8 February 2016
Special Edition 165
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NY court: Farmers can't obey their faith in their own backyard
Court upholds ruling, $13,000 fine against couple for declining to coordinate same-sex ceremony at their home
Created by Alliance Defending Freedom - https://www.adflegal.org/ - Jan 14, 2016
Related Case: Gifford v. Erwin
ALBANY, N.Y. A New York court Thursday affirmed a Division of Human Rights ruling against an upstate couple for
declining to coordinate a same-sex wedding ceremony in their own backyard.
"All Americans should be free to live and work according to their beliefs, especially in our own backyards," said
Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Counsel Caleb Dalton, who argued before the court on behalf of the couple in
Gifford v. Erwin. "The government went after both this couple's freedom and their ability to make a living simply
for adhering to their faith on their own property. The court should have rejected this unwarranted and
unconstitutional government intrusion, so we will consult with our client regarding appeal."
Robert and Cynthia Gifford live in a barn they built on their farm and have occasionally hosted weddings on
the first floor and the surrounding backyard area. Cynthia serves as a wedding coordinator for those events and
does everything but officiate the ceremony. After the agency ruled that the Giffords were guilty of
"sexual orientation discrimination," it fined them $10,000 plus $3,000 in damages and ordered them to
implement re-education training classes designed to contradict the couple's religious beliefs about marriage.
The New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Third Department, upheld that order and the fines, finding that
the government can punish the Giffords for declining to coordinate a ceremony that conflicts with their conscience.
ADF attorneys argued that, just as the First Amendment prohibits the government from forcing an individual to
salute the flag in school, it also prohibits the government from forcing a wedding coordinator like Cynthia to
plan and participate in a ceremony that violates her faith. The appeals court decision, however,
sidestepped that argument and is allowing the government coercion to continue.
"We had hoped that the court would recognize that the government has clearly gone too far," said
co-counsel James Trainor, one of more than 3,000 private attorneys allied with ADF. "The Constitution prohibits the
government from forcing anyone to help communicate messages that conflict with their core beliefs about
marriage. The Giffords welcome all people to the farm, but not all messages or events."
As the first reply brief filed with the court on behalf of the Giffords explained, the "law does not require the
Giffords to coordinate or host every event that a person requests. For example, if the infamous Westboro
Baptist group asked the Giffords to host an event that would express their false message that God hates
people in same-sex relationships, the Giffords would not be discriminating based on religion if they
declined the event because they did not want to host expression that violates their belief that God loves everyone.
The statute does not require that they treat all messages equal."
On Sept. 25, 2012, Melisa McCarthy called Cynthia Gifford, inquiring about the use of the farm for her
upcoming same-sex ceremony. Because of her Christian faith's teachings on marriage, Cynthia politely told
McCarthy that she and her husband don't host and coordinate same-sex ceremonies but left open an invitation to
visit the farm to consider it as a potential reception site. Instead, McCarthy and her partner filed a complaint
with the Division of Human Rights.
Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right
of people to freely live out their faith.
Radical Taxpayer-funded Program Promoting Homosexuality and Gender Confusion to
Children as Young as 11.
As reported in Coober Pedy News Special Edition no. 166, February 2016
There have been media reports last week about the controversial Safe Schools Coalition
Australia (SSCA) program.
It claims to be an "anti-bullying" program, but it is far from safe for all students.
Disturbingly, SSCA material (promoted in nearly 500 schools across Australia) teaches children:
to imagine (at age 11) that they are 16 and going out with a person of
the same sex that they are "really into";
to use toilets and change rooms based on the gender kids "feel" they are, regardless of their
that asking whether a newborn baby is a boy or a girl reinforces a "heteronormative worldview";
chest binding for girls who feel they are boys (despite potential injury);
penis tucking for boys who feel they are girls (despite potential injury);
to advocate for "same-sex marriage" (resulting in bullying of kids who support natural marriage).
It also provides misleading statistics, including the debunked claim that 10% of people
are same-sex attracted.
Our schools are meant to be places of safety and learning, not to promote dangerous, divisive and
age-inappropriate sexual content.
This program should be de-funded immediately.
In recent weeks, Jerome Appleby from the National Office of FamilyVoice Australia,
a Christian voice for family, faith and freedom, was able to present open letters against
the program, signed by more than 14,000 Australians, to then Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss.
FamilyVoice Australia wants to ensure the removal of this dangerous program from all state and
territory education systems.
You can help stop the Safe Schools program by contacting your local
state or territory MPs, via this website:
whereby you can send your message to all of them.
Don't Be Fooled: this is what the SAFE SCHOOLS program is REALLY about
Wrong even if it were made Law
Picture From rt.com
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