NY court: Business that refused lesbian wedding violated law

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) – A New York appeals court has ruled against the owners of a wedding venue who refused to host a lesbian wedding and were fined $13,000 for violating the state’s anti-discrimination law.

Robert and Cynthia Gifford cited their religious beliefs in refusing to host the 2013 wedding of Melisa and Jennie McCarthy at Liberty Ridge Farm, north of Albany.

The Appellate Division of state Supreme Court on Thursday said the Giffords are free to express their religious beliefs but must allow same-sex couples to marry on their premises if they allow opposite-sex couples to do so. The ruling upholds a determination by the state’s Division of Human Rights.

The Giffords were represented by an attorney for the conservative Christian group Alliance Defending Freedom. The attorney says an appeal will be considered.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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