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Culture In NY: Saying no to 'gay wedding' puts your business at risk

Posted by on Nov. 10, 2013 at 8:01 AM
  • 351 Replies


New York's homosexual marriage and anti-discrimination laws are already taking a toll on Christian business owners, one of whom is currently before the state's Human Rights Commission.

Robert and Cynthia Gifford own the 100-acre Liberty Ridge Farm, a business in Schaghticoke that hosts various events for children and for adults – including weddings. Jason McGuire of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms explains the problem the Giffords face revolves around that.

McGuire, Jason (New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms)"Unfortunately, a lesbian couple approached them seeking to have their wedding on the property," McGuire tells OneNewsNow. "I believe it was a setup as they recorded the phone conversation with the Giffords, and the Giffords told them no – and now the Giffords family, the farm owners, are facing a human rights law violation."

The Giffords argue their farm is a private business on private property, and they believe their constitutional freedom of religion – specifically their belief that marriage is between one man and one woman – trumps state law.

"They have religious convictions against same-sex marriage," McGuire explains, "and when New York passed its gay marriage law [in 2011] it required that businesses would perform and allow to be performed these same-sex ceremonies on their properties.

"But for the Giffords this is a matter of religious convictions as this is their home – and we don't believe their religious convictions should have to be thrown out the window just because the state law has changed."

A decision is expected from the administrative law judge within a few weeks and at that point either party can seek an appeal in civil court.

According to The Associated Press, the lesbian couple is no longer interested in using Liberty Ridge Farm as a wedding venue. Said one of the lesbians: "We just want to know that the policy is being changed to fit the laws so this doesn't happen to anyone else."

The lesbian couple filed the complaint against the Giffords on October 11.

source
by on Nov. 10, 2013 at 8:01 AM
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Replies (1-10):
romalove
by Roma on Nov. 10, 2013 at 8:03 AM
33 moms liked this

What part of "public accommodations business" do people not understand?

You have a public accommodation for weddings, you can't discriminate.


Lunarprancer
by Silver Member on Nov. 10, 2013 at 8:03 AM
1 mom liked this

popcorn

Lunarprancer
by Silver Member on Nov. 10, 2013 at 8:04 AM
10 moms liked this

Lol, "said one of the lesbians".  

mikiemom
by Ruby Member on Nov. 10, 2013 at 8:06 AM
7 moms liked this

Consequences of being a bigot -

coolmommy2x
by Gold Member on Nov. 10, 2013 at 8:07 AM
Why can't we all just get along?
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
acrogodess
by Silver Member on Nov. 10, 2013 at 8:08 AM
9 moms liked this
Sounds a bit set up to me too and why would anyone want to hold their wedding venue somewhere they clearly aren't wanted is beyond me. I don't think business owners should be held liable as long as they were respectful in their explanation. There can be said that having policies in place that say "No shoes. No shirt. No service." is discriminatory, but no one ever contests that.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
candlegal
by Judy on Nov. 10, 2013 at 8:16 AM
2 moms liked this
Definitely sounds like a setup

Quoting acrogodess:

Sounds a bit set up to me too and why would anyone want to hold their wedding venue somewhere they clearly aren't wanted is beyond me. I don't think business owners should be held liable as long as they were respectful in their explanation. There can be said that having policies in place that say "No shoes. No shirt. No service." is discriminatory, but no one ever contests that.
FlowerGirl777
by Bronze Member on Nov. 10, 2013 at 8:19 AM
14 moms liked this

This is copied from an ACLU article about a case where a same sex couple were discriminated about due to the resort owner's religiious beliefs. (Sorry I can't hyperlink) The owner of the resort that refused to let a same sex couple stay there lost in court. And, in my opinioin, rightly so. We are a nation of laws, and if someone wants to discriminate, they shouldn't run a business. This reminds me of the Woolworth sandwich counter. It wasn't right then, and it isn't now. 


Many people believe that owning a business means that the business owner has the absolute right to serve, or refuse to serve, whomever they like, but that’s simply not true.  In fact, our legal system has for hundreds of years treated inns and hotels as public accommodations that have a duty to serve all customers on equal terms.   We do not let business owners rely on their religious beliefs to turn away customers based on their race, or to refuse to hire women, or to avoid complying with laws about fair labor standards.   When business owners argued that federal civil rights laws violated their religious beliefs by requiring them to stop racially segregating their customers, the courts rightly rejected those claims as frivolous.

We do not let wedding-reception businesses – or any other business – turn away customers because of the couple’s race, or because the reception is for an interfaith couple, or because the husband is divorced, or because the couple uses birth control.  The same principles apply when the customer is a same-sex couple.  Everyone is entitled to their own religious beliefs, but when you operate a business in the public sphere those beliefs do not give you a right to discriminate.


iamcafemom83
by Bronze Member on Nov. 10, 2013 at 8:25 AM
2 moms liked this
Is gay money different from straight money??
If I were a business owner, especially in the wedding industry, I would be limiting myself to straight only marriages!
From an income perspective, by shunning gay marriage, I do think people like the Giffords will lose out on not only income from gay and lesbian weddings, but also their straight counterparts who support gay marriage and do not wish to spend their wedding budgets on businees owners who discriminate.
romalove
by Roma on Nov. 10, 2013 at 8:26 AM
6 moms liked this


Quoting acrogodess:

Sounds a bit set up to me too and why would anyone want to hold their wedding venue somewhere they clearly aren't wanted is beyond me. I don't think business owners should be held liable as long as they were respectful in their explanation. There can be said that having policies in place that say "No shoes. No shirt. No service." is discriminatory, but no one ever contests that.

You are comparing something like coming someplace topless and shoeless with being a gay couple wanting a wedding?

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