Christian Farm Owners End Legal Battle Against Lesbians


Robert and Cynthia Gifford, owners of the Liberty Ridge Farm in New York state, are not going to appeal a legal case that found them guilty of discriminating against a lesbian couple who wanted to be married on the farm in 2013.

After the Giffords turned down Melisa and Jennie McCarthy based on what they cited as Christian beliefs, the Giffords were found guilty of violating an anti-discrimination law by the state's Division of Human Rights and fined $13,000.

In January, a New York state appeals court upheld the ruling.

The Giffords' lawyer said on Feb. 22 that the couple will not appeal the ruling and is deciding how to run their business "under a legal regime that disregards their convictions," reports The Associated Press.

The McCarthys, who were married on another farm, said in a statement via the New York Civil Liberties Union in January: "We are so thrilled with the news we received today. This decision not only recognizes how discrimination has affected the two of us, it also helps to protect others from being targeted by the same type of discrimination."

"We are pleased that this difficult experience has been able to set further precedent that discrimination is unacceptable, and grateful that going forward other couples will be less likely to have the joy of their wedding planning tarnished by discrimination."

Sources: AP via ABC News, New York Civil Liberties Union / Photo credit: David Goehring/Flickr

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