A Christian family has been fined $13,000 for refusing to host a lesbian wedding ceremony on their New York farm. Ruled a violation of the state’s Human Rights Law and deemed to have “unlawfully discriminated against complainants,” the family’s refusal has has not only resulted in a fine, but a mandate for the family to post an anti-discrimination poster on their farm for everyone to see.
08/22/2014 United States (Christian Post) – A New York judge issued a Christian family a $13,000 fine after the family’s refusal to allow a same-sex couple to use their family farm, which they live on and rent out for various events and ceremonies, as the venue for the couple’s wedding ceremony.
Cynthia and Robert Gifford’s denial of the same-sex ceremony was ruled a violation of the state’s Human Rights Law and deemed to have “unlawfully discriminated against complainants” by administrative judge Migdalia Peres in her ruling. Additionally, the family will have to post an anti-discrimination poster on their farm for everyone to see.
The Giffords live on Liberty Ridge Farm about 20 miles north of Albany, which is open to the public on a daily basis. The farm spans over 100 acres and hosts a plethora of activities, including weddings, parties, receptions, berry picking, corn mazes, and even a fall festival.
In September 2012, the Giffords respectfully declined to host the wedding ceremony of Melissa Erwin and Jennifer McCarthy when the same-sex couple expressed interest in using their farm as the wedding venue. However, the Giffords tried to make amends by offering to host the same-sex couple’s reception party afterwards. Despite this offer, the same-sex couple still brought forth an “unlawful discrimination” suit claiming that the rejection of their wedding venue request had caused them mental anguish and set them months back in their search for another location.