Jennifer McCarthy and Melisa Erwin, a same-sex couple from Newark, requested to use the Liberty Ridge Farm for their wedding ceremony and were denied. Photo courtesy of New York Civil Liberties Union

Farm owners fined for saying no to lesbian wedding

Jennifer and Melisa McCarthy, photo courtesy of New York Civil Liberties Union

Jennifer McCarthy and Melisa Erwin, a same-sex couple from Newark, requested to use the Liberty Ridge Farm for their wedding ceremony and were denied. Photo courtesy of New York Civil Liberties Union

 This image is available for web publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

Update (8/29): The farm owners have decided to no longer host any wedding ceremonies on their farm, other than the ones already under contract, according to attorney Jim Trainor. "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," ADF states. "They will continue to host wedding receptions."

NEW YORK (RNS) Christian farm owners in upstate New York who declined a lesbian couple's request to hold a wedding ceremony on their property have been fined $10,000 and ordered to pay the women $1,500 each.  

Cynthia and Robert Gifford, who own Liberty Ridge Farm near Albany, rent their facilities for birthday parties and about a dozen weddings each year.

When Jennifer McCarthy and Melisa Erwin, a same-sex couple from Newark, N.J., requested to use the facility for their 2012 wedding, Cynthia Gifford offered the farm for a reception, but not for the wedding ceremony. Weddings typically are conducted on the first floor of the Giffords’ home or in an adjacent field.

“It literally hits close to home,” said the Giffords' lawyer, James Trainor. He said the farm owners attend a community church and cite their religious belief of marriage between a man and woman for declining to hold a same-sex wedding on their property.

Administrative Law Judge Migdalia Pares of the Bronx rejected the owners' argument that the farm, which is also their home, is not a place of public accommodation and is therefore not subject to the anti-discrimination provisions of New York's Human Rights Law.

The decision said Liberty Ridge qualifies as a public accommodation because it regularly collects fees for space, facilities, services and meals, so it cannot be considered “distinctly private.”

“The fact that the Giffords also reside at Gifford Barn,” the decision says, “does not render it private.”

The farmer owners must pay $13,000 in fines and restitution, the agency ruled. Trainor said the Giffords are considering whether to appeal or pursue further legal action.

Liberty Ridge Farm owners in upstate New York who declined a same-sex couple’s request to hold their wedding at the site have been fined and ordered to pay the couple. Photo courtesy of Michael Velardi

Liberty Ridge Farm owners in upstate New York who declined a same-sex couple’s request to hold their wedding at the site have been fined and ordered to pay the couple. Photo courtesy of Michael Velardi

 This image is available for web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

“Liberty Ridge Farm ... has employed gay people and has conducted events for same-sex couples,” Trainor said. “The Giffords' objection was to hosting and participating in the wedding ceremony itself and not to providing service in general to lesbians.”

McCarthy asked if it was legal for the farm to have a policy not to have ceremonies on the site, and Gifford responded that it was because “we are a private business,” according to the case.

The women, who are now married, filed a complaint with New York’s Division of Human Rights, and the administrative law judge said that Liberty Ridge "unlawfully discriminated against complainants solely on the basis of their sexual orientation."

"All New Yorkers are entitled to their own religious beliefs, but businesses cannot discriminate based on sexual orientation any more than they can based on race or national origin," said Mariko Hirose of the New York Civil Liberties Union, lead counsel for the couple.

The farm case represents the most recent legal challenge to private businesses that provide services for weddings but refuse service to same-sex couples.

Last year, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled that a Christian photographer could not refuse to shoot gay wedding ceremonies. Even though at the time the state did not officially recognize gay marriage, the court ruled that declining to photograph a gay wedding was similar to declining to work at an interracial wedding.

Most recently, a Pennsylvania bridal shop owner and a bakery owner turned away separate lesbian couples. Pennsylvania started allowing same-sex marriage in May after a federal judge struck down a ban on gay marriage in the state constitution.

Earlier this year, several states, including Kansas and Arizona, considered legislation that would allow people who object to same-sex marriage to cite their religious beliefs as a defense if faced with a discrimination lawsuit. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed the bill in her state; the Kansas bill died in the state Senate.

Public accommodation laws usually don’t apply to private residences, which is why this case is more unusual than previous ones, said Adam Winkler, a law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles.

“It is just another case in the many battles in the fight over public accommodation of same-sex marriages,” Winkler said. “If you want to open yourself up to the public, there’s a cost, which is that you can’t discriminate.”



  1. It is only a matter of time before almost all weddings in the U.S. will be civil ceremonies as churches will be forced to perform all weddings or none at all.

  2. Its not a church and it is open for business to the general public. The state’s anti-discrimination laws are pretty clear on the subject.

    Usually there is a carve out when it comes to housing discrimination when the facility is a multiple family dwelling where the owner lives on the premises. But this is not the case. None of that applies to businesses attached to a residence.

    If you want to be able to discriminate on services provided to the public, declare yourself a church or do not advertise openly.

    If you want a good analogy, think of a real estate agent who works out of their home office. They still are subject to laws concerning “steering” clients and would be fined if they refuse to serve a customer based on personal biases.

    Religious freedom does not give you the right to discriminate in open commerce. Such discrimination is committing a willful harmful act against another. Free Exercise of religion has never ever allowed such a thing.

  3. a Christian should not do what he knows is wrong ..

    the state does not define for us what a wedding is the bible does..

    were the church so don’t expect the infantry to come and back us..

    when we say no we should expect consequences for standing up for our beliefs ..wrong is never going to win in the end .. just for a while this place is not the place of righteousness ..

  4. Larry for you your pope may be the state.. but the state is not the pope of Lutherans the bible is our pope .. and as it says we must obey God rather than men.. if you have any questions about this feel free to talk to one of our pastors at ———–

    we don’t cooperate with the state in its sin

  5. By all means.

    I have no problem with what amounts to an admission what is being done is against the law. Take your lumps and do not be a whiny baby. Do not expect the state to be in the pocket of your faith. You may expect God to absolve you, but the law doesn’t have to.

    Of course it is a perfect example of the non-morality Christians engage in. They feel free to do harm or act as malicious as they want, to whomever they feel like, as long as they claim God is on their side.

  6. I applaud your honesty here.

    You are not trying a ridiculous argument to claim the government and our laws must conform to your religious views. If you feel God absolves you from following the law, that is your problem. Just prepare for the consequences.

    Btw there is nothing principled about denying people commercially available services open to the general public on the basis of prejudices (religious based or not). It is nothing more than an attempt to excuse malice and give social sanction to bigotry.

  7. Take note we will all be forced to accept and participate in sinful, damaging and harmful to the state itself activities. Wake up and if you haven’t been fighting this begin to fight with all you got.

  8. The one hole in this argument is the assumption that the farm owners advertised openly. I see no evidence of that in the RNS story.

  9. Larry, I was right with you until your blanket slurs about all Christians: their “malice,” their “non-morality,” their wish to “do harm,” their alleged hypocrisy. Surely you know, for one thing, that Christians differ about gay rights, and some denominations favor same-sex marriage. Indulging in stereotypes may be fun, but it hurts your credibility.

  10. @Jim Davis,


    “do not associate with anyone…IF HE IS GUILTY”
    (1 Corinthians 5:11)

    Just don’t call it love.

  11. @Bob,

    Christian ‘love’ is no better than hate.

    “For whoever greets the sinner takes part in his wicked works.” (2 John 1:11)

  12. @Rob,

    The Bible tells you to judge others very harshly. Just don’t call it love.

    “Let him who has done this sin be removed from among you.” (1 Corinthians 1:13)

  13. “…begin to fight with all you got.”

    Yikes. How soon should we expect to be hearing about you in the news?

  14. @Rob,

    You may have emotional reasons why you reject the obvious truth – Christianity commands – IN THE NAME OF JESUS – to judge others harshly.


    “Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you KEEP AWAY from anyone who is…not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.” (2 Thessalonians 3:6)


    “bring to me those enemies of mine…execute them in front of me.”
    – JESUS (luke 19:27)

    Abandon religion while you still can.

  15. Larry, the only problem with your point is that it is the act of Marriage between same sex couple that is being denied not the individual. Hosting the event is violating the conscience of the owners. I see a difference between the individual’s rights and promoting the act of ss marriage.

  16. As a Christian, I assure you no real denomenation could favor same-sex marriage. Biblical teachings on gays are clear. As Pastor David James Manning, PhD has declared, “Jesus would stone homos.”

    And Dr. Manning is an African American so if you disagree with him you are racist and white privileged.

  17. John, there is no right to discriminate while engaging in open commerce. It makes no difference whether it is a gay wedding, interracial, or inter sectarian one. You advertise as providing services to the general public, you must serve the general public.

    Even at the state level, the laws do not recognize an exception to “deeply held beliefs” as a basis for denying commercial serviced or goods.

  18. When Christians stop claiming all morality comes from the bible, then my statement becomes a slur and untruth.

    Discriminatory behavior is malicious, immoral and inherently harmful in any reasonable objective POV. If Christians feel such conduct has the sanction of their religion, it speaks poorly of their religion.

    If you want to distinguish from those Christians that believe discriminatory behavior is Godly, then feel free to correct those Christians. Show that I am mistaken through your own actions.

  19. The state didn’t think it was damaging. Its residents voted for it. It received no judicial challenges and revenues soared with increased tourism.

    Besides people like yourself will always consider the state officially hellbound for its huge diversity of religious faiths an plethora of liberals and secularists.

    So pardon me if I refuse to take you seriously.

  20. Just more gay tyranny under cover of laws stretched to be used to attack traditional morality. It isn’t as if gays couldn’t easily find businesses eager to do their bidding to get their money or in support of their activities. The lawsuits are just strategies to use law to crush people who disagree with them.

  21. Churches, Christians, and Clergy must soon decide whether they really agree with their Bibles or not, as measured by how much they’re willing to actually PAY in government penalties. It’s coming soon.

    The anti-Christian mess is coming down fast, as this latest tragic RNS story demonstrates. Constitutional freedoms of religion are being repealed before our eyes.

    The Gay Marriage Cult, swimming with slime and bile, is 1000 times worse than the Jim Jones Cult.

    If this sorry nation keeps on drinking the Gay Kool-Aid, this nation can ultimately count on the same overall results as what befell the followers of Jim Jones. And soon!!

  22. Jim Davis was trying to be on YOUR side, dude.

    Congrats, you just gave him your middle finger!

  23. If you think being penalized for engaging in a blatantly discriminatory manner in open commerce is tyranny, you are far gone from reality.
    Your definition of traditional morality is hardly moral. It is merely an excuse to act maliciously and to deliberately harm others.

