Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Kentucky: Gays Protected Class, Christians Aren't

When a Christian business declined to fill a print order for T-shirts with a pro-homosexual message, and the customer complained, the government official agreed that the printer violated an anti-discrimination law, but when asked, the official said that a printer CAN lawfully decline to print messages that homosexual behavior is sinful.

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray suggested the Christians should get over it. “People don’t have patience for this sort of attitude today.”

For background, read Homosexuals Sue Illinois Christians over Their Faith and also read Christian Won't Bake Cake for Lesbian 'Wedding' as well as Christian Photographer Sued by Lesbians

UPDATE 11/27/12: Kentucky Human Rights Commission rules Christian business to pay damages

UPDATE 4/28/15: Court Ruling Favors Christians, Overturns Human Rights Commission

-- From "Gay and lesbian group files complaint over T-shirt order" by The Associated Press 3/28/12

A gay and lesbian group in Lexington, Ky., has filed a discrimination complaint against [Hands On Originals] a T-shirt printer after the company refused to honor a bid to produce apparel for an event.

The Gay and Lesbian Services Organization [GLSO] filed the complaint Monday with the city's Human Rights Commission.

The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission says it will investigate the complaint. Executive Director Raymond Sexton said Hands On Originals is subject to the city's human rights ordinance because it deals in goods and services to the public.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Hands On Originals T-shirt company accused of discrimination" by Scott Sloan, Lexington Herald-Leader 3/26/12

[Aaron Baker, president of homosexual organization GLSO,] said Hands On Originals co-owner Blaine Adamson told the GLSO in a follow-up call that the company was declining the order "because we're a Christian organization" but had found another company that would honor its price [but GLSO declined to place the order].

Hands On Originals declined to discuss its decision and instead issued the following statement to the Herald-Leader:

"Hands On Originals both employs and conducts business with people of all genders, races, religions, sexual preferences and national origins," said an owner of the company, Blaine Adamson. "However, due to the promotional nature of our products, it is the prerogative of the company to refuse any order that would endorse positions that conflict with the convictions of the ownership."

"Religious exemption is a valid defense under the local ordinance, but it's typically reserved for churches," Sexton said. "If you're Hands On Originals, you're a business, not a religious organization. You're into T-shirts."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Gay Rights Group Files Human Rights Complaint Against T-Shirt Company" by Todd Starnes, FOX News 4/2/12

The privately owned company is now accused of violating Lexington’s Fairness Act – which protects people and organizations from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

The attacks are out of line, said Jim Campbell, an attorney with Alliance Defense Fund, the organization representing “Hands On Originals.”

“No business owner should be forced to violate his conscience simply because someone demands it,” he said. “The Constitution absolutely supports the rights of business owners to decline a request to support a message that conflicts with their deeply held convictions.”

Raymond Sexton, the executive director of the Human Rights Commission told Fox News that “Hands On Originals” will be “required by law to participate in the investigation.”

“We have subpoena power and have the backing of the law,” he said. “We are a law enforcement agency and people have to comply.”

“Over the past 20 years, we have declined to produce several other products with different messages than the one at issue here because we disapproved of whatever message it was, and it never had anything to do with discrimination,” [Adamson] wrote. “People reading this may disagree with my view on the current issue, but I hope they will join us in supporting our right to decline an order that promotes a view so contrary to our personal beliefs.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Protest of Hands On Originals draws about 60" by Scott Sloan, Lexington Herald-Leader 4/1/12

The controversy led to stern comments from Lexington Mayor Jim Gray on Wednesday against the company's refusal, as well as a decision by the Fayette County Public Schools to hold off on new orders from Hands On Originals until the complaint is resolved. The school system has no pending orders with Hands On Originals.

The issue has created raucous public debate on talk radio stations and also led to Facebook groups both supporting Hands On Originals' actions and another urging a boycott. Both groups had more than 2,000 members each by Friday afternoon.

As of early afternoon, Friday's demonstration had not yet had any visits from people with opposing views.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "T-shirt company in crosshairs for saying no to homofest" by Jack Minor, World Net Daily 3/31/12

[Hands On Originals], which prominently says on its home page it is “Christian Outfitters,” and states a “right of refusal,” sells and produces a variety of custom products including clothing, coffee mugs, memory sticks and other items.

Sexton told WND that the investigation was still ongoing, however if the company based its decision on sexual orientation it would be violating the law.

He went on to say that if a “gay” printing company was asked to print T-shirts from the Westboro Baptist Church, which is a militant anti-”gay” organization, saying “Homosexuality is an abomination in the eyes of God,” the “gay” group would have the right to refuse to print the order.

“If the company does not approve of the message that is a valid non-discriminatory reason to refuse the work,” he said.

He also said a black business owner would have the right to refuse to print a flyer for a Klan rally.

However, when asked if the same would apply to Hands On Online if officials said “we don’t support ‘gay’ pride festivals, but we won’t discriminate against a person because they are ‘gay,’” Sexton was not as committed, simply saying “possibly.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read 'Gay Rights' Winning, Loss of Religious Liberty Documented - Washington Post writer demonstrates it's a "zero sum" game: Winning homosexual 'rights' means Christians must lose freedom of religion.