NY agency hears lesbian couple wedding complaint

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Associated Press

Posted on November 6, 2013 at 2:34 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 6 at 3:00 PM

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A lesbian couple has asked New York's human rights agency to rule that a wedding venue outside Albany broke the law when it refused to book their wedding last year.

Melisa and Jennie McCarthy, formerly of Albany, filed the complaint against Liberty Ridge Farm in October 2012. They're asking for damages.

Attorneys from the New York Civil Liberties Union told an administrative law judge Wednesday that the 100-acre farm is a business open to the public and subject to the state's anti-discrimination laws.

A spokesman for farm owners Robert and Cynthia Gifford says the farm is a private business on private property. They say their constitutional freedom of religion trumps state law and allows them to "conscientiously object" to something they don't believe is appropriate.

New York legalized same-sex marriage in 2011.

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