    The state laws are pretty clear in saying that if you are open to the public, you can’t discriminate. It doesn’t matter if it is on the basis of religion, race, orientation… The farm owners violated it in an obvious manner. The argument that “there are always other business to go to” didn’t wash when it was racial discrimination, it doesn’t wash for any other type. But its telling that you adopt the same argument people used when they opposed desegregation.

    Open commerce is open. If you want to discriminate, do business by word of mouth or through your church. Don’t advertise to the public.

  24. Well of course they are, Deacon. Amazing how eager they suddenly get to put money into the “homophobes'” pockets when they wouldn’t touch a Chick-Fil-A sandwich with a ten-foot-pole. 😀

    We’ve come full circle back to the same position as the early Christians who could not practice their trades without participating in the idolatrous rites of the Roman trade guilds. “After all,” one of them complained, “I must live.”

    To which the church father Tertullian replied “Must you?”

    The answer being, no, they didn’t need to, and neither do we. We only need to be faithful as they were.

  25. atheist max

    You quote scriptures about not judging .. we didn’t judge homosexuality as wrong,,, God did ..

    next you talk about love .. Jesus never loved people all the way to hell
    agreeing with their sins ,,

    Jesus loved this way he came for the purpose of being our only savior from sins.. he took the punishment we deserve .

    .now that is real love.

  26. funny ==
    the truth how ever is Jesus came to pay the awful cost of sin on the cross so us sinners don’t have to.. and that includes homosexual sins to,,

  27. like I said its not love agreeing with a person when you know what the person is doing is what God has already judged as wrong..

    that’s just loving them all the way to hell not caring about their souls..

  28. we hope you don’t take us seriously. just leave the voting to us stay home have a beer and relax voting day.

  29. Larry
    so you would stick up for the kkk rather than discriminate against them… if you owned the farm the Nazi party could through a big bash there a fund raiser..
    as for me , I would discriminate against these groups to.
    Go some where else I don’t believe in that I would tell them..

  30. If you call discrimination loving, you can keep it. Your love is nothing but a bad excuse to act maliciously.

    To harm others and pretend it is socially sanctioned. You want God to give you an excuse to treat others badly. You can quit the dishonest pretense of showing concern for the souls of others. You don’t give a crap. It’s all just a way to feel better about being a bad person.

  31. First of all Rob, you ARE the KKK. You want to discriminate against others. People like yourself even use the same arguments they had.

    Second of all, with the freedom of speech everyone, even extremists like yourself, are allowed to use services in open commerce.

    Freedom of speech means protecting what isn’t popular, not what is. I understand and appreciate the freedoms of this nation to understand that. You do not. You thumb your nose at civil society and still expect to reap its benefits. Besides, nazis and klansmen do not have a history of discrimination against them which would make them the subject of state civil rights laws. Bad analogy is a sign of the inability to discuss a subject on its own acts.

  32. You are forgetting that it’s the choice of the consumer where they take their business. If I were gay, of course I wouldn’t want to give my money to these homophobic bakers, just as I, as a supporter of gay rights, don’t choose to give my money to homophobic chicken sandwich makers. However, it is my right to choose to do so, just as it was the Greensboro Fours’ right to remain seated at the Woolworth lunch counter, even though they most certainly weren’t welcome there. Understand the parallel?

  33. Stop with the whining. No one is taking your constitutional rights away. You may still practice your religion. You just can’t use it to discriminate.

    Imagine this for one minute. Let’s create an exact parallel, and let’s see how you like it…. Tomorrow I start a religion. That religion’s doctrine is that old people are sinners (has as much credibility as your religion’s claim that gay people are sinners). Through cunning selling, I’m able to get quite a large following over the years, and my religion becomes the majority religion in this country (before you laugh that off, think how far Mormonism has come in a short time). You are now 80 years old, and you come into my privately held clinic, the only one in town, but you’re a sinner! Guess what? I’m going to deny you services because my beliefs say you’re a sinner. You ok with that? Just because other bakers happen to be available in this case doesn’t make what these bakers are doing any more moral, much less legal, than what I’ve done to you with my religion.

  34. When you can prove that your god is real, then you can cite your religion as backing for anything you want. Until then, it’s just a fantasy that you are allowing to run your life. YOUR fantasy does not make OUR reality.

  35. That fact that you believe in a religion that teaches that anyone shouldn’t be greeted with open arms, even if you disagree with how they live their life says more about YOU for believing in that religion than it does about the religion itself. That religion is pathetic. You are worse.

  36. What I understand is, I would gladly be “discriminated against,” particularly in such a minor way as this, before I would force a violation of conscience upon another–which is the true aim here. Conscience played no part in any lunch counter demonstration. BOTH sides have legitimate civil liberties at stake here. The question is how to balance them.

  37. No, Shawnie, both sides do NOT have legitimate civil rights issues here.

    There is no right to discriminate in open commerce. Such acts are deliberate efforts to harm others. Religious freedom never extended to that. It is certainly no act of moral conscience. Merely malice. No more moral or a legitimate act of religious conscience than human sacrifice or witch burning.

    Your dismissal of the lunch counter protests smacks of nothing more than an expression of personal bigotries. Not unlike those previously displayed.

  38. I agree partly with you but forcing churches to perform marriages or none at all would fly in the face of the first amendment. I have thought it strange for a while now that doing a wedding ceremony for me as an ordained minister means that I am acting as a agent for the state. “By the powers vested in me, I pronounce you man and wife.” I would then sign the license and send it to the state in which I performed the marriage. A retired Army chaplain friend informs me that in Germany, where he was assigned for a while, the couple would go to the official office of the state to list their marriage. They would thus be married. He conducted a Christian ceremony at the post chapel for them. The Civil and religious ceremony were separate.

    Years ago when I lived in Georgia, we voted on a state constitutional amendment regarding marriage (main purpose was to block same sex marriage). The politicians made sure the language would not allow for civil unions. I would have voted for civil unions if I had been given the opportunity.

    My late niece was in a long committed relationship with a partner. When her partner died, her family came a took away everything they could from my niece. My niece had no standing in law.

  39. The problem is, nobody is arguing for laws to force churches to perform SSM ceremonies. It has always been a strawman argument. Doc is talking out of his posterior orifice here.

    At best people are hoping that their churches would adopt more inclusive policies. But it is more the issues within a congregation than anything having to do with the laws of the land.

    In this case we are talking about a farm rented out as a special occasion venue. A commercial service offered to the public. So the argument is rather moot in this case.

  40. We have a legitimate civil liberty to not be forced to participate in ACTIVITIES that our religion deems immoral. It makes no difference whatsoever how significant you feel these objections should or should not be to us.

    If the right to religious liberty outweighs the state’s interest in educating its children (as in the Amish situation), it surely ought to outweigh the interests of your so-called “victims of discrimination” to get a particular wedding venue in a market in which there is no shortage of vendors eager for their business. The only “malice” being displayed is by those trying to force morally objectionable participation by parties whose participation is not even desired. If I were a Catholic getting remarried outside the Church I’d be deeply ashamed to seek any kind of retaliation against a Catholic farmer who declined to rent me his premises on faith-related grounds, no matter the letter of the law. Same principle. I’d much rather be accused of “bigotry” than of THAT kind of vindictiveness.

  41. Wrong again. You get no such right when that activity is open commerce.

    Closing off avenues of commerce normally held open to the general public on the basis of discriminatory criteria is a public wrong. You are restricting the flow of trade to the public for reasons which cannot be justified. The government has a right to regulate commerce at all levels. That power includes the ability to keep commerce from being unnecessarily restricted. There is no religious exception to this.

    Its telling that you have to frame the argument in the most basic generalities in order to get away from the simple fact of denying the sale of goods and services. Your crappy analogy of public education fails because you are not talking about something insular and cut off from the public, like the Amish. You are talking about services which are available to anyone willing to click a link on a website and give a credit card number. The farm held itself out to the public as being available for its services. It was not a private club or a church. They had to abide by the state’s laws concerning how to do business.

    If one wants to discriminate in selling their wares or services, they cannot hold themselves out as being available to the general public. If you want to do business in a restricted manner, you have to restrict your advertising to those clients. Advertise in a church, private club or make your services members only. In this case they had ads and a website available to everyone.

    Your argument was phony back when it was used to justify discrimination based on race 50 years ago this year it remains so. Just because the prejudices change doesn’t make the act of business discrimination any less pernicious. Just because you claim your prejudice is religious based, doesn’t change a thing here.

    Saying there are other facilities available smacks of the lie of “separate but equal”. Those black kids could just attend some other school, they don’t have to go to the one where white children are.

    Of course trade discrimination is malicious and harmful. It deliberately limits the ability of those affected to make full use of markets and their ability to transact business in a given area. It is done for no other reason than personal animosity against those seeking to be patrons of the business. You can put victims in quotes but it is a legally recognized harm done to others. Free exercise of religion does not entitle you to harm others in the name of your faith.

    The “participation” in this case is renting out a facility. It was not like the owners of the farm were asked to officiate the wedding. In reality we are talking about a business transaction, nothing more. Your attempt to conflate it into something more is ridiculous.

    As for the remarriage and the catholic farmer example, your shame is your business. Your inability to spot discrimination against you is your problem. That just makes you a fool. Under your example, you would have clear grounds to sue the person for their “faith based” denial of their services generally open to the general public.

    You can put bigotry in quotes but you are doing nothing to refute it or to show that my assessment was untrue in any way. Btw didn’t you once say you did not support legalized discrimination of gays. I guess that was another one of your various untruths.

  42. After the apostles had been imprisoned by the high priest and Sadducees (religious leaders in Jesus’ day), an angel of God appeared to them, opened the doors of the prison and informed them to “be on your way and, having taken a stand in the temple, keep on speaking to the people all the sayings about this life.” (Acts 5:12-21).

    So they went teaching and preaching again!! The Sanhedrin or Jewish High Court brought the apostles back and the high priest questioned them and said:

    “We positively ordered you not to keep teaching upon the basis of this name (Jesus), and yet Look! You have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and you are determined to bring the blood of this man upon us.” (Acts 5:27,28).

    In answer Peter and the other apostles said: “We must obey God as ruler rather than men.” (Acts 5:29)

    I can appreciate the Giffords’ objection to ONLY hosting and participating in the wedding ceremony. The probable reason is because they recognize the marriage of a man and woman as an arrangement that was instituted by God and that any other arrangement (same sex marriage) would not be approved by God.

    It is clear from God’s Word, the Bible, that homosexual acts and same-sex marriage are not condoned by God (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:3-6; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Romans 1:24-27).

    Therefore, if any organization or religious body opposes same-sex marriage and refuses to perform it, even though it may be recognized and promoted by man’s laws or governments, then they are “obeying God as ruler rather than men” as the apostles did. Good for them!!!

