Christian printer wins free-speech case
Chief Judge Joy Kramer wrote in her opinion that the city’s ordinance prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation does not prohibit the owners of Hands On Originals from “engaging in viewpoint or message censorship.” Kramer said the business objected to the message of gay pride, not anyone’s sexual orientation.
Lexington’s Gay and Lesbian Services Organization tried to order the T-shirts for the city’s 2012 Gay Pride Festival. An owner of Hands On originals, Blaine Adamson, refused the order citing his Christian beliefs, but referred the GLSO to another printer that would produce the shirts at the same price. The Kentucky Human Rights Commission ruled against Adamson and a lawsuit was filed.
Judge Jeff Taylor dissented, saying he thought the business did discriminate against the organization.
“The court ruled that he is not discriminating and that it would actually violate the law to force him to print messages that violate his beliefs. So it’s a major victory for free speech and for religious freedom.”
According to the attorney, Adamson has paid a price over the nearly five years of litigation and thought he might lose the business:
“The local gay rights group organized a boycott [and protests] of Blaine’s shop … and so he has had a very difficult year …. He was even being faced with having to undergo what basically amounts to re-education – the state-mandated diversity training to try to get him to think differently.”
Goodrich says the government has no right to force a person to think the way it thinks about controversial