Cynthia and Robert Gifford are Christian farmers from upstate New York who made a living off hosting weddings and events on their gorgeous property. That all changed in 2012, when lesbians Jennifer McCarthy and Melissa Erwin asked to get married on their land.
The Giffords refused, and all Hell broke loose…
The lesbians took them to court for discrimination, and a judge forced the Giffords to pay a $10,000 fine as well as an additional $13,000 in damages. As a result, the couple decided to stop hosting weddings on their property.
“Going forward, [Cynthia and Robert Gifford] have decided to no longer host any wedding ceremonies on their property (other than the ones already under contract),” their lawyer, James Trainor, said at the time. “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.”
Despite all that they have been through, the Giffords are now fighting back with a petition demanding that the state of New York reexamine their case. The couple is being defended by The Alliance Defending Freedom, and lawyers for the group say the state “did not consider Robert and Cynthia’s constitutional freedoms and religious beliefs” when they made the ruling.
The appeal to the New York State Division of Human Rights reads in part:
“While the Giffords have asserted their constitutional religious protections as a defense to the discrimination allegations from the beginning, neither the Division, the Administrative Law Judge (the ‘ALJ’) or the Commissioner herself even mentioned those fundamental rights before compelling the family to either host and ‘celebrate’ same-sex wedding ceremonies in their own home, or go out of the wedding ceremony business altogether.”
Lawyers for The Alliance Defending Freedom point out that the Giffords offered to allow the lesbians to have their wedding reception on their farm. They made it clear that their only issue was with a gay marriage ceremony itself.
The conservative firm also attacks the judge’s ruling that the Giffords must train their staff to be open to same-sex relationships.
“The commission demonstrated stunning disregard for the Giffords’ First Amendment rights, which were never considered at the hearing,” Trainor commented. “The commissioner’s order in essence gives an ultimatum: host same-sex marriage ceremonies or none at all.”
While it remains to be seen whether or not the case will be reopened, we applaud the Giffords for sticking to their religious morals and for being a thorn in the side of some angry libtards!
What do you think of this case? Is Freedom of Speech a dying right in this country? Sound off in the comments below!
H/T: The Blaze