In 2011, same-sex marriage was legalized in New York, and this year the law became a constitutional right. But even so, the freedom of marrying your partner for the LGBT people is still constrained by some.
Owners of a marriage venue in New York refused to host the wedding of a lesbian couple, respectively, Melisa and Jennie McCarthy. Robert and Cynthia Gifford, own Liberty Ridge Farm in Albany, and in 2013 they rejected to hold Melisa and Jennie McCarthy’s wedding, as they say, because of their religious beliefs.
However, they have broken the anti-discrimination law, fined $13,000 and they were subjected to a hearing on Monday to determine if they have the legal right to reject a same-sex wedding due to religious beliefs.
Attorney Caleb Dalton motivated that “It would violate the Giffords’s faith to facilitate this union,” in front of a five-judge supreme court appeals panel.
Mariko Hirose, a lawyer for the human rights told that the owners should not consider that their business is privileged, and furthermore she stated that “we should not have a situation where people feel they are second-class because of their sexual orientation.”
In the following two months, a ruling must be issued regarding this case. After the hearing, Cynthia Gifford declared in front of the reporters that they were deprived of freedom: “When the government tells you what to say and punishes you if you don’t, it’s very frightening,” Gifford said. “And all of us Americans should be scared about this, no matter where we stand on the issue.”
Giffords think that they are constrained and punished by the government simply because they do not respect human rights. While their arguments only come to highlight the existence of discrimination and intolerance, the McCarthys fight for the right to be treated as any other human being:
“We will do whatever we can to make sure that no other couple has to deal with the same feelings of sadness and anxiety that we wrestled with from the moment we realized that, though the laws have changed, same-sex couples are far from being treated as equal,” Melisa McCarthy said.