farmersIn a bizarre ruling, the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court declared citizens have no right to exercise religious beliefs on their own property.

A lesbian couple, Melisa and Jennie McCarthy, sued Robert and Cynthia Gifford, owners of Liberty Ridge Farm for refusing to host their 2013 wedding ceremony.

The Gifford’s told the couple that though they were willing to host their wedding reception, and even provide transgender and gay employees, they personally would not host their ceremony, citing their religious beliefs.

The lesbian couple recorded the phone conversation and turned the tapes over to the State Division of Human Rights.

The court ruled 5-0 to uphold a $10,000 fine against the Giffords for not hosting the gay wedding, and $3,000 in payments to the McCarthy’s for “mental anguish”.

“The Giffords are free to adhere to and profess their religious beliefs that same-sex couples should not marry, but they must permit same-sex couples to marry on the premises if they choose to allow opposite-sex couples to do so,” wrote Judge Karen Peters.

Thanks to the court actions against them, Liberty Ridge Farms no longer hosts any weddings – gay or straight.

“We’ve gone from tolerance to compulsion,” the Giffords’ lawyer, James Trainor, told The New York Post. “State government should not be forcing people to violate their own religious beliefs, nor should they be forced to make a choice between making a living and violating their own faith.”

But, theGifford’s aren’t the only ones under attack by political activists because of their religious views.

As The Post notes:

In Oregon, Christian bakers who refused to sell a wedding cake to two lesbians face hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.

In Washington state, an elderly Christian florist could face hefty fines after she refused to provide wedding flowers to two gay men.

A Christian Colorado baker is appealing a judge’s decision ordering him to start baking wedding cakes for homosexuals and to provide his staff with sensitivity training, after he refused to create a wedding cake for two gay guys.

The U.S. Supreme Court this year declined to hear the case of a Christian photographer from New Mexico who claimed that refusing to shoot the commitment ceremony of two lesbians was an expression not only of her constitutional right to religious freedom, it was protected by her First Amendment right to free speech. New Mexico’s Supreme Court and the state’s Human Rights Commission have decreed that her refusal to shoot equaled unlawful discrimination.

The unanimous court also declared the farm as a “public accommodation” and therefore cannot refuse to host gay weddings, despite the explicit religious views of the facility. This ruling, subsequently, will force churches to also perform gay weddings.

Federal law defining “public accommodations” do not exempt religious organizations.