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Judge blocks wedding from having over 50 guests this weekend

Posted at 12:55 PM, Aug 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-21 23:28:12-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — An appeals court judge has blocked a Western New York wedding from having over 50 guests after a federal judge previously ruled that they could proceed with the event that was expecting 175 guests.

Earlier this month, Judge Glenn Suddaby of the Northern District of New York ruled in favor of two couples with weddings booked at the Arrowhead Golf Club in Akron, who-- along with the co-owner of the club-- sued Governor Andrew Cuomo, Attorney General Letitia James, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, the Erie County Department of Health, and the Empire State Development Corporation.

The couples claimed the restrictions put in place by the governor's executive order in March at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic violated their First Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment rights, stating the "restriction will deprive Plaintiffs of an 'irreplaceable life event' (i.e., their ability to have a wedding that allows their friends and family to participate to the full extent contemplated by their Christian faith)."

"We're Christians and we really do believe that a wedding is a ceremony to bring glory to God and we wanted to do that in front of witnesses," said Jenna Crawford, a newly wed and plaintiff in the lawsuit.

After Judge Suddaby issued the preliminary injunction, the first couple went forward with their wedding. The second couple is scheduled to be married this Saturday and were expecting to host 175 people but now must cap the event at 50 people after a Second Circuit appeals court judge granted the state's motion to stay Judge Suddaby's decision.