  43. You might have saved yourself a lot of time and bandwidth. I understand the legal argument perfectly well. What you do NOT understand is what we have here is not a simple equation of commerce = anything goes. When two different fundamental civil liberties conflict, a certain balancing of them must be part of the equation.

    “Your crappy analogy of public education fails because you are not talking about something insular and cut off from the public, like the Amish.”

    “Insular and cut off from the public” has nothing to do with anything. The SCOTUS based that ruling upon other public policy considerations.

    “The “participation” in this case is renting out a facility. It was not like the owners of the farm were asked to officiate the wedding.”

    In YOUR estimation, and that means nothing. The law holds us responsible for what happens on our property. So does God.

    “Your inability to spot discrimination against you is your problem. That just makes you a fool. Under your example, you would have clear grounds to sue the person for their “faith based” ”

    Well of course that is why the NT tells us that the things of God are “foolishness to those who are perishing.” Of course I know what I COULD do, but we not called to do what we CAN but to do what is RIGHT.

    “You can put bigotry in quotes but you are doing nothing to refute it or to show that my assessment was untrue in any way.”

    LOL! Ask me if I care about your “assessment.” I have no interest in “refuting” it because it is meaningless. People like you have thrown the word “bigotry” around until it means nothing.

  44. Yes it IS that simple. You hold yourself out to the public for commerce, you must serve the public in commerce.

    There is no civil liberties conflict here because there is no right to engage in business discrimination in open commerce. Your right to pick and chose your customers based on personal ideas about them becomes drastically limited pretty much when you open your business to the public. Discrimination in business is considered an act of legally recognized harm against those on the receiving end. Free Exercise of religion ends at the point where it harms others.

    Commerce is a series of actions and communications between people which depends on a level of civility which must be maintained for it to work properly.

    Stop pretending you know anything about the applicable laws. If you did you would not be making arguments which were rendered null and void a half-century ago. What you do with your property once it becomes part of the stream of commerce is no longer solely the province of your personal whims. It becomes a subject of government regulation. Business discrimination creates a public hazard that must be addressed.

    What you think is right is merely excused malice and harm to others. Just because you think God will absolve you of such acts, doesn’t mean the law has to.

    If you think tying up commerce in circumvention of laws forbidding business discrimination is a “principled stand” then you should accept the legal consequences of such a “stand”. Legally justified fines and civil judgments.

  45. Deacon,
    I see that you have a difficult time using the words “discrimination”, “fairness”, “equality”. Instead you reverse the situation of the business owner declining to provide a service to this couple that the business advertises to the public. I understand that the business owners are opposed to gay marriage because of their religious beliefs. But, they did, indeed, refuse to serve this couple BECAUSE they are gay. The lesbian couple WAS NOT treated and served the same as other couples requesting the same service. That is, in fact, discrimination. The business owners do not have to offer this service to the public. But, as long as they do advertise and provide service to the general public, they may not discriminate. It is not tyranny or persecution when this business is treated like every other business, with the same regulations and requirements. What this business wanted and expected was special treatment from the government that other businesses do not have. If you dislike the fact that all businesses must follow the same rules and regulations, that is your right. But, you sound like a spoiled child when you claim governmental tyranny because Christians are not given extra privileges. Why can’t you just say, “I am angry because Christians don’t get more rights than everybody else!”?

  46. LOL! Larry, you are a blustering ignoramus trying to borrow lingo that you can not begin to understand from the legal world. There IS no governmental interest that is utterly absolute. Any governmental interest that inhibits the free exercise of one’s religion is open to scrutiny. All kinds of public policy considerations are taken into account, such as the objectively observed traditionality and legitimacy of the religious practice in question, the severity of the harm addressed by the law vs the severity of harm being claimed by its imposition, and the availability of less restrictive options to the government.

    “What you think is right is merely excused malice and harm to others.”

    Your personal suppositions on that subject are neither here nor there.

    “If you think tying up commerce in circumvention of laws forbidding business discrimination is a “principled stand” then you should accept the legal consequences of such a “stand”. Legally justified fines and civil judgments.”

    Actually, it would not bother me in the least to see Christians vacate the wedding industry altogether. Just within the last generation it has become an excuse for tasteless, even obscene, worldly extravagance and fanfare that distracts from the seriousness of the kind of covenant it represents. In many ways, no less an idol than the ones that the early Christian woodworkers and metalsmiths had to decide whether or not to fashion and repair for the pagans among whom they lived. Let the world have it, and let Christians return to pure and simple vows made in their churches before family and friends and God.

  47. Shawnie, you know nothing of the legal issues here. You are going through the motions but miss all of the relevant parts. You should stick to pretending to know about the Bible. I am not borrowing lingo, I am referencing it to address someone who is unfamiliar with the subject. I can’t help it if your argument runs afoul of a 50 year old law and its more recent New York State equivalent.

    There is no Free Exercise issue here because no such right exists to justify using religious belief as an excuse to deliberately harm others. Discriminatory conduct is causing harm to others. Its why such actions are subject to civil sanction. Your argument is akin to claiming human sacrifice of heretics is your right under the 1st Amendment.

    The government interest in regulating commerce is fairly comprehensive and reasonably related to the facts here, which is the act of a commercial transaction. When one does business in open commerce, one voluntarily subjects themselves to government’s power to regulate it. The “Commerce Clause” applies to commerce. Its just that simple.

    If your religious belief is so strong that you are unable to transact business with the entire public, then don’t do business openly. Use one of the myriad exceptions such as limited word of mouth advertising, private clubs or membership.

    There is no public policy considerations on your side either. The public is not served by cutting off avenues of commerce for irrational and arbitrary reasons.The public interests are not served by giving legal sanction to intentionally harming others either.
    Anti-discrimination laws exist to ensure the marketplace is not unnecessarily hobbled by personal animus and bigotry.

  48. ” If I were a Catholic getting remarried outside the Church I’d be deeply ashamed to seek any kind of retaliation against a Catholic farmer who declined to rent me his premises on faith-related grounds,..”

    Good one! Pretty funny!

    We both know the Catholic farmer wouldn’t decline to rent you his premises. There are all kinds of marriages that particular religions or denominations don’t sanction, but only gay couples are denied service by businesses.

  49. Nice try, but this is from a parable that Christ taught and not a stand alone sentence.

  50. AMAZON sells the sign (in a highly visible 10″ x 14″ red and white) that states, “WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO REFUSE SERVICE TO ANYONE”. I’ve seen signs similar to these in public restaurants and many other public places that sell anything you can think of.

    I think I’ll stock up on a case or two.

  51. First of all. I’m not sure you understand that the “Church” is a group of people or Ecclessia (greek – literally “the called out ones”). It is not now or ever been a building or location. The “church” worships at the location. That is why many in the 1700’s and 1800’s called their buildings “meeting houses”. This is proper understanding of the term. But for progressives/relativists I can see how this is problematic due to their common belief that words are “organic” and can change meaning over time. Secondly, sexual behavior is not inept. This is a very important truth. It is NOT like skin color – last I checked one cannot decide their skin color. Lastly, i’m still trying to understand how this is a “harmful act”?. Is that not the pot calling the kettle black? Listen, we live in a free market. If they don’t like the opinion of the people who own the farm and their closely held religious beliefs (which btw is also the belief of billions of people over many thousands of years) then go somewhere else! The real harm is activist trying to destroy genuinely good people bc they have different opinions from them. Just because their feelings are hurt. This is like a bully forcing you to be their friend. Homosexuals can use the court system to usurp the will of the people to bully them into have a false sense of social acceptance legally. But it will never be accepted genuinely or morally. What good is that? There is no compelling interest in the court systems to accept this as a special class of citizens. Therefore the court should remain neutral – or at least uphold the law and not become judicial activists. This has become a circus of activism. Not at all what our constitution envisioned. BTW, same sex unions could always get “married”. There is a whole cottage industry for them. They could do it privately and most do that. What they want is social acceptance of their sexual behavior -THIS DOES NOT become unacceptance of them as humans. One more thing, search out the CDC web site and others to see how harmful homosexual behavior is. After researching it you will find that there is more of a compelling interest to discourage this behavior instead of encouraging it. That would be loving. Facts are difficult to ignore.

  52. And before 1964 you would have had a point. But nowadays, 50 years later we recognize business discrimination as a legally recognized harm to the recipients and the public at large.

  53. This is disgusting. Intolerance of intolerance is still intolerance. What if a WBC member wanted to get married on a gay couples property would you still support suing them?

    “The right to swing my fist ends where the other man’s nose begins.”

  54. Great post, Mac. The problem is that those who want to force everyone to agree with and condone gay “marriage” are not interested in facts or reason. Secular progressives (another misnomer) are stuck in the toddler stage and cannot stand for anyone to ever tell them “No.” Plus, we have to celebrate their sinful behavior and renounce our own beliefs so their feelings are not hurt.
    Another thing they don’t want to accept is that love and limits are two sides of the same coin. Unfortunately, too many Americans were raised to think the ultimate goal of life is to have no limits. Then, they turn around and try to set limits on anyone who doesn’t agree with them and fail to see the hypocrisy in that. Again, they are stuck in emotional immaturity.

  55. Larry, I applaud your interest in constitutional law and civil liberties, but there simply is no substitute for background. Like most lay people you are overly impressed by the black robes, ignorant of how constitutional law is actually practiced, and very prone to take a line out of a decision (or more likely a commentary upon a decision) and say “See, it says right here…” NOTHING is that simple. Every case presents myriad opportunities for a talented appellate litigator to distinguish it from all previous ones and thus create new refinements and exceptions to existing law, and make new public policy arguments, backed by data and evidence, which urge for unexpected changes to principles previously assumed sacrosanct. How do you think we got from Plessy to Brown vs Board in the first place? Your equivalent on the Board’s legal team would have been waving the Supreme Court Reporter around and screaming, “But it says right here…!” while Thurgood Marshall handed him his a**.

    Your statements about government having blanket authority over commerce are among your all-time silliest. If that were true, the SCOTUS could have easily rubber-stamped Obamacare under the commerce clause without having to turn to the tax-and-spend clause. You must have been out fishing when your camp was wailing loudly about the “cowardly” conservatives on the court approving Obamacare through the back door while nevertheless opening the gate for the evisceration of government’s lock on the commerce clause. As for your pat dismissal of free exercise considerations…within the last couple of decades the trend in constitutional law has been for MORE protection for free exercise of religion, not less.

    “I can’t help it if your argument runs afoul of a 50 year old law and its more recent New York State equivalent.”

    In some ways it does, of course. So did Brown vs. Board. And so have some relatively recent SCOTUS rulings that have far more intelligent and educated progressives than you quite concerned.

