Discrimination | Gay Marriage | New York | News

NY's Liberty Ridge Farm Tells Lesbian Couple: You Can't Marry Here, We're a Family Place: VIDEO


Melissa Erwin and Jenny McCarthy hoped to marry at the Liberty Ridge Farm in Schaghticoke, New York but the farm denied their request because they're lesbians, WNYT reports:

GiffordThis year Liberty Ridge has 15 weddings booked.  Nuptials are a growing market for the 26-year-old farm, but owner Robert Gifford is adamant -- they don't host same-sex marriages.

"I think it's our right to choose who we market to, like any business," Gifford explained during an interview at the farm Friday afternoon.

It appears that will be up to New York to decide. The state's Human Rights Law bans places of accommodation from discrimination against individuals based on sexual orientation.

"It seems like the women would have a strong argument that it is a place of public accommodation," said David Fallon, a discrimination attorney with Tully Rinckey Law Firm who is not representing the couple.

Gifford added that Liberty Ridge "[is] a family business and we just feel we ought to stay down the family path."

Watch their report, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. And again with the "family = anti-gay" BS. Christians are so disgusting

    Posted by: Steve | Oct 22, 2012 3:17:59 PM

  2. Oops, it seems this dumbass Liberty Ridge Farm owner may have an expensive lesson to learn in public accommodations under NY state law. I hope this lesbian couple pursues legal action against him and his bigoted homophobic stance about "staying down the family path". Yeah, right, buddy.

    Posted by: HadenoughBS | Oct 22, 2012 3:18:21 PM

  3. Newsflash, you don't get to choose that. Your business license says so.

    Posted by: Michaelandfred | Oct 22, 2012 3:21:33 PM

  4. I would say that is the farm's rights now to exclude gays in the weddings. I don't think we should force anybody to accept our weddings, just like I don't want them to force me to listen to their garbage.

    Posted by: macmantoo | Oct 22, 2012 3:21:38 PM

  5. Also sounds like this may be brewing up just in time for NOM to say that these farmers are being persecuted. That way they have somewhere to point to in their ads in the four marriage states. I've noticed that many of these conflicts are popping up all of a sudden. I wonder why...

    Posted by: Yinzer | Oct 22, 2012 3:33:12 PM

  6. The farm is not a church, and refusing business based on sexual orientation is illegal in NY. It might be different if he had a religious exemption by way of being an actual church, but, here, I wouldn't think there was that much difference legally between an ice cream store refusing to sell an ice cream cone to a gay man than what this guy is doing. Regular businesses don't get exemptions, or you'd open the floodgates to having supermarkets that only served whites, or laundromats that only served protestants. Plus, same-sex marriage is legal in NY. So sue this guy, win, and then still hold your wedding elsewhere so he doesn't see any money from it. Why coddle bigots?

    Posted by: bobbyjoe | Oct 22, 2012 3:36:41 PM

  7. Did this farm just wake up from the south in the 1950's? Sad that this happens anywhere but upstate New York? When will these people pick up a history book and learn the side of history that they are doomed to be on if they continue to govern themselves with such closed minds.

    Posted by: Opinionated | Oct 22, 2012 3:38:12 PM

  8. It is not the farm's right to exclude gay couples when a non-discrimination law is in place that prohibits selecting a class of people for exclusion from public accommodations. They're free to market their business however they want; they're even free to publically flaunt their bigotry. But where there are laws to protect people from discrimination you either offer a service to everyone or to no one. Very weird that some gay people don't get that it's no different than hanging out a No Blacks/Jews/Christians/Elderly etc. sign.

    Posted by: Ernie | Oct 22, 2012 3:38:50 PM

  9. Their politeness is no excuse for bigotry.
    The Farm must learn that Lesbian Couples and Gay Couples are families too.

