ICC Note: Christian business owners in the U.S. are increasingly finding it difficult to operate their companies according to their deeply-held religious beliefs. A Christian clothing business in Kentucky was ordered last week to print pro-homosexual t-shirts after the business owner originally refused, saying the message on the clothing ran contrary to his convictions. The business has also been ordered to conduct diversity training for it’s staff. Alliance Defending Freedom has jumped in to assist with the case, saying “No one should be forced by the government—or by another citizen—to endorse or promote ideas with which they disagree.”
10/13/2014 United States (Christian News) – A Kentucky Human Rights Commission examiner has ordered a Christian screen printing company to print t-shirts that bear pro-homosexual messages and undergo diversity training for declining to make shirts for a “gay pride” celebration two years ago.
The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission issued the recommendations of its hearing examiner on Tuesday, declaring that Hands On Originals–a company that identifies as “Christian outfitters” on the home page of its website–violated the Lexington Fairness Ordinance by passing on the requested order because of its religious convictions.
The Gay and Lesbian Services Organization of Lexington (GLSO) had wanted the company to print t-shirts for the 2012 Lexington Gay Pride Festival. When manager Blaine Adamson declined the order due to the company’s biblical convictions not to be partaker of another man’s sins (1 Timothy 5:22, Ephesians 5:7), GLSO filed a complaint with the HRC.
“I want the truth to come out—it’s not that we have a sign on the front door that says, ‘No Gays Allowed,’” owner Blaine Adamson said following the filing of the complaint. “We’ll work with anybody. But if there’s a specific message that conflicts with my convictions, then I can’t promote that.”
But Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the Christian legal group assisting Hands On Originals, as well as local attorneys Sturgill, Turner, Barker & Moloney, PLLC, of Lexington, said that no one should be forced to print messages that violate their convictions.
“No one wants to live in that kind of America—a place where people who identify as homosexual are forced to promote the Westboro Baptists and where printers with sincere religious convictions are forced to promote the message of the GLSO,” said Hands On Originals’ co-counsel Bryan Beauman. “In America, we don’t force people to express messages that are contrary to their convictions.”
“No one should be forced by the government—or by another citizen—to endorse or promote ideas with which they disagree,” agreed ADF Senior Legal Counsel Jim Campbell. “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.”