Venue owners appeal fine for denying lesbian couple wedding

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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Lawyers for the owners of an upstate New York wedding venue who refused to host a lesbian wedding argued that they were following their Christian faith.

The owners of Liberty Ridge Farm north of Albany refused to host the 2013 wedding of Melisa and Jennie McCarthy, citing their belief that marriage is between a man and a woman. The state’s Division of Human Rights ruled that the business owned by Robert and Cynthia Gifford violated New York’s anti-discrimination law and fined them $13,000.

Lawyers for the Giffords challenged the ruling Monday before a mid-level appeals court in Albany. The couple’s lawyers contend they were exercising their constitutional rights.

Lawyers for the state and the New York Civil Liberties Union say the Giffords must comply with the law.

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