Christian farm owners will no longer host wedding ceremonies after gay couple's lawsuit

(LibertyRidgeFarmNY.com)Liberty Ridge Farm

A New York couple fined and ordered to allow same-sex wedding ceremonies at their farm have decided they will no longer host any wedding ceremonies on their property.

Liberty Ridge Farm owners Cynthia and Robert Gifford, both Christians, decided to forgo all weddings rather than accommodate same-sex couples. They will still allow same-sex wedding receptions at the farm, however.

"Going forward, [Cynthia and Robert Gifford] have decided to no longer host any wedding ceremonies on their property (other than the ones already under contract)," Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) allied attorney James Trainor, who represents the Giffords, 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."

The Giffords lost a lawsuit last month filed by Jennifer McCarthy and Melisa Erwin, a lesbian couple. In 2012, McCarthy and Erwin wanted to be married at the upstate New York farm, but the Giffords denied their request. State law forbids discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Judge Migdalia Pares found the Giffords guilty, and ordered them to pay a $10,000 fine, $1,500 each to McCarthy and Erwin, and end discriminatory practices. The ADF reported that their clients must also "teach classes to their employees that impose the state's view of marriage". 

"The government should not force anyone to participate in or celebrate an event that violates their faith and beliefs. However, that's exactly what the state of New York has done to the Giffords," an ADF representative said.

"The Giffords serve all people with respect and care. They have hired homosexual employees and have hosted events for same-sex couples."

The Schaghticoke residents have not decided if they will appeal the decision.

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