Tags: Gay Marriage | Religion | farm couple | gifford | end fight | against | host

NY Couple End Fight Against Hosting Gay Marriages on Their Farm

Image: NY Couple End Fight Against Hosting Gay Marriages on Their Farm
 (Gabriel Bouys/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 23 Feb 2016 09:09 PM

A New York couple ordered to pay $13,000 for refusing to host a same-sex wedding at their rural farm because it conflicts with their Christian belief are reportedly ending their legal fight.

A state appeals panel ruled in January that Cynthia and Robert Gifford's refusal was unlawfully based upon sexual orientation, and the couple won't challenge the January decision, the Daily Signal reports. 

"We looked at the road ahead, we saw that we had an uphill climb, and I think the Giffords wanted to get on with their lives — as committed as they are to the cause," their lawyer, James Trainor, tells the Daily Signal. "It took its toll on them as a family and a business."

The dispute began in 2012, when Cynthia Gifford, citing her Christian beliefs about marriage, refused to have the wedding of Melisa Erwin and Jennifer McCarthy at the Gifford's Liberty Ridge Farm in Schaghticoke, N.Y. north of Albany.

Two years later, an administrative judge for the New York Division of Human Rights fined the Giffords $10,000, ordered them to pay the gay couple and to implement "anti-discrimination training and procedures."

"New York is pretty wedded to its Human Rights Law and finding discrimination where they can, so that probably makes it more difficult of a climb here in New York than some places elsewhere," Trainor tells the Daily Signal. "But I think it’s a difficult climb throughout the country right now."

Trainor said the Giffords will probably have to rework some of its business practices; they open their farm to both public and private events.

"This is still very near and dear to their heart and they still feel very strongly about their religious convictions and their right to be able to exercise their religious liberties through their work," the lawyer tells the Daily Signal.

"It’s just unfortunate that the climate is such that our state and the federal government don’t allow us to do that."

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A New York couple ordered to pay $13,000 for refusing to host a same-sex wedding at their rural farm because it conflicts with their Christian belief are reportedly ending their legal fight. A state appeals panel ruled in January that Cynthia and Robert Gifford's refusal...
farm couple, gifford, end fight, against, host, gay marriage
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2016-09-23
Tuesday, 23 Feb 2016 09:09 PM
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