city is violating its own civil rights ordinance. He said, for him, the issue isn't about gay marriage - it's about how city officials handle a problem...

Out CBS affiliates at WLNS reached out to the City of East Lansing for comment, but didn't hear back.

Meanwhile, legal counsel for Country Mill Farms said they're appreciative of those who have supported them saying, "What is said on the sign is true. The city is violating its civil rights ordinance by discriminating against the Tennes family and their religious beliefs.”

The Tennes’ case is still pending in federal court.

Copyright 2017 CBS News / WLNS. All rights reserved. 

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