Get PJ Media on your Apple

The PJ Tatler

Bryan Preston


August 22, 2014 - 8:40 am

Your own private property is no longer safe.

ALBANY—Two farmers in rural Rensselaer County must pay $13,000 in fines and restitution after they rebuffed a lesbian couple who inquired about getting married at their farm, a state agency ruled.

Jennifer McCarthy and her now-wife Melisa (nee Erwin) found Liberty Ridge Farm, which overlooks the Hudson River in Schaghticoke, several miles north of Troy, on the internet and hoped to rent it for their wedding ceremony and reception. Cynthia Gifford, who along with her husband offer a corn maze, market and events at the 100-acre farm, told Melisa McCarthy her same-sex marriage would cause “a little bit of a problem” because the Giffords have a “specific religious belief regarding marriage,” according to court papers.

McCarthy and her wife brought a complaint in conjunction with the New York Civil Liberties Union, saying Liberty Ridge Farm was a public accommodation and the Giffords’ actions were unlawfully discriminatory under state law.

While the McCarthys never entered into a rental contract for the facility, an administrative law judge ruled Gifford “implicitly rescinded the invitation” when she learned Melisa McCarthy’s spouse-to-be was also a woman.

No contract is no protection. The mere inquiry is enough to cost thousands.

“The policy to not allow same-sex marriage ceremonies on Liberty Ridge Farm is a denial of access to a place of public accommodation,” Judge Migdalia Pares wrote. She said the Giffords should pay $3,000 to the women—$1,500 each—for “mental anguish each suffered as a result of respondents’ unlawfully discriminatory conduct.” Citing “the goal of deterrence” as well as the Giffords’ clear stance against same-sex weddings, Pares fined the Giffords an additional $10,000.

So, the judge is proactively punishing thoughtcrime.

My prediction that the current trajectory of this issue will end up with churches declining to support any weddings in their facilities is looking better and better.

The goal here, for some but by no means all same-sex marriage supporters, is to destroy the church or drive it underground. We’re a long way from that, but not as far as most seem to think. They’re making progress.


Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.

Comments are closed.

All Comments   (2)
All Comments   (2)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
You WILL Be Made to Care.... face it, this trend is occurring all around you.
What is the end game here ?
Quite simply, the end game is as variable as people can be, and be surprised at nothing you see or hear. One thing is for sure,...this is 'as good' as it is going to get.
What is the solution ? Look up your State's laws and see if you can start a 'marriage club'/Wedding celebration hall with membership reviews for acceptability ?
In this way it is no longer 'a public accommodation',...I would suppose...
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
I explained this kind of event to a couple of our city council members when Billings was debating a non-discrimination ordinance.
I would host the wedding, bake the cake, or take the photos. If I want the freedom to do so, I have to support the freedom to decline.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
View All

2 Trackbacks to “New York State Fines Farms for Declining to Host Gay Weddings”