US: New York farm receives hefty fine for refusing to host same-sex wedding

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Owners of a New York farm have been ordered to pay $13,000 (£7,800) in fines and restitution to a same-sex couple for refusing to host their wedding.

The couple, Jennifer and Melisa McCarthy, filed the complaint in 2012 against Liberty Ridge Farm in Schaghicoke, NY.

According to court documents,the McCarthy’s were told their marriage would cause “a problem” because the owners have a “specific religious belief regarding marriage.”

The McCarthy’s filed suit, stating Liberty Ridge Farm was a public accommodation and that the owners’ actions violated state laws protecting against discrimination.

In the decision, a judge wrote: “The policy to not allow same-sex marriage ceremonies on Liberty Ridge Farm is a denial of access to a place of public accommodation.”

The judge fined Liberty Ridge Farm $10,000 (£6,000) for violating state non-discrimination laws. Another $3,000 (£1,800) was fined for the “mental anguish each suffered as a result of respondents’ unlawfully discriminatory conduct.”

A bakery in Pennsylvania recently refused to serve a lesbian couple for a cake to celebrate the renewal of their vows.

Earlier this month, a Christian wedding boutique in Pennsylvania refused to serve a lesbian couple.