  56. Why do people compare an immoral lifestyle choice to a Race ???…it is not the same thing….

  57. Carl–it is hack corrupt politics at its worst. Repeatedly I have seen interviews with Blacks who are furious at the hijacking of their civil rights movement on behalf of sexual immorality. There is no real similarity between most gay issues and Black civil rights issues–but the mainstream media fraudulently mushes the two issues together fooling many people.

  58. But gays and their allies in the mass media have convinced many that to call sin what it is–sin–is an act of hatred, not an act of love saving the individual and society from harm. All reputable medical stories I have read of AIDS attributes its incubation and spread in the U.S. to homosexual sex activity. This is probably why most surveys show shorter life expectancy among gays. How many who have died from diseases associated with illicit sex activity would be alive today if traditional moral norms had been followed.

  59. We’re not merely talking about providing services here though; we’re talking about facilitating an event that they find deplorable. Should I be forced to rent my space and cater, and thus faciliate, a B&D/ S&M convention? A sex convention? A porn convention? Surely this would also be sexual discrimination but what if one lives in rural America, in a community where such events are likely to be deemed unacceptable?

    Also, if this is a private business, it is a private accommodation. And to force people to provide services against their will, for any reason, is slavery. This is about the right of the people to be secure in their property; one’s labor is a personal possession; is it not?

    I don’t know how may recall but portions of our Declaration of Independence were plagiarized; in the original version Jefferson borrowed from Aristotle this phrase (or words to this effect): life, liberty, and property. Franklin then suggested the pursuit of happiness be substituted. The point is he saw these two – property and the pursuit of happiness – as similar enough to be interchangeable because one cannot acquire property if un-free to pursue happiness. Here the state has taken ten thousand dollars of their property in support of a political agenda which, very likely, the community does not share. You cannot deny communities their autonomy, churches their beliefs, or heterosexuals a freedom of opinion.

    What this is, is a violation of heir civil rights and if I were them I’d file s civil suit.

  60. In Germany the power is vested in the state. If a couple opts for a religious ceremony, the Catholic church demands the first be married by the state. Because only the state marriage confers legal rights.

    But you’re only partially correct about acting as an agent of the state. The state in all actuality is an agent of the people. It has long performed this service at the behest of the people; qualifying marriage becomes a necessary function of state licensing but the original intent of state/ public record was to dissuade the bigamist.

    Marriage actually has a history in the US which originates in MA Bay. Because English subjects of the time period did not marry, only nobility married. In fact, the benefits of marriage were still being debated in Parliament as late as the early 1800s.

  61. Well if that is not a discriminatory statement, I don’t know what is. Surely heterosexuals are permitted a right of opinion? Many find gay-sex wholly repugnant, disgusting, and some cases, even sinful.

  62. There is no reason to disprove that which has never been proven. Have you considered, for example, the existence of our colliders? And what do they seek? Well they seek that intelligence which informs all things. Absolutely. Definitely. We’ve invested billions in this; that’s what those such as Stephen Hawkings, Howard Bloom, etc., are all about.

    Your “reality,” like that of a hetero, is evolutionary. And so, unfortunately, is the social construct of marriage.

  63. The Gays have disputed this. They claim it originated amongst Africans and was spread to the US by Jamaicans. But those of us who are old enough all remember the early ’80s.

  64. They are absolutely not the same. And Gays are not be denied a long-standing right of marriage; they are being denied acceptance of a new social construct.

  65. We have a U.S. Constitution and a Religious Freedom Restoration Act (signed into law by Bill Clinton and used in the Hobby Lobby case) that protects such business owners from being forced to do that which is against their beliefs.

    I contacted the Albany, NY Division of Human Rights Office just to ask a question about the law involved in this case. The director realized that my beliefs were that of Christianity. He cut me off, called me a bigot and refused to speak with me.

    I am filing a formal complaint of discrimination against him with the Deputy Commissioner of that division here in New York. And I will be contacting my NYS representatives about this.

    If this one director is a true example of what the New York State Human Rights Office is all about, then it is Christians who are being discriminated against and targeted in this state by that office.

  66. We’re not talking about religious discrimination; we’re talking about sexual discrimination. If I have bar that I make available as a private accommodation to those who wish to host events, must I rent it to those who wish to host a B&D/ S&M party? A sex convention? A porno convention? Surely this is also sexual discrimination but what of a residential neighborhood or a community that deems such activities unacceptable?

  67. What is it, is a political statement and it only occurs now because the politics favor them. Ultimately the Catholic church will put a quash on all of this because there’s no way any national authority will force them to comply.

  68. One minor glitch: Some Gays, surely not all, but some, also get old. To be secure in one’s property is a constitutional right; you are asking us to confer federal benefits in the creation of a new social construct. To be free of repression, as freedom of conscience; to speak freely as freedom of opinion, are also a Constitutional rights. As a heterosexual I cannot and will not, ever, accept the new social construct of same-sex marriage. And you what? The Catholic church is going to agree with me. There’s no way in hell any political entity, or national authority, will ever force the Church to comply.

  69. I discriminate continuously; in fact, I can be very discriminating. I prefer strawberry jam; for example, while I absolutely detest grape. I prefer stocks and bonds to real estate, etc. on and on, ad infinitum. As a non-religious heterosexual, I see same-sex marriage, and attempts to politically engage militaristic authority to force compliance, and my acceptance in the form of voluntary deference, as both laughable and despicable. If you cannot win the minds and hearts of the hetero population, thereby their approbation, you are done. So why even raise the issue?

  70. The Catholic Church does not have to comply with anything. Some Christians think that gay marriage supporters want churches to be forced to perform gay marriages. That is a lie that is being spread by Christians trying to rally support for gay marriage bans. The only people being “forced” to do anything are business owners open to the general public. And all businesses (Christian or otherwise) are required to comply with the same rules and regulations. Why Christians are screaming about churches being forced to perform or condone gay marriage is a mystery. Churches that condemn the LGBT community and their right to happiness can continue to preach their hate and bigotry all they want.

  71. No your not talking about religious discrimination. You are just talking about discrimination in general. Refusing to do business with people on the basis of personal prejudices. The same nonsense racists used to do to keep from having to do business with people of color.

    Of course since gay marriage is PERFECTLY LEGAL IN NEW YORK STATE, the business owner is denying a couple something they have every right to do within the state. A state whose government and laws do not consider a gay wedding to be unacceptable public behavior.

  72. Why is it so hard for you to understand that no one is asking, suing, or forcing churches to perform or condone gay marriage. No one is asking or forcing you to attend, celebrate, or like gay marriage. You are either not bothering to read the news reports or following the cases OR you are unable to understand what the cases are about OR you enjoy making up details to make your position sound reasonable.

  73. Shawnie you are not a lawyer, that much is obvious. You can’t even pretend to be one in a remotely convincing manner. Stop pretending you are displaying any kind of knowledge on the subject. You have been wrong on all points here. You like to ignore long established judicial precedence and legislative actions.

    First you are trying to re-argue points which have been rendered moot with 50 years of legislation, legal interpretation and case law. It really is that cut and dried. You are not bringing any new arguments to the table. Since the overwhelming weight of legal decision-making has gone against your arguments. It really is that easy to dismiss them. For example, you can argue all you want that the intentional killing of a person is not homicide but it doesn’t make it a good faith and reasonable argument. You can claim the law is open to change, but some things really are clear cut.

    As for government power over commerce, again, your ignorance is quite telling. Even 1L students know of the far reaching impact and the limits of the commerce clause. Usually such arguments fail for the government where the subject is not actual commerce, like healthcare.

    If you were bringing a novel argument to the table, you would be able to make a point of ignoring long standing precedent (as they did in Brown). You bring nothing to the table that racists 50 years before didn’t already try when fighting desegregation. Even they used religious belief arguments to support their bigoted actions.

    There is no argument to be made that New York’s anti-discrimination laws do not apply here. All you can do is rail against their existence. But they serve a public interest. A greater one than the needs of bigots to tie up commerce with their arbitrary and capricious animosities.

    Nowhere has there ever been a finding that free exercise of religion excuses deliberate harmful acts towards others. Nor is it likely to ever happen. Civil society can’t accept such things as a matter of course.

  74. Because Dana feels the need to lie on God’s behalf. Christians never feel the need to be honest moral people if they think God supports their behavior.

  75. “Because English subjects of the time period did not marry, only nobility married. ”

    This isn’t even remotely true. Where do you get this junk from?

  76. But Debra, you ARE a bigot and someone who thinks being a Christian entitles you to do whatever you want to whomever you want. The RFRA does not grant one the authority to use religious belief as the basis for harming others. Discrimination in business is an act considered harmful to those on the receiving in and harmful to society in general. The Division of Human Rights thought you were a crank and rightfully so.

    If you want to discriminate in business, don’t transact in the open marketplace. Do business by word of mouth, only within your church, membership or private clubs only.

  77. “Surely this would also be sexual discrimination but what if one lives in rural America, in a community where such events are likely to be deemed unacceptable?”

    But it is in New York State. A place where gay marriage is perfectly legal. But according to your argument a wedding of African Americans in an all white suburb could be refused because the community could consider it unacceptable and offensive to local tastes. Obviously if we permit this sort of thing everywhere, all commerce will be restricted by personal animus and bigotry. We all suffer from the results.

    It is a business open to the general public, by law they have to serve the public. If one feels the need to restrict their trade, then they must forgo the benefits of appearing to do business with everyone. Open commerce is a social contract between a business owner and the public at large. It is always subject to regulation by the government.

    “You cannot deny communities their autonomy, churches their beliefs, or heterosexuals a freedom of opinion.”

    Yes you can when they feel the need to engage in systematic harmful discriminatory conduct. Some interests are far greater than the need for bigots to attack others.

  78. You are not allowed to restrict open commerce for such reasons. I find your opinions repugnant, ignorant and extremely dishonest. But it doesn’t give me the right to turn you away as a customer to a store I own.

  79. Then don’t conduct open business in the state of New York. If you advertise openly for goods and services to everyone, you have to serve them.

    Nobody gives a crap about changing your mind on the subject. They just don’t want you to act like a raging d-bag in public, disrupt commerce and harm others because of it.

  80. Rob nobody gives a crap about whether you condone gay marriage.

    The issue here is how you act towards others. If you are unable to maintain civility in society and avoid deliberately harming others, nobody has any reason to respect your “sincerely held beliefs”.

    You chose to use your religious beliefs and personal bigotry to try to excuse malicious socially and legally unacceptable behavior towards others. Its not the beliefs which are at issue, its how you are acting on them. You want to insulate a business from having to come into contact with people you hate, then don’t transact openly. Don’t hold yourself out for everyone to see what you are selling.

