The Corner

Politics & Policy

Progressive City Officials Want to Discriminate against a Farmer Because of His Beliefs

What happens when oh-so-politically-correct city officials find out that a farmer who has long sold his produce in the farmers’ market holds views that they dislike? Can they use their power to ban him from the market, even though his farm is out of their jurisdiction and his beliefs (he won’t do same-sex marriages in his orchard) have nothing to do with the quality of his fruit?

I write about precisely that case, which has arisen in East Lansing, Mich., in this Forbes article.

The farmer made the terrible mistake of saying “no thanks” when two women wanted to get married in his orchard. When one of the women (who married elsewhere) posted a vindictive comment about him on Facebook, he compounded the error by writing to explain why he only does traditional weddings. Now he’s in the crosshairs of the tolerant progressives who run East Lansing.

Can they get away with punishing people simply because they have the power to exclude those whom they dislike? A lawsuit will settle that question.

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.