A New York court Thursday affirmed a Division of Human Rights ruling against an upstate couple for declining to coordinate a same-sex wedding ceremony in their own backyard. “All Americans should be free to live and work according to their beliefs, especially in our own backyards,” said Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Counsel Caleb Dalton, who argued before the court on behalf of the couple in Gifford v. Erwin. “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.”

Robert and Cynthia Gifford live in a barn they built on their farm and have occasionally hosted weddings on the first floor and the surrounding backyard area. Cynthia serves as a wedding coordinator for those events and does everything but officiate the ceremony. After the agency ruled that the Giffords were guilty of “sexual orientation discrimination,” it fined them $10,000, plus $3,000 in damages and ordered them to implement re-education training classes designed to contradict the couple’s religious beliefs about marriage. FULL REPORT