A husband and wife who were fined $13,000 and told they could not discriminate against same-sex couples after refusing to allow a gay wedding on their New York farm have announced that they will “no longer host any wedding ceremonies on their property.”
“Going forward, [Cynthia and Robert Gifford] have decided to no longer host any wedding ceremonies on their property (other than the ones already under contract),” Alliance Defending Freedom allied attorney James Trainor told TheBlaze in a statement.
A judge ruled earlier this month that the Giffords’ farm is a public accommodation because they rent their space out, and they therefore must abide by New York anti-discrimination law.
“Since the order essentially compelled them to do all ceremonies or none at all, they have chosen the latter in order to stay true to their religious convictions, even though it will likely hurt their business in the short run,” Trainor said.
The family will continue hosting wedding receptions, but ceremonies — which have traditionally been hosted inside the Giffords’ home on the property or at another nearby location — will immediately cease. Same-sex receptions will be allowed on the grounds.
The move comes after Jennifer McCarthy and Melisa Erwin, a lesbian couple, approached Cynthia and Robert Giffords in 2012 and inquired about holding their nuptials at the Liberty Ridge Farm in Schaghticoke, New York.
The Giffordses, who are Christian and hold the belief that marriage is restricted to one man and one woman, said the couple was welcome to hold their reception on the property, but not the actual ceremony.
McCarthy and Erwin complained to New York’s Division of Human Rights, claiming they had been discriminated against as a result of their sexual orientation.
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SOURCE: The Blaze – Billy Hallowell