Pro-gay bullies lost the shirts off their backs on Thursday when the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled in favor of a print shop owner who had refused to print up apparel for the Lexington Pride Festival, citing his religious beliefs.
Hands-On Originals was asked in February of 2012 to print shirts for The Gay and Lesbian Services Organization, a sponsor of the festival, but opted not to take the job. The GLSO filed a complaint with the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission, which ruled that the print shop had broken the public-accommodation ordinance barring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
The ruling hands a big victory to religious-freedom advocates fighting legal schemes and set-ups that pit free-speech rights against antidiscrimination laws.
The court declared unanimously that the GLSO lacked standing under the local law to bring a claim against Blaine Adamson, owner of Hands On. The court dismissed the matter in its opinion, affirming an earlier decision of the Fayette Circuit Court.
“[I]n this case, because an ‘individual’ did not file the claim, but rather an organization did, we would have to determine whether the organization is a member of the protected class, which we find impossible to ascertain,” read the ruling.
Justice David Buckingham concurred that Hands On Originals had declined more than a dozen previous print orders deemed inappropriate, including orders from adult shops, and that Hands On actually did do business with a lesbian singer who performed at the festival.
The shop also tried to refer the GLSO to another shop who would do the job at the same price.
“Third, at no time did Hands On inquire or know the sexual orientation or gender identity of the persons with whom it dealt on behalf of GLSO,” said Justice Buckingham. “These facts indicate that Hands On was in good faith objecting to the message it was being asked to disseminate.”