  81. Rob and Mac, If this issue was not so important your comments would be funny. No one cares if you do not agree or condone gay marriage. Your egocentric worldview limits your ability to understand that many people do not agree or condone YOUR attitudes and behavior either! Get over yourselves!
    The couple that owns this business advertises their services to the general public. They could have just advertised by word of mouth or through their church bulletin. But, since they CHOSE to advertise and serve the public, they are subject to the same rules and regulations as every other business. What they want is EXTRA rights and privileges that other businesses do not have. You think that it isn’t fair for Christians to be forced to comply with the law like the rest of us. You think Christians should be able to decide how the rest of us should live our lives. You think Christians should be the only ones to be able to put their religious displays in government buildings. And if anyone calls BS, then WE are the ones in the “toddler stage”? Now THAT is funny!

  82. As I expected, you did not understand a single point. Still waving the SCR and yelling “See, it says right here…!” This is why the government provides free counsel for the accused if necessary instead of letting ignoramuses like you hang themselves in court.

    I never said the commerce clause was not “far-reaching.” What I did say is that it is not absolute. And that it leaves plenty of room for a 1st amendment challenge, particularly in light of some relatively recent changes in how the SCOTUS looks at those liberties. Perhaps those challenges would fail, as you would expect. Perhaps they would succeed. But only oblivious lay people are unaware of the holes through which a smart appellate lawyer could very well introduce the makings of a new series of refinements to antidiscrimination law.

    The only completely established principle in constitutional law is that nothing is completely established.

    But don’t worry your pretty little head about it. 😀

  83. You can change your religion quite easily. It is a form of behavior which is strictly voluntary.

    Yet you still expect people to value your religious beliefs. Even to the point where you expect special treatment under the law with respect to them.

    What is really funny is how people like yourself adopt THE SAME EXACT arguments that people used to uphold segregation. People felt they had deeply held beliefs (religious ones as well) against serving black people in their businesses. Worried about their image and how appropriate it would look in the community if they mixed with them in a commercial setting.

    So when I say that people like yourself are like the KKK, it is not just an insult. It is an apt and reasonably supported comparison based on conduct.

  84. I understood your points but found them ridiculous. Please stop pretending you know anything about the law. Its just too embarrassing for you.

    Decades (centuries in some areas) of existing statute, common law are inconvenient to your argument. But you can’t make a good faith argument against the existing law unless you are bringing something new to the situation which demands reconsideration. You bring nothing but whining. In fact what makes your points even dumber is you are repeating the same exact failed ones made half a century ago.

    A lawyer can always say “it depends” but some situations are far too clear cut to do it with a straight face. As for the rest, you are just weaselwording and revising yourself as usual.

    Actually it wouldn’t go to the appeals court, In NY appeals for administrative law holdings go to the County Supreme Court (a trial court). A clever attorney might come up with something to file. But short of massive legislative effort to repeal the anti-discrimination statute and a sudden declaration that Christians are allowed to use their religious belief to excuse any tortious conduct they want, they are SOL.

    The dumbest argument you made was the reference to Tertullian and the Christian workers. If you were to follow your own anecdote then it would be the duty of the Christians to suffer personal damages for their faith for refusing to do work which violates their faith.

    In this case the farm owners should take their fines and bad publicity as a sign of their faith as would people like yourself should. You would accept the civil penalties of your actions and not bother to try to change the laws to give yourself special privileges as a Christian.

    Attacking someone for your faith is not making a principled stand, nor the free exercise of religion. Business discrimination is a recognized attack on someone trying to engage in commerce. If your faith demands that you do not follow the laws and do business with others in a sane civil manner, then by all means bear the consequences of it. Don’t look for excuses.

  85. I disagree. I do not care one iota if a real Christian god exist or not, I am not following them. Same goes for every single supposed higher being that humans have ever worshipped. I have never discovered a religion that I could respect and agree with 100%, they all have moral flaws. I do not need a supposed higher being to tell me what is wrong and right, I have a brain and I can figure it out myself thank you.

  86. Larry, I am interested in this debate and I agree with most of what you say. But I am somewhat confused with the “interfering with open commerce” issue. What is your opinion on this hypothetical: I am a weird guy, and I have a store which sells wonderful widgets to the public and I advertise in a local newspaper that I do so. I however do not like Gingers. I had a bad experience when I was a child where I was molested by a Ginger and it carries forward to this day. A Ginger walks into my store and wants to buy a widget. Normally I sell widgets off the shelf, and in some cases I will customize them for customers depending on my fickle moods. Today I am in a bad mood because I dropped widget on my toe by accident. The Ginger asks if I will customize their widget for them in a certain way and I refuse just because I’m already pissed off and they are a Ginger and I don’t like Gingers. This customization is not something I advertise, but I have done similar customizations for others in the past. Is my decision to refuse service due to mood/Gingerhood discrimination or not? Lets assume I used some wording in the refusal in such a way that the Ginger knew they were being refused partially because they were in fact a GInger and also to keep things simple let’s say this occurred in NY State also. What would happen if I DID NOT use said wording identifying the reason for refusal as Gingerhood?

  87. Commerce is a social compact between buyers and sellers. One advertises to the public with the intention of serving whomever responds and offering the services or goods advertised. Tying it up due to bigotry creates a public harm by limiting money going into an economy and limits marketplace choices which should by all means be available to all. It also creates a personal harm to those refused. Protection of the flow of commerce is a role the government has hardwired into it at all levels.

    “This customization is not something I advertise, but I have done similar customizations for others in the past. ”

    Here your analogy already fails miserably. A wedding service and reception are the not “customizations” just because of the gender of the participants. You don’t need any special equipment, decorations or accoutrements for one specifically. It was the service as advertised on the website.

    Plus the reason for refusing the service was entirely having nothing to do with the ability and resources needed to carry it out. It had solely to do with the personal prejudices of the owner.

    If the people were not such raging Bible-thumping malicious dillholes who made it absolutely clear that their personal prejudices were the reason for refusing the services, they would have probably been able to skirt past the law simply on ambiguity. If they said, “we are all booked up”, “I am sorry but we can’t handle the size of your party”, or some other sort of business related excuse, the anti-discrimination law violation would be harder to prove.

  88. Larry, I see that you have misinterpreted my post as an attempt to entrap by example. I assure you this was not the case. I was also not trying to build a perfect analogy at all. I was simply posing a hypothetical because I am interested in the topic and not clear in my head what the ramifications of this particular law are. I posted it here because (to me at least) you seemed to be making a lot of sense and I was interested in hearing your take. But now I am butthurt and will cry in a corner.

  89. I know. The problem with the hypothetical is that it avoids the actual facts on the ground here.

    The law in question is a state version of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that is a bit more comprehensive than the Federal law. If you want a clear example of the arguments employed read the decisions linked below (Heart of Atlanta and Katzenbach v. McClung)

    My last point was that had the farm owners been a bit more civil as to why they did not want to host the wedding, they might have skirted the fine. In my personal opinion, the fine is not just for discrimination but for being too stupid to come up with a plausible excuse not to do the job. I don’t believe malicious stupidity should be rewarded.

  90. “In fact what makes your points even dumber is you are repeating the same exact failed ones made half a century ago.”

    Distinguish, my friend, distinguish. It is what constitutional lawyers do for a living. Anything that may distinguish the current fact situation from the previous fact situation opens the door to refinements in the law. Half a century ago, no one was asking anyone to participate in a gay wedding.

    “If you were to follow your own anecdote then it would be the duty of the Christians to suffer personal damages for their faith for refusing to do work which violates their faith.”

    It IS the duty of Christians to be faithful at whatever expense–if it is necessary. Nothing prevents us, however, from pressing the case for our religious freedom to avoid participation in morally repugnant activities. Our freedom and that of others is too important to simply let the godless gobble it up without protest.

    Christians may avoid the entire issue by vacating the wedding business altogether. It is having to participate in the celebration of the EVENT which is objectionable.

  91. Yes the the arguments are distinguished by saying “I hate black people, so I will deny them my business” to “I hate gays so I will deny them my business”. Not a substantive difference.

    If your faith prevents you from acting like a civil person towards others, then you must face the consequences willingly. That means not being such a whinybaby in looking for your act to be acceptable under the color of law. Belief in Christianity does not entitle you to rights over anyone else. Which was essentially what you were arguing for.

    You are not expressing your religious freedom by seeking a legal excuse from maliciously harming others. Discrimination is an act of malice and intentional harm to others. It is not an act of conscience. It is merely using religion to attempt to excuse bad behavior. If those

    “Christians may avoid the entire issue by vacating the wedding business altogether. It is having to participate in the celebration of the EVENT which is objectionable.”

    That is the only sensible thing you have said.

  92. “Yes the the arguments are distinguished by saying “I hate black people, so I will deny them my business” to “I hate gays so I will deny them my business”. Not a substantive difference.”

    LOL! Oh Larry, put the strawmen away till Halloween and act like an adult. Even you are bound to know nobody wants to “deny” gays any business in a general sense. The farmers in question were already doing business with gays. What they do NOT want to do is participate in an objectionable event. And of course there are a good many substantive differences between race and orientation — the history being dealt with, relative severity of harms being addressed, existence of less restrictive alternatives. And of course the SCOTUS has never said that race and orientation (or even race and sex or disability) are analogous or that laws involving them need to be scrutinized in the same way.

    “Discrimination is an act of malice and intentional harm to others. It is not an act of conscience.”

    Says you. You seem to be under the impression that your personal assessment of my motivations matters to me in some manner, but I have yet to see why you should think that. The Bible and every scrap of Jewish and Christian tradition affirms that we as Christians are to have nothing to do with homosexuality. You do not share that conviction — big whoop, we all know that already. But to deny that this is in fact a historically and scripturally verifiable feature of our faith simply makes you look like a crackpot.

    “That is the only sensible thing you have said.”

    And probably the only thing you grasped, too.

  93. And certainly if they wish to violate the law of the land and are satisfied to accept the consequences levied by the judicial system that we all agree to live under, then they are free to do so. But if they knowingly break the law, then they don’t get to squeak about the fines they must pay. Violating the rights of other people is not something you get to do without some blow-back.

  94. And that is just fine. If the catholic church in the Vatican doesn’t want to obey US law, that is their prerogative But if Catholics live in the US, they will obey US law or they will suffer the consequences. That is part of being a US citizen. Having said that, no one that I know of has ever proposed that churches should be required to perform marriages against their will, so I don’t really understand the relevancy of your argument.

  95. I have always said that we need an arrangement in the US like the one that you referenced happening in Germany. “Render to Caesar that which is Caesar’s.” Marriage is a civil, legal arrangement between two consenting parties. Holy Matrimony is something consecrated by the church.

