NY Farm Yanks Wedding Ceremonies After $13k Court Fine for Refusing Lesbian Wedding

by
August 31, 2014

Cynthia and Robert Gifford, owners of Liberty Ridge Farm in New York, used to rent out their farm so couples could get married on the grounds. They will no longer offer such services because the state ruled they had to violate their Christian beliefs and allow same-sex weddings on their property.  The state had fined the Giffords $13,000 when they refused to allow a lesbian couple, Jennifer McCarthy and Melisa Erwin, to be married on their farm in 2012. The Giffords were against a wedding ceremony for the lesbian couple but said a wedding reception would be permissible. The lesbians filed suit, telling New York’s Division of Human Rights they had been discriminated against. Judge Migdalia Pares ruled because Liberty Ridge Farm is a public accommodation it had to acquiesce to the lesbians’ request. The judge said the farm was a public accommodation because it rents the space to customers and regularly collects public fees from the public. Pares said that just because the Giffords live on the farm did not make their business private, fining them $10,000 and ordering them to pay each woman of the couple $1,500. The Giffords said they will “no longer host any wedding ceremonies on

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