First Marriage Discrimination Lawsuit Filed

The story of two brides who were turned away for being gay. By Carrie Denny

For the first time since same-sex marriage became legal in New York in the summer of 2011, a discrimination lawsuit has been filed against a venue that has denied a same-sex couple the right to tie the knot there.

Melisa Erwin and Jennie McCarthy of Albany, New York were nearly all set to get hitched at the Liberty Ridge Farm when the owners found out that what they were planning was a gay wedding—then the planning came to a halt. Because while it seems like the owners kinda wished them well, they still made it clear that because Melisa and Jennie were gay, they would not allow them to marry there; that they had the right to “market” their business to whomever they saw fit.

But the thing is, while New York law does allow exemptions for some religious institutions to remain uninvolved with same-sex marriage, it does not allow for places “of public accommodation” to make the same refusal. That part of the law has yet to be officially interpreted—but it’s sure about to be, now.

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