Frankfort, Ky., Nov 1, 2019 / 06:30 am
The Kentucky state Supreme Court on Thursday ruled in favor of a Christian business owner who declined to serve an LGBT pride festival, and who was punished by a local government for discrimination.
“Today’s decision makes clear that this case never should have happened,” said Jim Campbell, senior counsel with the group Alliance Defending Freedom who argued the case of print shop owner Blaine Adamson before the Kentucky Supreme Court.
“The First Amendment protects Blaine’s right to continue serving all people while declining to print messages that violate his faith,” Campbell said.
The case of Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission v. Hands On Originals dates back to 2012, the print shop Hands On Originals--owned by Blaine Adamson—was asked by the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization to print shirts promoting the Lexington, Kentucky, Pride Festival.
Adamson declined, saying that to print shirts promoting such a festival would violate his Christian beliefs. He referred the organization to other vendors who could serve them.
“I will work with any person, no matter who they are, and no matter what their belief systems are,” Adamson told reporters after oral arguments in his case before the Kentucky Supreme Court, on Aug. 23. “But when I’m presented with a message that conflicts with my faith, that’s just something I cannot print.”
In 2014, the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission ruled that Adamson had violated the city’s anti-discrimination ordinance. The commission required him to receive diversity training.
Adamson challenged the decision and won in a Kentucky court in 2017. The case was appealed to the state supreme court, which ruled in Adamson’s favor on Thursday.