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Should someone's beliefs disqualify them from participating in the public marketplace? For Michigan farmers Steve and Bridget Tennes that question isn't theoretical. The Tennes run Country Mill Farms and welcome the public to pick apples, peaches and pumpkins there. But when someone asked their beliefs about gay marriage on their Facebook page, the city of East Lansing no longer welcomed them to participate in the local Farmer’s Market—something they've done for six years. You see, the Tennes belief that marriage is between a man and a woman and for that, they were told they couldn't sell their produce there.  If religious freedom means anything, it means to live and work according to your religious convictions. It also means that others, including governments must practice tolerance when it comes to differing beliefs. The case is now in court. 


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Director, Commonwealth Policy Center