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09/02/2014

Fined NY event space to host same-sex wedding receptions (*but no ceremonies for anyone)

by Jeremy Hooper

Screen Shot 2014-08-15 At 10.49.30 Am Liberty Ridge Farm, the upstate New York business that was fined for turning away a lesbian couple who sought to book the space for their wedding, has agreed to allow same-sex couples to hold their wedding receptions on the site. But there's a catch: the business has stopped performing wedding ceremonies for anyone, gay or straight.

The following link, like all the links I've found, comes from conservative media, which is yet again framing this as a "mean gays" story:

The family will continue hosting wedding receptions, but ceremonies — which have traditionally been hosted inside the Giffords’ home on the property or at another nearby location — will immediately cease. Same-sex receptions will be allowed on the grounds.
FULL: After Being Fined and Forced to Host Gay Weddings, Christian Farm Owners Make Drastic Decision That ‘Will Likely Hurt Their Business’ [The Blaze]

Personally, I think it's a very silly choice. The owners admit that stopping ceremonies will negatively affect their business, yet are still choosing to terminate rather than accommodate. All so they can discriminate. Odd priorities.

But they do have every right to make this choice, as do all businesses who wish to discriminate against wedding-bound gay people. Businesses are only bound to their own offerings. If these owners (or the bakers or the photographers or the DJs...) prefer to equally limit their offerings rather than equally dole out their offerings, then that is their choice to make. Sure, it's the "I'm going to take my ball and go home" approach to not getting your way, which some might see as childish and unnecessarily divisive—but it is legally kosher.

I just wonder if the choice to allow already-married same-sex couples to dance the night away will turn off both sides. Most obviously, you have to wonder what gay couple is going to chose a venue that, by virtue of this chosen exclusion, openly condemns their prior, off-site ceremony. But you also have to think that this choice to allow all of the romance that comes with a reception—filled, as it is, with first dances and kisses and cake-cutting and happy relatives being happy for gayness—will also alienate those anti-equality straight couples who believe marriage is only to be one bouquet toss, one garter belt removal.

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