Amicus Brief

Liberty Ridge v. McCarthy (State of New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division Third Judicial Department, 2015)

Liberty Ridge Farm owners Cynthia and Robert Gifford refused to allow the complainants in this case, a lesbian couple, to hold their wedding at the Farm. The New York State Division of Human Rights and the Administrative Law Judge determined that owners of a wedding venue that operates as a place of public accommodation under New York's anti-discrimination law cannot discriminate on the basis of customers' sexual orientation because of the owners' religious beliefs.

Liberty Ridge Farm appealed the ruling to the Appellate Division of the Third Judicial Department. In their opening brief, Appellants argue that enforcing the nondiscrimination law against them is unconstitutional under the Free Exercise Clause and the compelled speech doctrine. ADL submitted a brief urging the court to affirm the Division’s decision and reject arguments that religious or moral disapproval is a legitimate basis for discrimination against minority groups.