Kentucky Court Clears Blaine Adamson of Discrimination Charge
Alliance Defending Freedom issued the following summary of their legal support for Blaine Adamson in a 16 May 2017 statement.
“Blaine Adamson and his printing business, Hands On Originals, came under attack when they declined to create t-shirts for the pride festival hosted by the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization (‘GLSO’). Helping to spread a message that promotes sexual activity outside of a marriage between a man and a woman would violate Blaine’s Christian beliefs. So he could not in good conscience produce t-shirts for the GLSO’s event. Blaine nevertheless offered to connect the GLSO to another printer who would create the shirts for the same price that he would have charged. In response, however, the GLSO’s president filed a complaint with the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission alleging sexual orientation discrimination.
Alliance Defending Freedom and its allies came to Blaine’s and Hands On Originals’ defense. They explained to the human rights commission that declining to produce t-shirts because they display a disagreeable message is not the same as declining an order based on the identity of the person who orders them. If the situation were reversed, would a homosexual printer be forced to print material stating that homosexually is morally wrong? Or would an African American be forced to print shirts promoting a Klu Klux Klan rally?
Because the government cannot force citizens to promote a message they do not believe in, Alliance Defending Freedom asked the human rights commission to dismiss the complaint. Unfortunately, the commission refused to do so and, instead, found Blaine guilty of illegal discrimination and ordered him to print shirts with messages that conflict with his religious beliefs.
Alliance Defending Freedom appealed that order to a Kentucky circuit court. In April 2015, that court reversed the human rights commission’s order and affirmed Blaine’s and his company’s right to decline to promote messages that conflict with their religious beliefs.
In May 2017, the Kentucky Court of Appeals ruled that Blaine is free to decline orders that would require him to print and promote messages that conflict with his religious beliefs.
Alliance Defending Freedom continues to defend Blaine’s and Hands On Originals’ liberty, as well as the rights of other Christian businesses across the nation.”
We must “rejoice with those who rejoice” and this is definitely an occasion for rejoicing with Mr. Adamson. Nonetheless, there are many who don’t want us to rejoice.
You see, although the left claims that it does not want anyone to violate their conscience, they regularly require the violation of our conscience in order to appease their sense of justice. So, people like Baronelle Stutzman, Melissa Klein, Elaine Huguenin, Cynthia Gifford, Jack Phillips, Crystal Dixon, Mary O’Reilly, and Betty Odgaard have found themselves bankrupted by the morals of the left-affiliated gay agenda. Additionally, if you want to know about the intolerant left, talk to Kevin O’Connor, Trish McGrath, or Edie Delorme. Therefore, victories like what Mr. Adamson experienced are very, very rare. While I do celebrate with him, we cannot deny that most Christians do not share his fortune.
Bryan Fisher: GLSO Wanted to Return Slavery to Kentucky
I excerpted the following details from a post provided by Bryan Fisher of American Family Radio where he provided some insight to the case in a 16 May 2017 post.
“Blaine Adamson is the owner of a T-shirt shop in Frankfort, Kentucky, Hands On Originals. He is also a sincerely devoted follower of Jesus Christ. So naturally when he was approached in 2012 by a local homosexual activist group to print a shirt promoting The Lexington “Pride” Festival, he politely declined, and courteously referred them to a nearby shop who would be happy to provide the service.
In fact, a quick look at the Frankfort area Yellow Pages lists no less than 21 different businesses which cater to the T-shirt printing crowd, so there was simply no need for Adamson to be forced under the threat of fines and worse to do a job which would have caused him to violate his conscience. Plus, the gay activists wound up getting their shirts for free from another vendor.
But for politely exercising his First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion, Adamson was promptly sued. His case finally made it to the Court of Appeals in Kentucky. (The Court of Appeals is one step below the state supreme court). In a surprising move, given the almost total obeisance of judges to the bullies and bigots of the homosexual lobby, the court actually ruled in favor of religious liberty and freedom of speech.
As further proof that the issue for Adamson is one of conscience and religious scruple, and not an expression of some kind of hate-filled homophobia, he has also declined to print T-Shirts that use the word “b**ches” or that featured Jesus dressed as a pirate.
The issue, in other words, was not about sexual orientation at all but about speech. It was about whether an American can be compelled by government force to communicate a message which violates his conscience and deeply held religious belief.
What should not be missed here is that there are two larger issues involved, as lesbian writer Tammy Bruce pointed out some time ago. For the government to force someone to do work that violates his conscience is nothing less than tyranny. And for a man to be compelled under threat of punishment to perform work against his will is slavery.
The reality is that the LGBT lobby is the reincarnation of some of the worst elements of the mindless prejudice of the Old South in its irrational venom toward people (Christians) who are not like them. The rainbow flag is the new Confederate flag. It is as much a symbol of bigotry as that flag ever was in the minds of the left.
Bottom line: in Frankfort, Kentucky, homosexual activists tried to reintroduce slavery to the Deep South. They failed in the attempt. And the Constitution’s protections for religious liberty and freedom of speech were upheld. Let’s pray that this court will be just the first of many to protect our first freedom against the tyranny of the left.”
(Read the entire post at American Family Radio)
The Lexington Herald-Leader Provides the Majority Opinion
The Lexington Herald-Leader published an article containing the majority opinion for the case, as written by Judge Joy A. Kramer.
“The right of free speech does not guarantee to any person the right to use someone else’s property.
In other words, the ‘service’ Hands On Originals offers is the promotion of messages. The ‘conduct’ Hands On Originals chose not to promote was pure speech. There is no contention that Hands On Originals is a public forum in addition to a public accommodation. Nothing in the fairness ordinance prohibits Hands On Originals, a private business, from engaging in viewpoint or message censorship.”
(Read the entire article at The Lexington Herald-Leader)