Farm Refuses to Cowtow on Marriage


By Tony Perkins

There’s been a bumper crop of same-sex “marriage” controversies — and the latest victim is a New York family farm. Two years ago, a lesbian couple approached the Christian owners about renting the property for their same-sex “wedding” — only to be turned down. The Gifford family said they’d be happy to open up the barn to a reception, but because of their faith, couldn’t — in good conscience — participate in the ceremony.

Angry, the couple complained to the New York Human Rights Commission, which last month ordered Liberty Ridge to pay $13,000 in fines for refusing to violate their faith. The family’s attorney, Alliance Defending Freedom’s James Trainor, was shocked.

“Liberty Ridge Farm has employed gay people and has conducted events for same-sex couples,” he explained. “The Giffords’ objection was to… participating in the wedding ceremony itself and not to providing service in general to lesbians.” Late last week, ADF announced that the controversy will cost Liberty Ridge a lot more than $13,000. “Going forward, (Cynthia and Robert Gifford) have decided to no longer host any wedding ceremonies on their property,” Trainor told The Blaze. “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.”

For the Giffords, the financial impact of their decision (and the Commission’s) is enormous. Once again, the trumpeters of “tolerance” have taken away a family’s security — their livelihood — to make a political point. As far as they’re concerned, freedom is a one-way street that will run right over your business, if necessary. So remind me again, which side is being discriminated against?

Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law.

(Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)

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