NEW YORK - A New York couple fined $13,000 for choosing to hold to their religious convictions rather than host a lesbian wedding ceremony will no longer be hosting any weddings, they announced Friday.
Cynthia and Robert Gifford said they would not go against their religious beliefs, so they would not schedule any further weddings in the future. ”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,” their Alliance Defending Freedom attorney James Trainor told The Blaze.
New Jersey couple Jennifer McCarthy and Melisa Erwin took the Giffords to court when they refused to host their 2012 wedding at Liberty Ridge Farm, where the Giffords host about a dozen weddings a year. While the Giffords offered to hold the reception, but not the actual ceremony, a court ruled in favor of McCarthy and Erwin, and fined the Giffords $13,000.
Earlier this year, an Illinois lesbian couple filed a complaint with the state's Human Right Commission on Christian businessman Jim Walder of Paxton, Illinois. Walder, who owns the TimberCreek Bed & Breakfast, said he would not host same-sex weddings based on his religious objections to same-sex marriage. The commission has yet to issue a judgment on the complaint.