The money is part of a settlement between the City of East Lansing and Steve Tennes of Country Mill Farms. Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) filed suit in 2017 on behalf of Tennes and Country Mill Farms after officials excluded Tennes from a farmer's market because of his religious beliefs.
After Tennes posted on Facebook that he follows the Catholic Church's teachings about marriage – including when he participates in weddings at his family's farm – ADF says city officials enacted a new policy to prohibit Tennes and Country Mill Farms from participating in the city's farmer's market.
A federal district court ruled in August that Tennes and is free to continue participating in the farmer's market.
"The court came in with a strong ruling supporting religious freedom for everyone, saying that the City of East Lansing violated Steve's religious beliefs and his free exercise rights when they kicked him out of a farmer's market because of what he believes about marriage," ADF senior counsel Kate Anderson told AFN in August.
"The case has been going on for about six years, so it's been a long haul. But we're really glad to see the court step in and say that 'no one needs to choose between their faith and their business.'"
Approximately $41,000 will cover damages; and about $784,000 will go toward attorneys' fees.
The case is known as Country Mill Farms v. City of East Lansing.