  96. Jesus stopped the stoning of adulterers, which were considered about the worst sinners of that day. I sincerely doubt that Jesus would have stoned anyone, much less homosexuals. The only thing that Dr Manning’s statement proves is that, given a lack of punishment for his actions, Dr Manning would stone “homos.” Which sort of destroys his moral authority, don’t ya think?

  97. Rob, now you’re being disingenuous and you know it. The Nazi Party and the KKK are not protected classes under the anti-discrimination laws of NY state, and if you don’t wish to provide them with a venue, you don’t have to. But given that their stance on bigotry is closer to your own than you might like to admit, you might actually find them convivial company.

  98. “Sin” is an artificial construct created by the church to help reinforce its right to police the activity of its members, and as an excuse for imperialism. It is no more a reality or an objective truth than unicorns or the Jabberwok.

  99. Strawmen? Try citing examples entirely on point with your arguments.Arguments you copied verbatim from racists in the mid 60’s. Some fine company you keep there.

    As for my constant reminders to you that discrimination is a civil tort and a malicious act of harm to others, it is not merely my opinion but it is set down in statute and case law for the last 50 years. Its like saying its debatable whether fraud is a crime under the penal laws of everywhere. If I was making it up, then this whole story would not exist. Discrimination would not be a civil wrong addressed by the NY State laws. You had no other response except to say ignorantly “no it isn’t”. Well you are wrong. You can stop trying to argue against the obvious here.

    As for your convictions about gays, ultimately I don’t give a flying crap. Its how you act on it that matters. If you think harming others is a legitimate expression of your faith, it has to be called out and dealt with in our civil society. One that does not grant Christians special privileges over others.

  100. “But it says right here…!”

    Hear that, SCOTUS? You can all just run along home now because Larry has declared discrimination and civil liberties law settled and decided in advance all the questions that have not yet come before you.

    You just can’t make up this kind of foolery.

    Listen, Larry, it’s been fun swinging the cat-toy for you for but even you cease to be entertaining after a while. What you don’t know about what you don’t know would fill a book, let alone what you don’t know. But your naivete and lack of perspective indicates you’re probably still young enough for an education. Get some, please.

  101. Atheist Max, the line that you took from luke 19:27 was part of a PARABLE. It had nothing to do with Jesus commanding people to execute His enemies. It was the story of a King who lived among people who didn’t want him as King, and so he judged them harshly. So please stop twisting scripture to deceive people into believing your point of view.

  102. They weren’t denied entry. The farm owners welcomed the gay couple to have whatever party or reception they wanted, but they just wouldn’t perform the ceremony because it would be a violation of their religious laws. I myself am queer, but I’m considerate enough to respect their decision. I wouldn’t sue them, and potentially destroy their business and family… THAT is truly causing intentional harm.

  103. Those are 2 Fat Nasty Trouble makers and Ick they are disgusting!

  104. This is about public accommodation, not churches. Churches will always have the right to discriminate, you needn’t worry about that.

  105. What’s wrong about accommodating the couple? The women weren’t asking the owners to give them away, and the owners were willing to host the reception, so their refusal to allow the (legal in NY State) wedding ceremony to be held on their property was ridiculous. And as it turned out, illegal. We Christians have to get with the program. We can’t just pick and choose which laws we’ll follow and which we won’t. Besides, God tells us to obey authority. “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.” (Romans 13:1)

  106. Re: “we will all be forced to accept and participate…” No, we won’t. Just like we won’t be forced to accept and participate in weddings of heterosexual couples.
    When Kim Kardashian got married, were you “forced to accept and participate” in it? No, you weren’t.

  107. Here’s what I told my combative Christian friends over at the Christian Post. If you feel that God wouldn’t want you to serve and be kind to homosexuals, and you own and run a business in a state that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, simply post a sign stating:


    Personally I don’t feel that Jesus would want us to discriminate. In fact, the Bible tells us to be kind to everyone. “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32) We’re also told not to judge others. “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because YOU WHO PASS JUDGMENT DO THE SAME THINGS.” (Romans 2:1) Be blessed.

  108. There nothing here under U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Act The State
    The liberal can’t got noting bye Executive Order 11246, as amended, prohibits job discrimination on the basis of race, color, (religion), sex or national origin, and requires

    Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, protects applicants and
    employees from discrimination in hiring, promotion, discharge, pay, fringe benefits, job training, classification, referral, and other aspects of employment, on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), or national origin. Religious discrimination includes failing to reasonably accommodate an employee’s religious practices where the accommodation does not impose undue hardship.

  109. We are talking about the New York Human Rights Commission, a state executive agency and administrative law. States may make laws more inclusive than federal laws in this respect. The Federal government sets the floor, not the ceiling on such issues.

    Obviously your opinion was not shared by the administrative judge whose professional job it was to interpret the state laws on the subject.

  110. Shorter Shawnie

    I am sure some brilliant attorney can find an argument where intentionally killing a person out of malice isn’t considered murder.

    I am sure someone can argue that religious freedom means I can shoot someone because God tells me to.

    You could always make the arguments, but they are considered frivolous and are usually in bad faith.

  111. They were denied a service available to anyone else who could request it with a mouseclick on their website.

    They brought on the administrative complaint and bad publicity because they were too uncivil and malicious in their intentions to cough up a decent plausible excuse for not providing the service.

  112. “If our transgressions and our sins lie upon us, and we pine away in them, how can we then live?”’ 11 Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! EZEKIEL 33:10

  113. It fascinates me how much effort homosexuals and lesbians target places in which to do battle. How you can take this to court is also mystifying. They are using their(the lesbians) feelings, emotions to have a ruling by the courts. I hope the Gifford’s appeal. I hope they stand their ground. The lesbians were offered a reception at the farm, why couldn’t they just do that? No they can’t, that wasn’t enough , they act like spoiled adolescents not getting their way, all the while ruining a family and their home and business. Real classy.

  114. ……and all the while the lesbians get the money for restitution because their feelings were hurt, and they will probably “divorce” within a year. bonne chance

  115. That skirting business you are referring to is just another word for insincerity. And anyone who has strong convictions about their morals shouldn’t have to skirt anything. They have rights to not have their property used for an ‘abomination” false wedding. They have been imposed upon, and those 2 women are just being spiteful because their feelings were hurt. The victims are the Gifford’s. Bravo for the Gifford’s, they are martyrs. They are brave and heroic to stand up to this mafia of homosexuals who bully everyone because they want to seem normal, or have their actions normalized via public opinion which is totally subjective. The Gifford’s believe in God and truth.

  116. Montague,

    Of course, I agree with you that if this happened to me, I would be willing to accept the consequences levied by the judicial system, although I would express that my objection to same-sex marriage is made on Scriptural grounds.

    The apostles in the Bible met up with persecution, physical injury and imprisonment as well (Acts 7:54-60; 12:1-5; 13:46-50; 14:19-21; 16:22-24). They proved their faith to a higher source, Almighty God. Some Christians today are imprisoned by governments for their conscientious objection to war or killing their fellowman (Korea and Russia). Despite the appeals they file based on Scripture, they are still enduring and proving their faith to God, who will bless them for their integrity.

    Those Christians are aware that God’s kingdom or heavenly government will soon put an end to all corrupt governments of man (Daniel 2:44), and rule over meek mankind with righteousness, love and justice (Isaiah 11:1-9) with great blessings (Revelation 21:1-4). Christians thus have something marvelous to look forward to! 😀

  117. Shawnie,

    I think a simple statement that can be made about Larry and his posts is that he rather serve man than God. That is his choice using the God-given right of free will we all have.

    Christians obey man’s laws and pay taxes (pay Caesar’s things to Caesar); but more important, they obey God’s laws as being supreme (paying God’s things to God).
    (Matthew 22:16-21)

    If man’s laws conflict with God’s laws, then as the apostle Peter confirmed: “we must obey God as ruler rather than men.” (Acts 5:29).

    God’s kingdom or heavenly government will soon put an end to all of man’s governments (Daniel 2:44), so man’s laws will no longer be applicable (Isaiah 11:1-9). The issues discussed here will then be moot. 😀

  118. Max,

    The scripture you cited, 1 Corinthians 5:11, refers to the disfellowship of Christians who CONTINUE TO PRACTICE SINS that go against God’s laws, commands and principles. It is beneficial to read the entire context by reading 1 Corinthians 9-13 for a “complete picture.”

    In the congregation of God, disfellowshipping is exercised to maintain the purity of the organization through
    its doctrines and morals.

    The congregation must remain clean and maintain God’s favor to be used by him and represent Him. (1 Corinthians 5:5,6). Otherwise, God would expel or cut off the entire congregation.

    The apostle Paul, with authority vested in him, ordered the expulsion of an incestuous fornicator who had taken his father’s wife (1 Corinthians 5:5, 11, 13). He also exercised disfellowshipping Hymenaeus and Alexander (1 Timothy 1:19; 20. Diotrephes, however, was apparently trying to exercise disfellowshipping action wrongly (3 John 9,10).

    Some of the offenses that could merit it are: fornication, adultery, homosexuality, greed, extortion, thievery, lying, drunkedness, reviling, spiritism, murder, idolatry, apostasy, and causing of divisions (1 Corinthians 5:9-13; 6:9,10; Titus 3:-10,11; Revelation 21:8).

    Mercifully, one promoting a sect is warned a first and second time before action of disfellowship is taken (1 Timothy 5:19).

    Those convicted of a “practice of sin” are reproved scripturally before “onlookers” or those who testified about the sinful conduct so that they also may have a healthy fear of such sin (1 Timothy 5:20).

    The Christian congregation also admonishes by Scripture to stop socializing with those disorderly and not walking correctly but who are deemed not deserving of complete expulsion (2 Thessalonians 3:6, 11, 13-15).

    Regarding any who were Christians but later repudiated the Christian congregation or were expelled from it, the apostle Paul commanded: “quit mixing in company with” such a one”; and the apostle John wrote “never receive him into your homes or say a greeting to him.” (1 Corinthians 5:11; 2 John 9,10)

    Those who have been expelled may be received back into the congregation IF they manifest sincere repentance (2 Corinthians 2:5-8). This is also a protection to the congregation, preventing it from being overreached by Satan from condoning wrongdoing to the other extreme, becoming harsh and unforgiving (2 Corinthians 2:10,11).

    Evidently the Catholic Church has not applied the above Scriptural counsel in that it does NOT disfellowship its sinning priests who sexually abuse children and others; but has moved them to other locations and allowed them to continue their sins.

  119. I have been watching through the years as gay advocates have ridiculed predictions that are now happening. They pretend that many of the militant gays are not trying to carve one step at a time to the point where religions who do not believe in same-sex marriage won’t be pushed beyond their beliefs without being disenfranchised. It is only a matter of time. One step at a time. Already so much has happened that was promised not to.

