Farm fined for refusing to host gay wedding

Details, from Religion News Service: 

Christian farm owners in upstate New York who declined a lesbian couple’s request to hold a wedding ceremony on their property have been fined $10,000 and ordered to pay the women $1,500 each.  

Cynthia and Robert Gifford, who own Liberty Ridge Farm near Albany, rent their facilities for birthday parties and about a dozen weddings each year.

When Jennifer McCarthy and Melisa Erwin, a same-sex 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.

“It literally hits close to home,” said the Giffords’ lawyer, James Trainor. He 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.

The ruling has since forced the owners to make some adjustments:

The farm owners have decided to no longer host any wedding ceremonies on their farm, other than the ones already under contract, according to the Alliance Defending Freedom. “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,” ADF states. “They will continue to host wedding receptions.”

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