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Country Mill Farms v. City of East Lansing

Case Seeking Religious Exemption from LGBTQ Non-Discrimination Laws

Key Date: September 15, 2017
Status: Order Issued in Favor of Plaintiffs
Legal Team: Alliance Defending Freedom
Type: Public Accommodations Discrimination

Case Overview:

Country Mill Farms v. City of East Lansing concerns a business owner in Michigan located outside of the city limits of East Lansing. The business owner would like to participate in farmer’s markets within East Lansing, but in doing so would like to be exempt from abiding by the city’s LGBTQ-inclusive non-discrimination ordinance.

In 2016 Country Mill Farms made headlines for refusing to host a wedding between a same-sex couple at its wedding venue. Following protests, the farm stopped hosting weddings of any kind. Country Mill Farms operates a booth at city farmer’s markets – but in 2017 the vendor application was denied because of the farm’s violation of East Lansing’s LGBTQ non-discrimination ordinance. Country Mill Farms filed the lawsuit seeking to regain entry to the farmer’s market.

The business is represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom, an organization that works aggressively to restrict and roll back non-discrimination protections and basic equality for LGBT Americans.

Latest in the Case:

On September 15, 2017 a federal judge ruled that the City of East Lansing must allow Country Mill Farms reentry into city farmer’s markets, claiming that the city of East Lansing’s rejection of the farm’s vendor application “likely violates their freedom from speech retaliation and their free exercise of religion.”

Last Updated March 1, 2020

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