In 2012, a Christian T-shirt retail store owner wouldn’t print T-shirts for the upcoming gay pride festival in Lexington, Kentucky. A complaint was brought forward against Hands On Originals owner Blaine Adamson, claiming discrimination.
While the Human Rights Commission of Fayette County ruled against the store, Adamson filed a lawsuit to appeal this ruling, stating that he did not print the T-shirts because they went against his religious beliefs.
Adamson won the lawsuit in a 2-1 decision. While a city ordinance exists to protect LGBT people from discrimination, it was the court’s opinion that discrimination did not occur. Adamson refused to print the message on the shirts, because of his religious beliefs. The court determined that since the business was Adamson’s property, he could not be forced to use his property to promote a message he didn’t agree with.
The message that the customer wanted printed on the T-shirt was in celebration of the 5th anniversary of the Lexington, Gay Pride Festival, and Adamson declined to participate in the promotion of this message because of his strong Christian beliefs that God does not condone same-sex relationships. He stood by his convictions and was rewarded with a win in court.
In a world where the LGBT community is making huge strides in equality, it’s hard for Christians to stay true to their own beliefs. Being forced to promote a cause is not what being in business should be about, and Christians everywhere are happy about the decision of the courts.
Even though Adamson was not facing punitive damages because of the original finding of discrimination, he pursued an appeal of the decision in court and won. This is a big win for Christians who are willing to stand up for their own beliefs, who won’t be pushed into situations that go against their values.
It’s not easy being a Christian in today’s world. With so many people turning away from the Christian faith, it can be hard to stand true to the religion’s ideology. Christians everywhere are mocked for believing in a God greater than themselves, and standing up for what is right can have negative consequences.
As a business owner, Adamson turned down work in order to remain true to God’s word. Despite negatively affecting his profits, it was worth it to Adamson to follow the teaching’s in the bible. This is rare in the competitive world of business today, and Adamson should be applauded for his efforts.
Many businesses throughout the country such as florists, photographers, and DJs have been sued by same-sex couples for refusing to work for same-sex weddings. Since same-sex marriage became federally legal in the United States in 2012, the number of lawsuits has exploded. Most courts have found in favor of the same-sex couples, despite similar arguments that participating in a same-sex marriage went against the Christian values of the business.
Kentucky Appellate Court Chief Judge Joy Kramer wrote for the majority, and stated that the rights of LGBT were not violated because the ordinance does not protect the right to use another person’s property to promote a message.
Just because the LGBT community has the right of free speech to promote their own agenda, Hands On Originals was not obligated to participate.
This is a big win for the Christian community. With more and more businesses being sued each day for discrimination against LGBT individuals, a line has to be drawn somewhere. Defining discrimination more specifically is necessary. No business owner should be forced to do anything they don’t want to do if it goes against their values and belief system.
Adamson was not rude about declining the work, and was clear about why he turned it down in the first place.
The owner of Hands on Originals stated that he wasn’t in the business of discriminating against LGBT individuals. He stated that he serves everyone that comes into the store, as long as the message being promoted isn’t against his religious beliefs.
~ 1776 Christian