Christian farm owners fined $13,000 for declining to host lesbian wedding

The Gaystapo strikes again.

A Christian couple who own a farm in upstate New York are being fined $10,000 for declined a lesbian couple’s request to hold a wedding ceremony on their property. The owners are also ordered to to pay $1,500 to each lesbian.

Liberty Ridge Farm

The Washington Post reports, Aug. 19, 2014, that Cynthia and Robert Gifford, who own Liberty Ridge Farm near Albany, rent their facilities for birthday parties and about a dozen weddings each year.

Cynthia & Robert Gifford

Cynthia & Robert Gifford

When Jennifer McCarthy and Melisa Erwin, a lesbian couple from Newark, N.J., requested to use the facility for their 2012 wedding, Cynthia Gifford offered the farm for a reception, but not for the wedding ceremony. Weddings typically are conducted on the first floor of the Giffords’ home or in an adjacent field.

Jennifer McCarthy (l), Melisa Erwin (r)

Jennifer McCarthy (l), Melisa Erwin (r)

James Trainor, the Giffords’ lawyer, said the farm owners attend a community church and cite their religious belief of marriage between a man and woman for declining to hold a same-sex wedding on their property. “Liberty Ridge Farm has employed gay people and has conducted events for same-sex couples,” Trainor said. “The Giffords’ objection was to hosting and participating in the wedding ceremony itself and not to providing service in general to lesbians.”

But administrative law judge Migdalia Pares of the Bronx rejected the Giffords’ argument that the farm, which is also their home, is not a place of public accommodation and is therefore not subject to the anti-discrimination provisions of New York’s Human Rights Law. Pares ruled that although the Giffords reside at Gifford Barn, Liberty Ridge qualifies as a public accommodation because it regularly collects fees for space, facilities, services and meals, so it cannot be considered “distinctly private.”

The Giffords must pay $13,000 in fines and restitution. Their lawyer says they are considering whether to appeal or pursue further legal action.

The now-married lesbians filed a complaint with New York’s Division of Human Rights, and the administrative law judge said that Liberty Ridge “unlawfully discriminated against complainants solely on the basis of their sexual orientation.”

Earlier this year, several states, including Kansas and Arizona, considered legislation that would allow people who object to same-sex marriage to cite their religious beliefs as a defense if faced with a discrimination lawsuit. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed the bill in her state; the Kansas bill died in the state Senate.

See also:

~Eowyn

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33 responses to “Christian farm owners fined $13,000 for declining to host lesbian wedding

  1. The new fascism is coming on really fast!

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  2. How does the Judge come up with that sum of money? So each Chicko gets 1,500 and the lawyers get money where does the rest go? With their “WIN” I hope they join a gym……or call Mooochelle for a good diet. Do I sound mean? Good. It was meant that way. Forcing people to go against their beliefs is wrong.

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  3. This is a truly appalling misreading of our Constitution, the Bill of Rights and its Amendments, and everything the Founders were about. I’m choked!!

    In Dr Richard Weaver’s conservative classic, ‘Ideas Have Consequences’, there is an entire chapter devoted to the concept of private property and its social & political meanings, which he places at the apex of conservative philosophy.

    These people have been railroaded by a narrow interpretation of existing laws and what’s left of our mores, so much so that I’m too choked to fully express myself. Read “Ideas Have Consequences’ and see how far we have fallen!

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    • Agree Joseph—does anyone ever wonder how long it might be until they fire up the bonfires and start lashing Christians to the stake in this country? They already are doing it elsewhere…even if not the burning at the stake method. It appears to me that in the USA..we’re at the figurative equivalent of some of the radicals of Islam about this stuff…You know…ISIS now is forcing Christians to convert or die. A small businessman in the USA now has the same figurative choice about his business…”convert” to the forceful acceptance of gay marriage against personal religious belief…or you will be fined to death as a business.

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  4. Recreational gay Christian-bashing…

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  5. Hey girls!! Ever wander what you would be if your parents had been Gay?

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  6. If courts will fine a farm for not going against their religious beliefs then it should hold true that if I went to a Muslim market and decided that I want bacon and I wanted to be able to buy it there than I should be able to sue them for not having it in the store and refusing to carry it……..RIGHT????

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  7. Just once, just one little time, I would like to see one of these homosexual couples, of either sex, demand a wedding cake from a Muslim baker, or wedding photos from a Muslim photographer, or that the wedding be hosted on Muslim ground….

    By golly, THAT would be some fine entertainment!

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  8. k2globalcommunicationsllc

    Set em up in the pig sty; seems appropriate, let them wallow in muck and mire.

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  9. I’m just curious here, where in any law does it state that one “must” serve the sick sexual deviants with whatever they ask? Or do the “anti-hate” (Read: pro-hate) laws somehow make that possible? What ever happened to the “we reserve the right to refuse service to anybody for any reason” stuff?

    This all sounds to me like a pair of woefully sick people having a temper tantrum because they were reminded that they are ill, and that they were exploiting the “hate-speech” etc. laws for personal profit and/or unjust “vengeance” upon people with whom they did not agree. It would appear that the judges are proving that they merit the “black robe mafia” name, and also that they are no longer fit to be judges.

