Posted at: 10/18/2012 5:19 PM
| Updated at: 10/18/2012 5:36 PM
By: Abigail Bleck
SCHAGHTICOKE-- Thousands of NewsChannel viewers adamantly stated, online, that they intend to boycott Liberty Ridge Farm after our story aired about a lesbian couple who were told they couldn't have their wedding on the property. Others promised to cancel reservations already held there.
Conversely, there was a similar number of commentators who wrote that it was Liberty Ridge's right to turn the couple away. And they would continue to visit the farm, or do so for the first time because of the owners' position.
When NewsChannel 13 visited the farm Thursday, the parking lot was more full, of personal cars and school buses, than it was last Friday when we interviewed the Liberty Ridge owner, Robert Gifford.
NewsChannel 13 first contacted the farm after learning that Melisa Erwin and Jennie McCarthy called the venue in hopes of holding their wedding there.
The owners response, to the women and during the NewsChannel 13 interview, was that same sex marriage was against their belief.
McCarthy and Erwin have since filed a complaint with the New York State Division of Human Rights.
The story set off a firestorm of interest in the Capital Region; it was evident on WNYT.COM, NewsChannel 13's Facebook page, Liberty Ridge's Facebook page and even on the pages of other local media that picked up on our story.
All of this attention, good and bad, is even surprising to the people at the epicenter of the issue.
"It's the position we are in. We could make the decision to do nothing or we could make the hard decision to stand up for what's right," explains Erwin.
It should be noted that the Albany couple did not contact NewsChannel 13, we reached out to them after a source informed us of the situation. They are not seeking compensation. Instead, the women would like an apology and a policy change at Liberty Ridge.
Liberty Ridge declined our request for a follow up interview Thursday.