The town clerk of Ledyard, New York, has decided that God doesn’t want her to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, even though marriage equality is now state law. Rose Marie Belforti has refused to do her job and issue marriage licenses, and steadfastly refuses to step down as the town clerk. The New York Times reports that in addition to town clerk, Belforti is also a local cheese maker (Finger Lakes Dexter Creamery, LLC – Kefir Cheese), and the article also gives a link to Belforti’s farm website, which proudly lists several companies and organizations that carry her products. And I got to wondering how “proud” those companies are of engaging in business with an anti-gay bigot. So I decided to ask them. I sent emails to all the companies listed on Belforti’s website about organizing a boycott against Belforti’s farm, and all companies that willingly choose to do business with it (which include BetTheFarmNy, Ithaca Farmers Market, Long Point Winery, Glenora Wine Cellars, and Sheldrake Point).
I have since received return emails from BetTheFarmNY and Long Point Winery. As you can imagine, no company is ever thrilled to hear the word “boycott” and BetTheFarmNY and Long Point Winery are no exceptions. But despite her disapproval of boycotts, Nancy of BetTheFarmNY replied that “because I do not agree with Rose’s actions, I will no longer purchase Kefir cheese” and noted that one of her staff members is running as a write-in candidate to get Belforti out of office. Rosemary of Long Point Winery replied that Long Point does not discriminate and had no idea of Belforti’s discriminatory actions, and does not support them, but adds they will not boycott her business and believes education to be “more effective than boycotts.” I have yet to receive replies from Ithaca’s Farmers Market (Belforti is apparently there every weekend) or Glenora Wine Cellars and Sheldrake Point. I’ll post any future updates if and when I receive them.