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  10. you know this really is annoying. Personally, I think that everyone should be able to marry, gay, straight, whatever…I think that it is a basic human right and it should not be denied anyone. However, I realize that a lot of people disagree with me…and I would defend to my last dying breath their right to disagree. However, forcing this down someone’s throat is a whole other issue. This country was built on religious freedom…this is not an example of freedom. No matter how they came up with this sum…this is enough to put most small farmers or small business owners out of business. I think we should start an account to contribute to paying the fine to keep these folks in business…and by these folks I mean the farmers. While I do believe these two ladies should be able to marry, if they choose to do so, I do not think that they are entitled to cash because they are denied their venue of choice, no matter the reason why. I think that small business owners DO have the right to refuse service to someone if that is their choice. this whole thing is ridiculous…but the ones hurt are not the gay chicks…it is the farmer and his wife who are trying to run a business and uphold their Christian beliefs. So…did the lesbians check out any Amish farms? Maybe they could get married there. Oh no??? Well let’s fine all those close minded Amish then. No this is wrong all the way around. The Amish are not at fault and neither are these folks. How can we help?

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  11. This Yankee judge needs strung up, along with the ONE 1 percent of the people that want to tell the rest of us to change our values to serve them, NOT!!!! This is America not Nazi Germany! Semper Fi.

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  12. I would not rent my farm to homos or lesbians unless they wanted
    to use my range. They could be human targets and their frustration with society could be ended,

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    • No suggestions of violence please.

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      • Promoting or advocating violence against a person or persons is a violation of Word Press’ Terms of Service, for which WP can unilaterally shut down this blog. Promoting or advocating violence against a person or persons is also against the philosophy of Fellowship of the Minds.

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  13. Farm owners were dumb. They should have gone ahead and rented it to the dykes then peppered the entire ceremony with Scripture. AND handed out pamphlets.

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    • you know…I think that that is wrong too. I DO think they should have the right to refuse to do anything against their beliefs…but the gay couple was not harmed. The farmers did not keep them from marrying…only from doing it at their place of business. If they were not harmed, then where is this fine coming in? That’s justice…to right wrongs. If you kill someone you go to prison…that’s the price of murder. If you steal then you have to pay fines and restitution…but these folks were NOT harmed. They got married…so why are the farmers being punished? It makes no sense.

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      • catherine—I want you on the Supreme Court: of COURSE they were not harmed…they still got married…they just couldn’t marry at a venue of their choice for one reason or another. BOO HOO. When did the bar for proving “lasting harm” get set so low with these frivolous cases? My parents (specifically my sainted, departed father) taught me that MY RIGHTS ended at the end of my “fist” and where the next guy’s NOSE began. Doesn’t anyone teach THAT anymore? It’s a totally SANE way to look at rights an law. But, under Obama and Holder, our so-called “law” has gone viral, run-amuck, gone off the deep end, spread into uncontrollable, un-codified, illogical namby-pamby CRAP.

        Maybe someone wants to get married on the top of Mt McKinley at a “bad” time of year on the mountain….Is ANYONE else obliged to accomodate them?? NO! I bet you NOT EVEN a guide in business at the mountain if it doesn’t “fit in” with his/her beliefs–about weather patterns, the angry mountain gods/availability/professional interests or “schedule.” So…does that MEAN that, if I wanted to get married in an upscale resort off-shore American protectorate,, but could NOT afford it b/c I’m too poor and maybe too old to make the trip…that I could SUE the resort on one of those grounds (too poor, too old)…how dare they be HOURS away by plane…so far as to threaten my travel in old age…Doesn’t the Constitution protect me from being discriminated against by age (in theory)? I should be able to sue the pants off of them unless they can come up with a way to get me there and accomodate MY NEEDS/WANTS that are no fault of my own. It’s “just” a chonological thing that we all have NO CONTROL OVER, like being “born Gay.” OMG…I’m so sick of our government increasingly (JUST LIKE THE ED.SYS. TODAY in OUR COUNTRY) blurring the lines among “wants, needs, privileges and actual God-given /human rights.” Ditto this on all the immigration/illegals crap….from driver’s licensing to medical care to free education,to WHATEVER ad nauseum. I guess I’m on a roll 🙂 so I’ll stop.

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  14. Please no violence. Not even a laughing reference to possible violence. the world is quite violent enough without any help from me. The point is…the only people being hurt are the farmers. This is enough to end their livelihood. I feel that if you believe THEY were wronged, then you should be willing to stand with them in their time of need. The gay community has legions of supporters but these folks trying to make a living and up hold their own beliefs are being punished. Not fair. Not right. Not what we are supposed to stand for. so….again…how can we help. Does anyone know how to set up a fund me account?

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  15. Screwed it for everybody else. Good job jerks!

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  16. Thank you Dr. Eowyn for this important post. I hope the Giffords appeal this poor and ridiculous Decision.

    Like

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