Gay and Lesbian Group Targets Christian Business

Hands On Originals, a T-shirt company in Lexington, KY, is under investigation by the city’s Human Rights Commission after the owner declined to print T-shirts for a local gay rights organization.

The Gay and Lesbian Services Organization (GLSO) had asked the business to print shirts for the fifth annual Lexington Pride Festival.  Blaine Adamson, managing owner of the T-shirt business, declined to print the shirts when he learned what they were for because it would conflict with his Christian convictions.

He offered to find another company who would honor the same price, but GLSO was not satisfied.
Instead, they filed a complain with the Human Rights Commission, claiming discrimination based on sexual orientation.

The text of their complaint:  “On or about March 8, 2012, members of GLSO were told that our Pride Festival t-shirt printing quote would not be honored due to the fact that the t-shirt company is a Christian organization.  We were told that our t-shirts would not be printed.  We believe that we have been discriminated against in violation of Local Ordinance 201-99, based on sexual orientation.”

Hands On Originals has faced a barrage of attacks since the accusations were made public. More than 2,000 people have joined a boycott movement on Facebook.  The Fayette County public school system placed a temporary hold on buying T-shirts from the company. The University of Kentucky is also reviewing its future business with the T-shirt maker.  And Lexington’s openly gay mayor, Jim Gray, has lashed out at the T-shirt company, saying “People don’t have patience for this sort of attitude today.”

Adamson wrote an op-ed in the Lexington Herald-Leader defending his decision and denied that he is guilty of discrimination. He wrote, “I decided to pass on the opportunity because, as a Christian owner, I cannot in good conscience endorse groups or events that run counter to my convictions.  All I ask for people is to respect my right as an owner to not produce a product that is contrary to my principles,” he wrote.

If the T-shirt company is found to have discriminated against GLSO, a fine of an unknown amount could be levied.

More details from the Baptist Press here:  http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=37519

While typing all the above I was wondering what the GLSO would think if a gay and lesbian sign company was forced to print signs for the Westboro loonies who protest at military funerals. Would their attitude change if it was a gay and lesbian business that had a discrimination complaint filed on it for refusing to print these signs?
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While reading articles about this situation, I was looking at the comments on an article on the Lexington Herald-Leader website.  The article was about a protest of Hands On Originals that took place in Lexington.  Apparently, even gay and lesbian business owners understand that they should have the right to choose with whom they do business.  No business should be forced under the threat of fines for discrimination to produce goods or services that are directly in conflict with their personal beliefs.
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