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08/15/2014

Another anti-gay business learns we were right: you can't flout nondiscrimination law because you feel like it

by Jeremy Hooper

Screen Shot 2014-08-15 At 10.49.30 AmI did several posts on Liberty Ridge Farm, the for-profit business that the ever-deceptive anti-equality movement pretended was simply a family farm. Basically this was just another one of those stories where a public accommodation, this one in the Albany area of New York state, wanted to have its wedding cake and deny gays too. Backstory here and here.

Anyway, I'm thrilled that my home state has come to the only possible outcome:

The New York State Division of Human Rights has affirmed the state's Human Rights Law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in the case of Melisa and Jennifer McCarthy, a lesbian couple whose 2012 request to wed at an Albany area farm and wedding venue was turned down after owners found out they were a same-sex couple.
FULL: Wedding Venues Can't Discriminate Against Same-Sex Couples, New York State Agency Rules [Towle]

Like so many of these "culture war" conversations, this is one of those things that isn't really up for debate. I mean, we're forced to debate it because this is America, where we long ago allowed the far-right conservatives to have way too much of a stranglehold on our politics, which has forced all kinds of contrived conversation onto public policy and associated governance. But just like marriage equality, full nondiscrimination protections, and various fights that we've already won, this is another one of those conversations that the other side has no chance of winning. None. Zilch. Nada.

If you purport to do business with the public, and you purport to offer things like wedding packages to qualified participants, then you are going to have to follow fair nondiscrimination and/or marriage law in your jurisdiction and/or federally. For now that might seem like just my prognostication. Ultimately—and soon!—it will be a non-debatable fact.

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