  120. It isn’t a prejudice. I have gay relatives and friends I love and have no prejudice towards. You have no right to tell us that we have no right to our moral beliefs. You have a right to yours even if we disagree. The arrogance of treating people as if they are idiots for holding to personal beliefs is ridiculous.
    The law is now on your side but some of us belief it is unconstitutional. I have heard all the arguments on both sides. I have a right to my opinion even if I eventually go to jail for it.

  121. Your analogy of “old people are sinners” to “gay people are sinners” holds exactly no water. It’s patently ridiculous. Show me where Holy Scripture tells us that “old people are sinners.” I’ll save you some time; you can’t. But any Christian can show you where Scripture declares emphatically and unequivocally that homosexual behavior is sinful.


  122. Nobody is arguing for laws directly forcing Churches to marry homosexuals, but I have heard this argument from a gay friend: “I pay taxes, and your Church is a tax-exempt institution under 503c regulations. If your Church is receiving government exemption from taxes yet is discriminating against gays by not marrying them and thus denying them their rights, then that tax exemption should be revoked.”

    This is the avenue that the gay lobby will pursue to gain revenge against religious institutions.

  123. “You can change your religion quite easily.” Not quite, not in the authentic Apostolic Christian faith of the Orthodox Church. Orthodoxy is not a “religion” at all but rather a way of life. It has been handed down to us from Christ Himself through His Apostles and their successors. We are not at liberty to change anything. Don’t lump the authentic Apostolic faith in with latter-day Protestants who have rejected Apostolic tradition.

    And as has been stated by others, it is a joke to compare “gay rights” with the civil rights movement of African Americans. Discrimination against African Americans is/was based on what they are. The Church rejects homosexual behavior and not homosexuals. It will not, and cannot, ever sanction homosexual behavior. Homosexuals who have repented of their ways are more than welcome in the Church. Once they’ve been sacramentally accepted into the Church, we’ll even joyfulliy marry them. To someone of the opposite sex, that is.

  124. I wonder what would happen if a man, a woman and a bisexual wanted to have a three-way marriage at this farm? Would the courts compel that?

  125. I agree and I believe if a church don’t abide by the law and have gay weddings in their church or they need to lose their tax exempt status… Because no church should be about HATE!

  126. Blah…Blah…Blah… Thats all I got out of your poor me from the church… Get over your HATE!

  127. They do. They have a website where they advertise their facility for rental. They have commercials. Every fall they have a corn maze to compete for business with the many other farms in the area who also have fall festivities with Apple and pumpkin picking. The facility is open to the public year round. This isn’t a small farm on a dirt country road. I’ve been there once (and have never returned, and no I’m not gay). This place exists solely for the purpose of holding events, not for real farming. The only farm thing about it is the look of the buldings, the corn maze, and a hand full of bunnies and chickens. It is a commercial business facility, their income comes from hosting events, not farming.

  128. It is really sad that the couple sued the farmers because they didn’t get what they
    wanted. Can I sue congress, the senate and the President because they took away my healthcare? Can I sue gay/lesbians because they won’t let me go into their club? I will never know because it is a very immature thing to do.

  129. So if I don’t want to serve you because you said abusive things to me and you are gay/lesbian, then I have no recourse but to let you do it. When you told me you are gay/lesbian and wanted to be married in my house. My religion says to love you but not to accommodate you. So I should violate my beliefs so that you wont hate me? If I do then I have no integrity and should have no business. I believe this is why our court system is so messed up—no integrity.

  130. Larry, your country is going down the pit with the legalization of same sex marriage. Being gay or a lesbian is a decision… a decision to complain against God the maker that He made a mistake by putting a “woman in a man’s body” or the reverse. Your country should wake-up before its too late. I salute these people who decided to suffer for what is right and for the people who are deceived…. WAKE-UP…

  131. Try saying that to a muslim business, You will lose or get a body part removed

  132. It is not the law of the land. It is the law of a selfish and cruel people.
    I don’t have to sell you my goods. They are mine until you buy them. I have the right to sell them to who I want. If you don’t like it, go somewhere else.

  133. Yes there are many people in the toddler stage. In every walk of life. Unfortunately most of them are in charge.

  134. Larry….the gym ‘Curves’ is a NY State business(for profit) and MEN ARE NOT ALLOWED TO JOIN…feel free to hem and ham all you want.

  135. Larry I think that you should prepare for the consequences on Judgment Day. I hope you can persuade the good lord to spare your soul.

  136. This is such disgusting crap.

    This has little to nothing to do with “religion”. This has to do with rights & rights supersede any stupid man made law. So called “anti-discrimination laws” are vile, wrong and need to be repealed.

    The Giffords have every right to approve or disapprove anyone they desire for any reason they desire, no matter what basis is behind that decision is.

    The government continues to violate their duties and violate the rights of the people. The government has no business forcing someone to do business with anyone against their will for any reason.

    The lesbian couple had no business suing. It was spiteful and wrong, there is absolutely no validity to their claim. They should have accepted the denial, respected the Giffords rights and found different venue. The Giffords didn’t say the couple couldn’t have their union or anything else, just that they couldn’t have the ceremony on their property… which is perfectly fine.

  137. …… all are missing the real issue here.
    (This of course includes every human on the planet earth, period.).

    The issue is this: The desire and action of placing his penis in the biological exit of human
    waste opening which has no natural secretion
    for his pleasure.
    It is also very sad and unfortunate that the
    Medical educated do not take a stand here….
    but as we know are more concerned with money
    not reality of common cleanliness.

    A final (maybe shocking ) statement. The laws of the universe and nature are the true elements
    here, NOT those created by human folly or control.
    Humans have created an unnatural folly called
    Putting one’s penis into any available HOLE
    Which is backed by the so-called highest court in the land on earth.
    In the long run, we shall see……….Mans.

  138. Wrong, just because someone advertises to the general public is meaningless and irrelevant.

    The Giffords – as all others do – have the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason based on anything they desire. The government has no say, nor anyone else.

  139. Larry !!!
    Shut up, if they don’t want to host a gay wedding its called FREEDOM !
    Are you kidding me ? they are fined 13k for having a voice, you call it discrimination!
    Its called standing by your religious beliefs, I hope the lesbian couple is happy, idiots. I’m thrilled that this couple is shutting it down for the RIGHT reason.

  140. When will someone “test” these radical leftists by going to a liberal far left photographer and baker and having them attend and bake cakes for a KKK wedding where there are signs with the N word and derogatory statements against gays? Someone should really set this up just as a test and see how the lefist bigots handle it.

  141. It doesn’t matter what the “opinion” the judge may have. Their job isn’t enforce their “opinion”. It is first and foremost to protect and secure individual rights, then it is to honor/follow/obey the US Constitution, then it is to honor/follow/obey the NY Constituion and Federal Law, then state law. IN THAT ORDER.

    The Judge’s “opinion” does not get to be expressed for they are acting on behalf the people. So his personal views are meaningless and are to be kept themselves because they do not represent 100% of the populace. His ruling violates the Constitution and human rights, just as the so called “anti-discrimination law” does.

    Also, there is no such things as “administrative law”. Only the LEGISLATURES get to make law and they don’t get to delegate that out. No one is to be punished in anyway by any form of government outside what the legislatures decide within the bounds of the Constitutions and Human Rights.

    The lesbian couple does not have a right to do anything on someone else’s property without their explicit permission, if they get denied for ANY reason at all, too bad.

  142. Why do we as Christians, refuse the opportunity to spread the word to sinners who desire the services of a Church?

    Use this as an opportunity. The gov’t can force a business to serve but they cannot force a business to openly support the ceremony. You have them in your doors. Preach them the word. Make them feel the heat. This is an opportunity.

    Then donate all funds received from that ceremony to anti-gay marriage institutions. Let them know their own money will go towards the anti-gay marriage cause. It is a win-win.

  143. @Joe – this is entirely the truth. I think there needs to be researches who can pull out what was said in many of the debates when one statute was passed here or there e.g. that religious people would not be forced to perform ceremonies. I heard all the promises too.

    And they pretty much turned out to be false. It would not be unreasonable to assume that what is being promised now, would also be false.

  144. Larry, if this is truly a free country then people should be able to openly discriminate against whoever they wish. To do otherwise, especially on the part of government, is an infraction against individual rights. It is not the role of government to force its moral authority on the citizens. You can decry “malice” and “bigotry” all you want but the government should butt out.

  145. I take offense to those who continually compare this to racial equality.

    It is not the same. Period.

  146. Atheist Max: You left out, in 2 Thessalonians 3:6, “…living in idleness..” in the ellipsis. That verse referred to Paul rebuking those who, because of the supposed imminence of Christ’s coming, had ceased to work and were living on the generosity of others. (The New Oxford Annotated Bible).
    As for Luke 19:27, Jesus was referring, IN A PARABLE, to a former nobleman, now a king. The essence of this parable is that, “Though all will be judged, only the hostile are punished.” (Again, The New Oxford Annotated Bible.)
    Max, you are a thoughtful person, who wants to do right, but is turned off by certain parts of scripture. As long as you do right, and are not actively hostile to Christians, you will be alright.

  147. Other people may have different beliefs, they are entitled to it, I respect that. But they have to respect my right to disagree.

  148. ” We should have an event and then invite Larry the dummy and then do some splendid willful harmful acts upon him.” How Christ like of you! Openly advocating violence seems to be what so called Christians are really about. Shamful.

  149. Larry should they allow an adult to marry a underage child? Of course not- there’s laws (moral & civil) against it.
    I guess the business should only perform marriages to “members’ and ALL members must be approved first by the board. Guess who won’t be approved.

  150. Please stop this “chicken little” routine. A minister can refuse to marry anyone he chooses or chooses not to. This issue is very clear in our Constitution.

  151. Christians no longer have the right to do business as Christians in NY. Next we will see polygamy and everything else, because Liberty and Freedom have been stripped away to favor the immoral whims of a few.

    It only took 2 Lesbians to shut down weddings for everyone. I hope they feel better about themselves.

    This is what happens when you vote to allow same-sex weddings… you can kiss all of your religious values, your Liberty, your Freedom, goodbye, forever.

  152. Let’s face it – the rights of Christians are being thrown under the bus in favor of many factors… Militant gays are a big part of this. Many of these homosexual couples target such businesses, and if they are refused – the Gay Mafia shows up with their trial lawyers, and the businesses don’t have a chance, along with their Biblical views and Christian convictions – period.

    I live in New York State, and if I recall – when gay marriage was made legal – it was also promised to people with moral objections to this – that their rights would be respected as well. HA!! so much for that!!!

