What’s so scary? Well, some people no longer have religious freedom and the leftist gestapo will set you up and punish you if you don’t march in lockstep.
Cynthia and Robert Gifford are caught in a same-sex nightmare. They’ve been forced to defend themselves against claims that they’re lesbian-hating homophobes.
“We respect and care for everyone!’’ Cynthia Gifford told me. “We had an openly gay man working for us this past season,’’ she said.
“We’ve had a woman who’s transitioning to be a man. We don’t discriminate against anyone.’’
But the government of the state of New York sees things differently. The Giffords, who own the bucolic Liberty Ridge Farm in upstate New York, were ordered to pay a total of $13,000 — a $10,000 fine to the state and another $1,500 to each member of a lesbian couple to compensate them for “mental anguish.’’ All because the Giffords, devout Christians, refused to hold a same-sex wedding ceremony on the property in which they live, work and have raised a daughter, 17, and a son, 21.
“This is scary,’’ Cynthia Gifford said. “It’s scary for all Americans.” Fifteen years ago, Cynthia, 54, and Robert Gifford, 55, opened to the public their farm in upstate Schaghticoke, near Albany, where they’ve lived for 25 years. They host an annual, family-friendly fall festival, which ends Tuesday, offering such countrified fare as a corn maze and pig-racing shows.
In summer, wedding ceremonies and receptions also are held on the farm. But once already-booked nuptials take place, the Giffords will no longer schedule new ceremonies. Only receptions — including same-sex ones — will go on. What happened?
Cynthia Gifford took a life-changing two- to three-minute phone call in 2012 from a woman she’d never met, Melisa Erwin, who was looking for a place to hold her wedding. A wedding — to another woman.
Gifford said she told her, politely, that she would not book a same-sex wedding ceremony at the farm.
She didn’t know it at the time, but the woman’s then-fianceé, Jennifer McCarthy, recorded the conversation. The pair then filed a formal complaint with the state Division of Human Rights. And this past August, an administrative-law judge from The Bronx, Migdalia Pares, decreed that the farm was a “public accommodation’’ and ordered the penalties, after ruling that the Giffords had violated state law by discriminating against the two women.
It doesn’t matter which side of the gay marriage argument you come down on. Such despicable tactics are un-American. Read the rest, as Peyser notes several other cases with a similar theme: People being forced to comply with the demands of gay couples. Strange how as more Americans become tolerant of gay marriage that acceptance isn’t enough. If you do not approve you will be punished. That indeed should be scary for all Americans.