Print-our-shirt case headed to Kentucky Supreme Court
The state’s highest court has agreed to hear the case of Blaine Adamson, who turned down a t-shirt order for a Lexington “gay pride” festival in 2012.
The city’s Gay and Lesbian Services Organization (GLSO) attempted to order the event t-shirts at Adamson’s business, Hands on Originals, and the organization sued after he refused, citing his Christian beliefs.
The Lexington Human Rights Commission ruled that the company violated the city’s fairness ordinance, which outlaws discrimination based on sexual orientation, but a Fayette County circuit court judge ruled in Adamson’s favor, agreeing the business owner had turned down other print orders he found morally objectionable.
Colorado baker Jack Phillips and his Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys made similar arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this month – he has turned down orders for bawdy bachelor party cakes, for example – in what is expected to be a landmark legal decision announced next summer.
ADF is also representing Adamson.
In the Kentucky case, an appeals court affirmed the circuit court’s decision, paving the way for the Supreme Court hearing.
A date for the hearing has not been set.
ADF has pointed out that Adamson offered to connect the GLSO to another printer who would create the shirts for the same price that he would have charged.
“The GLSO rejected Blaine’s offer and filed a discrimination complaint,” ADF stated in a press release.
“If the situation were reversed, would a homosexual printer be forced to print material stating that homosexuality is morally wrong?” the legal firm asked. “Or would an African American be forced to print shirts promoting a Klu Klux Klan rally? Of course not.”
Martin Cothran, senior policy analyst for the Kentucky Family Foundation, says the human rights commission is “persecuting” Adamson and his business for his religious beliefs.
“Our group has asked our constituents to pray for the t-shirt company in this case,” says Cothran. “They’re standing up for the beliefs that Christians have, that they should be able to practice their faith freely and should not be forced to say things that conflict with their religious beliefs.”