    So, sue the bastards.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Oct 22, 2012 3:42:08 PM

  10. The guy's a jackass but I would tell these young women to find a place that supports you and spend your money there. Why give money to a bigot? And suing him? As much as these ladies deserve some justice, it plays into the hands of anti marriage jerks that say we want to force people (and churches, etc) to accept gay marriage against their views.

    Posted by: Kid | Oct 22, 2012 3:44:42 PM

  11. No doubt the farm will lose its marriage license. The farm is not a religious place so it falls within the non-discrimination policy of the law. We went through crap like this in MA and VT did also.

    Posted by: Sam | Oct 22, 2012 3:53:51 PM

  12. "Very weird that some gay people don't get that it's no different than hanging out a No Blacks/Jews/Christians/Elderly etc. sign."


    No, I wouldn't want to give them business either, but just ignoring them/not giving them our business does NOT solve the problem.

    Posted by: kp05 | Oct 22, 2012 3:58:18 PM

  13. The guy is not a jackass (or not only). He's a criminal. He's breaking the law. And there's no reason anyone, much less gay people, should be apologizing for him.

    Imagine if blacks in the 50s said, "Oh, that's OK, I'll just go to some other lunch counter. No biggie!"

    Posted by: KevinVT | Oct 22, 2012 4:00:33 PM

  14. I owned a Gay resort , marketing to the bear clothing optional male community however...i could not exclude anyone if a straight couple or lesbian couple wish to enjoy our grounds they were free to do so as i was a business offering public accommodation. I am pretty sure the same is true in NY.

    Posted by: Rev. Joseph Shore-Goss | Oct 22, 2012 4:03:26 PM

  15. yes Yinzer, The timing is fishy. Were these girls put up to this? If not they should find another venue quick and hold a press conference describing how elaborate and expensive it will be...

    Posted by: ty | Oct 22, 2012 4:05:12 PM

  16. Kid, what if a grocery decided not to sell food to gay people? What is the difference? It's something you purchase. If he doesn't want to rent the farm to a gay couple, he needs to get out of the business.

    Posted by: Mawm | Oct 22, 2012 4:06:14 PM

  17. Did I just see right - on Google Maps this Farm is on Bevis Rd? My first thought was "Butthead"?!

    Posted by: Kevin P | Oct 22, 2012 4:15:21 PM

  18. If there was ever an argument for taking a spouse's name upon marriage, it is being named "Jenny McCarthy" with the chance to be named "Jenny Erwin" instead.

    Posted by: Thomasina | Oct 22, 2012 4:21:32 PM

  19. I can't imagine them wanting to spend time suing the guy instead of getting on with their wedding and lives.

    Posted by: anon | Oct 22, 2012 4:38:43 PM

  20. Yes ANON, just sweep it under the rug. You guys would like that wouldn't you?

    Posted by: WOW | Oct 22, 2012 5:08:13 PM

  21. The lesbians should find out who were the other gay couples whose weddings were also denied and they ALL should sue this bigot farmer.

    Posted by: jaragon | Oct 22, 2012 5:13:53 PM

  22. 'family' as in just spitting out babies--no real sense of family. To him it's all sexual and a kid factory.

    Posted by: woodroad34 | Oct 22, 2012 5:48:02 PM

  23. "I think it's our right to choose who we market to, like any business,"

    Well, sure, you can market to whomever you want. You just can't turn away customers.

    Tip: Aryan press... really cheap ad rates. Pass is on.

    Posted by: BobN | Oct 22, 2012 5:49:37 PM

  24. Sad that some of you are more concerned about catering to bigots rather than standing up against blatant discrimination.

    Of course Melissa and Jenny should sue. Allowing these farm owners to get away with blatantly illegal practices is not the answer.

    Posted by: Francis | Oct 22, 2012 6:36:13 PM

  25. I thought NY State had made it part of the law making same-sex marriage legal that no business could be forced to participate.

    Posted by: Frank | Oct 22, 2012 7:29:35 PM

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