US venue fined for refusing lesbian wedding; denied appeal

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A New York state business who were fined $13,000 USD for denying a lesbian couple the right to marry at their venue have been denied the opportunity to appeal their case under the state’s anti-discrimination law.

Liberty Ridge Farm owners Cynthia and Robert Gifford refused to allow Melisa and Jennie McCarthy to marry on their premises near Albany, New York. The Gifford’s claimed they had the right to refuse the ladies’ request on the grounds of their Christian beliefs, and appealed to New York’s Division of Human Rights.

“The Giffords are free to adhere to and profess their religious beliefs that same-sex couples should not marry,” presiding Supreme Court Appelate Division Judge Karen Peters ruled.

“But they must permit same-sex couples to marry on the premises if they choose to allow opposite-sex couples to do so.”

The Gifford’s attourney Caleb Dalton of the Alliance Defending Freedom claims the court “should have rejected this unwarranted and unconstitutional government intrusion.”

Melisa and Jennie McCarthy were successfully joined in marriage at an alternative venue.

OIP Staff

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