On Wednesday, Christian News reported that a Kentucky Human Rights Commission examiner has ordered a Christian owned screen-printing company to print pro-homosexual T-shirts and undergo diversity training for refusing to make shirts for a gay pride celebration two years ago.
Back in 2012, the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization of Lexington (GLSO) filed a complaint with the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission (HRC) after Hands On Originals manager Blaine Adamson refused to print T-shirts for the Lexington Gay Pride Festival due to religious convictions.
On Tuesday, the HRC examiner determined that Blaine Adamson's refusal to violate his religious convictions violated the Lexington Fairness Ordinance, ruling that Adamson had "discriminated against GLO because of its members' actual or imputed sexual orientation."
When the complaint was originally filed, Adamson cited his biblical convictions that a man should not partake of another man’s sins (1 Timothy 5:22, Ephesians 5:7).and rejected the notion that he discriminated against anyone:
It’s not that we have a sign on the front door that says, "No Gays Allowed." We’ll work with anybody. But if there’s a specific message that conflicts with my convictions, then I can’t promote that.
Aaron Baker, representative for the GLSO, did recognize the ruling effectively meant that homosexual owned companies would have to print T-shirts for organizations like the Westboro Baptist Church, notorious for their anti-gay messages, a consequence he accepted.
I believe that a gay printer would have to print a t-shirt for the Westboro Baptist Church. And if the Westboro Baptist Church were to say, "Look, we’re a church; we’re promoting our church values by having our name on a T-shirt," I don’t see how you could refuse that.
Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the Christian legal group assisting Hands On Originals, strongly disagreed with Baker's conclusions, ADF Senior Legal Counsel Jim Campbell writing that citizens should not be forced to promote anything with which they disagree:
No one should be forced by the government—or by another citizen—to endorse or promote ideas with which they disagree. Blaine declined the request to print the shirts not because of any characteristic of the people who asked for them, but because of the message that the shirts would communicate.
In his decision, Munson ruled that Hands On Originals must accept orders to print t-shirts or other products that bear messages advocating for homosexuality, and mandated the company to undergo diversity training.
The respondent is permanently enjoined from discriminating against individuals because of their actual or imputed sexual orientation or gender identity. The respondent is ordered to participate in diversity training to be conducted by the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission within 12 months of the issuance of this order.