Movement toward gay marriage in the U.S. (a.k.a.
same-sex marriage, SSM), LGBT equality etc.
Part 3 of 3 parts.
2016-JAN: A "freedom-to-discriminate"
court case from upstate New York
which found in favor of a same-sex couple.
We use the acronym "SSM" to represent "same-sex marriage."
"LGBT" refers to lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender persons
and transsexuals. "LGB" refers to lesbians, gays, and bisexuals.
Reactions to the Appeals Court's decision:
To which other readers posted comments rejecting the opinion of "Anonymous:"
- Legal Counsel Caleb Dalton of the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) who represented the farm owners said that Americans:
"... should be free to live and work according to their beliefs, especially in our own backyards. ... The government went after both this couple's freedom and their ability to make a living simply for adhering to their faith on their own property. ... The court should have rejected this unwarranted and unconstitutional government intrusion, so we will consult with our client regarding appeal."
- Co-owner Cynthia Gifford said:
"Our story is just like every American's story. We need to have our freedom to live and work and have our faith without the unfair government intervention of punishment or interference."
Webmaster's comment [bias alert]:
The Giffords, like every other American, are free to believe as they wish, to assemble and worship with others, to hold diverse views on same-sex marriage, same-gender sexual behavior and countless other topics. They are free to join with other like-minded persons to try to change laws regarding discrimination. However, the Human Rights Law in New York State states that public accommodations cannot discriminate against potential customers on the basis of their age, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, military status, sex, marital status or disability. 2 Public accomodations include public or private facilities that are used by the general public. Liberty Ridge Farm is a recreational facility open to the public and thus is considered a public accommodation, except of course for any private residences not accessible to the general public. Therefore, the Giffords are free to hold diverse beliefs including the belief that marriage should be limited to one woman and one man. They can promote that concept in the media, on the Internet, etc. But they are not free to act upon their religious beliefs by denying access to potential customers of their business based on the latters' sexual orientation, gender, or any of the other protected classes in the state Human Rights Law. There is a widespread belief that allowing public accommodations to discriminate would profoundly destabilize society.
Discriminating against others is is the precise opposite to the Ethic of Reciprocity, commonly called the Golden Rule. Christianity and all other major organized religions promote this rule among their followers.
The Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) is a bill that has passed eight times in the state Assembly, but has never been voted upon in the Senate. If passed, it would add gender identity to the list of protected groups. 3
Cynthia Gifford and Alliance Defending Freedom attorney James Trainor were interviewed on "The Church Boys" podcase. They give an eloquent defense of the couple's decision.
Click on the red arrow at the top of the image to hear the sound track of the program.
The following information source was used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlink is not necessarily still active today. Also, the content of the page on the external web site may have changed since this essay was written.
- James Esseks, "Win for LGBT Equality: Court Says No To Religious Exemption," American Civil Liberties Association, 2016-JAN-15, at: https://www.aclu.org/
- "New York Human Rights Law," Wikipedia, as on 2016-JAN-10 at: https://en.wikipedia.org/
- "Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act," Wikipedia, as on 2016-JAN-10 at:https://en.wikipedia.org/
- "Christian Farmer Who Was Fined $13,000 for Refusing to Host a Gay Wedding Says ‘Frightening’ Government Ultimatum Should ‘Scare’ Us All," The Blaze, 2016-JAN-19, at: http://www.theblaze.com/
How you may have arrived here:
Copyright © 2016 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.
First posted: 2016-JAN-22
Latest update: 2016-JAN-22
Author: B.A. Robinson