Friday, August 22, 2014

NY Farmers Guilty & Fined for Being Christian

Cynthia and Robert Gifford make a living by renting out a portion of their principle residence — a barn at their Liberty Ridge Farm in Schaghticoke, New York (near Albany) — for birthday parties and wedding ceremonies.  However they declined to accept a lesbian couple's "wedding," so the lesbians from Newark, NJ filed a complaint with the New York State Division of Human Rights, which found the Giffords guilty of discrimination based on sexual orientation and ordered fines against the Giffords totaling $13,000.

For background, read about states passing religious liberty laws to protect citizens and their businesses from lawsuits by homosexualists and/or fines by courts, and to ensure the free practice of religion without government interferenceIn February 2014, the homosexualists exposed their goal to end religious liberty when they descended on Arizona's legislature.

Also read Gay Agenda will be Complete when Christians are Muzzled, Say Homosexualists as well as Senator Ted Cruz Says the Gay Agenda Ends Christian Liberty

UPDATE 10/19/14: Idaho Pastors Face Fines, Jail for Refusing 'Gay Wedding'

UPDATE 6/20/15: Homosexuals Force Closure of Iowa Wedding Chapel

In addition, read 'Gay Marriage' Not Favored in Polls, Only in Court

-- From "N.Y. farm owners fined $13,000 for refusing to host lesbian wedding" by Jessica Chasmar, The Washington Times 8/19/14

When Jennifer McCarthy and Melisa Erwin asked the Giffords to use the facility for a 2012 wedding, Mrs. Gifford, a Christian, said she could only host their reception on the farm, but not the wedding. Weddings typically are conducted on the first floor of the Giffords’ home, and Mrs. Gifford argued the lesbian wedding would “literally hit too close to home,” RNS reported.

New York City Administrative Law Judge Migdalia Pares ruled that the Giffords’ farm, which is also their home, is a place of public accommodation and is therefore subject to New York’s anti-discrimination laws, RNS [Religion News Service] reported.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "A Win for Gay Rights Over 'Religious Liberty' in New York State" by Mark Joseph Stern, Slate 8/18/14

At the heart of the so-called religious liberty debate lies a very simple question: Do religious people, mainly Christians, hold a special right to defy anti-discrimination ordinances and refuse service to certain people based on their identity?

. . . New York state law bars places of public accommodation from discriminating based on sexual orientation—and the Giffords were quite honest about their reasons for turning away Erwin and McCarthy. As a result, the Giffords must pay a $10,000 fine for violating the law, plus $1,500 to both Erwin and McCarthy for “mental pain and suffering.”

. . . Under anti-discrimination law, when you open your business to the public, you open your business to all of the public. You don’t get to pick out certain classes of people and treat them differently, as the Giffords attempted to do. The Giffords don’t operate a church; they run a business—an LLC, in fact—and they are out to make a profit. If they don’t like following the laws that govern LLCs, they can simply forfeit their profit and establish a house of worship, or close their business to the general public.

To read the entire opinion column above, CLICK HERE.

From "Farm owners fined for saying no to lesbian wedding" by Sarah Pulliam Bailey, Religion News Service, Washington Post 8/19/14

“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.

“Liberty Ridge Farm has employed gay people and has conducted events for same-sex couples,” Trainor said. “The Giffords’ objection was to hosting and participating in the wedding ceremony itself and not to providing service in general to lesbians.”

McCarthy asked if it was legal for the farm to have a policy not to have ceremonies on the site, and Gifford responded that it was because “we are a private business,” according to the case.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read that Vice President Biden declared that the Gay Agenda must trump religious beliefs.