    The Liberal catch phrase nowadays is “HATER” if you don’t agree with their views. It seems pretty hateful to me that the Christian business owners are now being forced out of business and also suffer financially, because they won’t compromise their deeply held Biblical views. Gays who continue to shove their lifestyle down our collective throats are NOT gaining any sympathy for their cause. No one is telling them they can’t get married per the law – but that isn’t good enough for them – they want to punish anyone who does not passionately promote their lifestyle. Wonder if they would also bring a lawsuit against a Muslim business that refused to host their reception. Nope – do not think they would…

    Sorry Leftists – you shouldn’t be able to have it both ways – but because you now own the media & almost all of society – you pretty much do. Enjoy it while you can – you will reap what you sow….

  153. Religious liberty should not be governed by the law. This country has taken so many rights out of their original contexts! Why do Christians have to give their rights over to someone else’s. Just go somewhere else. Why make such an issue if you have different views! Homosexuality is about sexual preferences. Its not an Nationality! People shouldn’t to be fined or punished for their Christian beliefs any more than homosexuals for theirs!!!!!

  154. I understand it’s hard to imagine people who believe in,”Not my will, but Thine be done”. But there are many who do believe that. True, there are some bad examples of it but there are also many that hold to this as a WAY of life and not just a Part of their lives. Where people go wrong about God’s love is in not realizing that His love was fully given at the cross where Jesus died. It bought those who would believe back from hell at the end of this time. It did not make every thing ok to do. And true Christians care and do not make judgement calls except those given in the Bible. But even then we must be careful to do those in a loving way as we are not perfect either but only trying to live God’s way and not our own. I suppose Christians will always be persecuted for that. But our rewards will be many. sorry if I did not explain this just how I would like. Its such a long study and hard to sum up. God Bless all who read this.

  155. It is also their home. It’s bad enough that they are compelled by the State to set aside their religious beliefs, but in their own home?

    How were the gay couple harmed? Could they not go somewhere else to find someone who was willing to host their wedding ceremony?

  156. This truly sickens me. I defend all who speak against the gays and lesbians. Do they not realize that it took a MAN with a WOMAN to conceive them? Oh, that’s right, they now can ADOPT because one wants to be the mother and one wants to be the dad. I have relatives that are gay; though I love them, their CHOICES are against God, their lifestyles are nauseating, and I want nothing to do with them. So sue me…

  157. I agree with everything you said , but you left something out. They glorify this lifestyle by applauding all of the celebrities that come out and say that they are openly gay. They make it appear to be so inviting to the children as if there are great rewards to being gay. You get in the news, get athletic contracts and all the fame a lot of them are seeking anyway. Train up your child in the way that he should go…..Seems like the only ones entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are the gay.

  158. So I guest when enough men decide to stop kidnapping and trafficking and start to admit that they like being with underage girls the government will change the laws about that. Oh yea and if we don’t believe in that it will be said that we will be discriminating based on age right. this country is losing all of its morals. Before long you’re going to be discriminated against for NOT being gay.

  159. The persecution of the moral on behalf of the immoral in America of all places is rapidly escalating with the liberal dominated government becoming more oppressive toward moral Americans by the day. I suspect Christians in America are rapidly approaching the point where they’ll just have to opt out and conduct their weddings and fellowships underground away from the prying KGB eyes and sin stained fingers of the liberal fascists just like they had to do in the old Soviet Union when the atheist Marxists held the power.

  160. I hope this lesbian couple is happy they put a family out of business and just put another nail in our economic growth all because they wanted to push their personal beliefs on someone else rather than just suck it up and find another venue for their wedding ceremony.

  161. Atheist Max, first off, Christianity does not IN THE NAME OF JESUS tell you to judge harshly. Romans 12:9 says vengeance should be left to the Lord. It also says in John 8:7 that he without sin cast the first stone. Secondly, please do not pick out of the bible ONE verse and decide without looking at the others around it what it means. I don’t know what Bible you read that upset you so but please seek out the counsel of someone who has genuinely studied the book and its interpretations to help you decipher it. It is full of love AND forgiveness. Someone reading the Bible who does not understand it will struggle just as much as the average four year old would struggle given a book on the human body and it’s functions, with no one to explain it to them. I would suggest a local Baptist church myself, I go to one and enjoy the discussions of Sunday school where I am welcome to ask questions as I am sure you would be 🙂 sorry, I know this has nothing to do with the original story but neither does most of these other posts in my opinion. Why can’t EVERYONE just be respectful and voice opinion without desire to hurt others who my not share said opinion? Larry and Larrythedummy, you two are particularly rude 🙁

  162. No one can force a church to marry anybody. Stop lying.

  163. If you don’t get a license from your State, then you aren’t legally married. I don’t care how many church weddings you have. The State grants legal status, no your church.

  164. We’re still waiting for your side to prove harm. In the real world, one needs evidence to back up a claim. You have nothing but hot air.

  165. Perhaps you should learn a little about anti-discrimination law BEFORE you post.

  166. Gee…… everybody else can easily see the parallels. What’s wrong with your brain?

  167. You’re joking. Would you want your daughter to marry a gay man?

  168. If you rent your “private” home to the public, it becomes a public accommodation. In New York it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation in matters concerning public accommodation.

    This isn’t rocket science.

  169. Go right ahead. You will lose. You will lose because you are wrong. You will lose because are delusional and paranoid.

  170. …and you think a lame sign is going to exempt you from litigation, eh?

  171. You are incorrect. But that has never stopped wingnuts from whining.

    No such thing as “administrative law,” eh?

  172. The government has EVERY right to pass laws governing commerce.

    Perhaps it is your less-than-correct understand of the Constitution that is the problem here.

    Perfectly fine???? You mean perfectly FINED.

  173. You are free to hold whatever beliefs you like. You are NOT free to hide behind those beliefs as a juvenile excuse for discriminating against your fellow citizens. The Constitution protects your right to BELIEVE. It does NOT protect your right to discriminate in public accommodations in NY.

  174. Huh? The Giffords broke the law. This ain’t rocket science. They CHOSE to stop hosting weddings.

  175. Ah yes….. Christian paranoia… such a well documented mental illness.

    What gives you the hubris to think the government cares ANYTHING about what you or your church believes? This isn’t the United States of Jesus. Your god doesn’t run this country.

  176. We would LOVE to see you try and prove that homosexual behavior is harmful in court. You’ve had at least ten years, yet fail every time.

    When did Christians become so comfortable with spreading LIES?

  177. The Giffords were punished for their ACTIONS, not their beliefs.

    Stop the spin.

  178. Don’t expect the government to stick up for your delusional religious beliefs. Church and State are separate.

  179. Last time I checked, telling a big fat LIE was considered immoral. Christians don’t have anything else but emotional exaggeration and outright lies.

  180. So is eating shrimp.
    So is wearing blended fabrics
    So is working on the sabbath

  181. Andy asks Larry; “Larry, if this is truly a free country then people should be able to openly discriminate against whoever they wish. To do otherwise, especially on the part of government, is an infraction against individual rights.”

    Andy… I have decided that my 12 year old daughter should not be discriminated against, in her desire to drive my Lincoln Town Car down the freeway, or to buy whiskey at the Safeway store down the street. Makes perfect sense to me (at least using the logic you use in your statement.)

  182. Ok.. what happened to the rights of the couple running their business .. the lesbian couple could have chosen some where else to have their venue.. why destroy a couples income . I don’t hate any one but it saddens me that the women could not chose to do their celebration elsewhere and leave this couple to their lives.. as the scripture say.. GOD will have his revenge in the end people.. why not think about that before you chose to take the wrong action

  183. Discrimination harms people?! HARMS?! Putting a difference between two things and living according to that difference (perceived or not), which in this case means “leave us alone”, harms people… Anyway, I’m not even going to look at that fatal blunder. What part of PRIVATE PROPERTY does neither you nor any of your socialist friends understand?! When did the state decide that they could expand someone’s private property into a public service?! How did that magic happen?! The government does not care about their beliefs?! Really?! Then why is the congress stepping in to impose a FINE on these people CALCULATED to “prohibit the free exercise thereof” at the behest of people who are discriminating against them for their beliefs, and want “prohibit the free exercise thereof” or have you all “forgotten” that part of the phrase about religion in the constitution?! You know. The minute I saw that the gay manifesto was fulfilling the part about challenging the church for gay marriage, I foretold that this is where it would end up, that they would actually invade Christian people’s homes and demand that they accept their lifestyle or else, and people laughed. See! There it is! An unconstitutional attack on people who want to be left alone, just like the gays claimed to want to be left alone. I must have missed that in the constitution! I don’t remember discrimination mentioned there or even a responsibility of being civil either. The constitution’s entire language specifically encourages prejudice skepticism and mistrust of ANYBODY and with good reason; people all over are naturally very nasty creatures to one another, and we cannot trust anybody. Here is utter proof why right now. The constitution screams “leave me alone”, these people are saying “go practice your thing in your private place and we’ll do our thing in our private place, and just LEAVE US ALONE”, but clearly the gays just do not want to leave people alone!

  184. I am tired of this sick garbage. So these good Christian people are supposed to choose to marry lesbians and go to hell or be fined. What happened to the freedom of religion that we supposedly have. Apparently churches are supposed to pacify these folks because it is supposedly politically correct to do so. well forget politically correct.

  185. And n one should have principals and values unless they are approved by the government either, so there.

  186. You might want to pay more attention to the actual story and especially the quote marks. Your statement was not what Jesus said, but what the character in a parable said. As to what he meant by telling the parable, well I’m not venturing to interpret that, just pointing out that you read it wrong.

  187. So it must of been god’s law which allowed priest to molest young boys for all these centuries.

  188. Thank secular laws they were fined, I do not support using religion to hide your hatred & bigotry. I agree with Montague!

  189. You are confusing having christian beliefs for a person with a BUSINESS having religious beliefs they are allowed to act on. NO.

  190. You aren’t giving up rights, you are giving up special privileges…privileges you should have NEVER had. Now you’re silly enough to confuse that privilege with a right. SHAME ON YOU!!!!

  191. You place FAR too much value on conception. Your parents aren’t necessarily who conceives you (in-vitro?) but who RAISES you. And gay people make FANTASTIC parents.

  192. since [email protected]#$% when do you know the voice of god since when did your choice be built on blessing that are known as true .. miracles are forlorn till the end of days as the rapture is the last miracle or so your book of god speaks through the Hebrews\Romans aka fables riped and taken from their enemies as trophies over man last i checked any one wielding false victory over the people is a Nicolotion or as the kin.. as God has stated to preserve the throne to be holy .. since when does the ideals and actions of man have the ability to prove god wrong..

  193. Are you serious? What kind of comment is that? For your info Catholicism is not inline with the teachings of the Bible. And because a group of ppl chose to do really bad things doesn’t reflect on Gods desires and expectations of us.

  194. I would not allow the use of my farm either.We do not breed two Roosters. or breed two hens.How nasty!

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