Lesbian Couple Files Discrimination Complaint Against NY Farm Owners

Lesbian Couple Files Discrimination Complaint
Against NY Farm Owners

Complaint provides yet another example of how life in states where marriage has been redefined is not “live and let live”

Minneapolis, MN – An Albany, New York lesbian couple filed a discrimination complaint against private, family-owned Liberty Ridge Farm on October 11, 2012 after owner Robert Gifford politely informed the couple that his family’s farm was not available for a same-sex wedding ceremony.

The Giffords rightfully plan to challenge the complaint and since New York’s same-sex marriage law is so new, there is little precedent for this type of case.  New York courts will determine whether farm owner Robert Gifford and his family have the right to offer the use of their farm in ways that align with their own values.

Following is a statement by John Helmberger, Chairman of Minnesota for Marriage on the case and its implications for Minnesotans:

“This new case provides yet another in a long list of examples of the consequences individuals, small businesses, religious organizations, parents and children face when marriage is redefined. There is no room under the law for those who cannot agree with this new genderless definition of marriage for religious, cultural, or other reasons.
Unfortunately, the kind of complaint filed against the Giffords in New York is not a rare occurrence in states that have redefined marriage as a genderless institution. The O’Reillys, owners of a private Inn in Vermont, and the Diocese of Worcester, Massachusetts were both sued for similar reasons.

Once same-sex “marriage” becomes the law of the land, those who support marriage as only between one man and one woman, like most Minnesotans and the Giffords in New York State, are labeled as ‘discriminators’ and punished under the  law. The new genderless ‘marriage’ law requires all citizens to recognize same-sex unions as marriages, regardless of their religious or cultural beliefs.

Our opponents like to conflate state anti-discrimination laws with the punishment that believers in traditional marriage are facing in states like Vermont and New York. However, that is a false comparison. If marriage had not been redefined in these states, these business owners would not be facing legal jeopardy for refusing to participate in a gay ‘marriage’ ceremony since there would be no such thing as gay ‘marriage.’ But because marriage has been redefined to accommodate gay ‘marriage,’ the anti-discrimination laws can be used as a weapon to force people of faith to participate in these events despite their strongly held religious views.

Without the Minnesota Marriage Protection Amendment, we run the risk of allowing judges and politicians to overturn our state’s marriage laws—leaving Minnesotans vulnerable to being punished simply because they believe that marriage is a unique relationship between a man and a woman. The Giffords understand the reality of facing legal action because of their beliefs—we must pass the Marriage Protection Amendment so that Minnesotans don’t have to.



Minnesota for Marriage is a broad coalition of leaders, both inter-faith and people outside the religious community, who support marriage as between one man and one woman. LEARN MORE

Paid for by Minnesota for Marriage, Inc.