Christian Company Ordered to Print Pro-Homosexual T-Shirts Files Appeal

Hands OnLEXINGTON, Ky. — A Christian screen printing company that was ordered this fall 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 has filed an appeal with a state circuit court.

As previously reported, the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization of Lexington (GLSO) had wanted the company Hand On Originals–a company that identifies as “Christian outfitters” on the home page of its website–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 Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government Human Rights Commission.

“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.”

During a hearing regarding the matter this past June, GSLO representative Aaron Baker admitted to the commission that his desire to force Christians to print pro-homosexual messages works both ways, and that the homosexual companies could be forced to print messages that are against homosexuality.

“I believe that a gay printer would have to print a t-shirt for the Westboro Baptist Church,” he stated, referring to the controversial organization whose messages express a desire for Americans to burn in Hell rather than repent and be saved. “And if the Westboro Baptist Church were to say, ‘Look, we’re a church; we’re promoting our church values by having our name on a T-shirt,’ I don’t see how you could refuse that.”

HRC examiner Greg Munson therefore ruled in October that Hands On Originals violated the law by not printing the shirts for the event.

“The evidence of record shows that the respondent discriminated against GLSO because of its members’ actual or imputed sexual orientation by refusing to print and sell to them the official shirts for the 2012 Lexington Pride Festival,” he wrote.

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The company was then ordered to undergo diversity training so that it would not decline to print such messages in the future.

But Hands on Originals filed an appeal with the Fayette Circuit Court on Monday via its legal counsel contending that the ruling violates its constitutional right to freedom of religion and its freedom of expression.

“No one should be forced by the government to endorse or promote ideas with which they disagree,” ADF Senior Legal Counsel Jim Campbell told reporters this week. “Laws that do that are fundamentally unjust.”

“A book editor or ghostwriter could be forced to write a book advocating messages they find contrary to their convictions based on this ruling,” he explained. “The litmus test now seems to be: Does the order arguably implicate a protected class or a protected characteristic? If it does, then the logic of it … would require every business that promotes messages and ideas to go against their beliefs.”


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  • Neiman

    It is a violation of the 1st Amendment to order these people to violate their faith and to suffer the brainwashing programs of the state. This is anti-Christian tyranny by the State.

    • Peter Leh

      no one is being asked to violate their faith. the company is responsible for complying with state regulations. it is up to the company to construct the proper entity to comply with the state and conscience.

      • Gary

        It is up to the state to make laws that do not violate the constitutional rights of citizens.

        • Peter Leh

          if the states do the then feds stop it. it has yet to stop it totally and will be determined shorty.

          • Gary

            The federal government is the chief abuser of the US Constitution. The federal judiciary is corrupt.

          • Peter Leh

            then i guess we are screwed….

      • Neiman

        Yes they are, to sell to gays is one thing, to be forced to construct a message that is against their faith is a violation of the Constitution.

        • Peter Leh

          not really. hate speech is not protected so a company has leverage. one may disagree with gay pride but one cannot discriminate against sexual orientation. so as long as the language is not offensive (and if the company extends its service to the public) then company has every opportunity to comply with state regulations. it is up to the company, NOT the state , to set itself up to protect itself if the product its serves cannot be served to everybody.

          • Gary

            It is up to the state to make laws that are constitutional. This law is unconstitutional.

          • Peter Leh

            as you have said.

          • Neiman

            You obviously do not understand the First Amendment, where in the freedom of expression clause, the Congress and rest of the government is prohibited from passing any laws that infringe upon the beliefs of people of faith. No law that may force someone of faith to construct a product that promotes, endorses or in any way forces them to participate in something that violates their faith, it would be unconstitutional.

            There is nothing in the Constitution that says the business must protect itself, if that business is owned by people of faith they may not be forced to endorse, promote or participate in any message in favor of something that violates their faith.

            There is simply no compelling governmental interest here, as these gay people have plenty of options, other places they could go to obtain the same service or product.

          • Peter Leh

            obviously you are trying to combine the rights of citizens with the rights of businesses. apples and oranges. no one is being forced to do anything. you and i have choices on how we run our business. Public or Private? Separate rules. citizen or business? Again, separate rules…. but all up to us and our choices. the govenment has compelling interest in BOTH citizen and business, private or public, per state and federal rules.

            This is BUS101. Rudimentary education for any who have ears to hear. No surprise. Available to all…… 😉

          • Frank

            No Neiman is not mixing up anything and he has hit upon the bullseye why you are wrong. Out of all the points made to you that were all correct this post hits the crux of the matter. All these businesses have zero problem serving anyone, but to participate in and promote the person’s discusting sin they do have a problem with and this is the line in the sand. You want to act immorally that is your business, but to force someone else to act immorally is wrong no matter how you slice it. And it’s not comparable to race as some have tried because the issue isn’t serving someone as these businesses have shown through a long track record they have no problem serving someone, but they will not participate or promote sin. Now that’s apples and oranges!

          • Peter Leh

            frank your points have already been specifically addressed.

            there is no argument here. no person is being forced to do anything.

            Set your business up with the state that satisfys state requirements AND you spiritual convictions.

            Don;t say it can;t be done while others are doing it. 🙂

          • Frank

            These are all well established businesses with decades mostly of establishment before theses ungodly immoral and unconstitutional laws were made. You have no rational moral constitutional argument. It fell apart as soon as you stated it. Nobody should be forced to close their doors in this manner as you are advocating. That is evil, immoral and unconstitutional.

          • Peter Leh

            All valid opinions.

            again as discussed with gary we can debate the philosophical as much as we want. however this
            company and mine live in reality and must deal with what is….. 🙂

          • Gary

            What about the Constitution? You going to just ignore it and comply with unconstitutional laws?

          • Peter Leh

            I have not ignored the constitution. I have set up my business according to the laws of my state and my conscience.

            Like i said… don;t say it can;t be done while others are doing it. 🙂

          • Frank

            Just stating the facts

          • Peter Leh

            i am, running my own business, living the facts. One risks nothing with an opinion.

          • KenS

            By your logic, one could march into a restaurant that has never sold meat products and demand that they sell them a steak just because they are open to the public. This company has always sold christian messages and is now being asked to sell messages contrary to that, it is no different than my example.

          • Peter Leh

            “one could march into a restaurant that has never sold meat”

            Ken this has already been addressed. and no you cannot. you order what is on the menu. It is not MY logic but the law. any business owner knows this.

            “This company has always sold christian messages ”

            This argument only works if the company has not sold “secular” shirts. It also would be a register as a religious corp or a 501c3 in order to do this properly. this company sells to the public.

            SO yes it COULD be done as you describe with the proper corporate set up. But you have to do set it up correctly FIRST before you serve the public. Hope that helps

          • KenS

            by your explaination, then a restaurant would have to set up a special corporate in order to only sell what is on its menu as well then. I dont think it works that way, therefore since gay messages were never on this company’s menu they should not have to make them just as the restaurant wouldn’t have to make something that is not on their menu.

          • Peter Leh

            “I dont think it works that way”

            Correct it does not work that way.

            “therefore since gay messages were never on this company’s menu”

            Secular t-shirts were available. therefore secular shirts are available to the public. a secular customer order a secular shirt(s) and was turned away based on sexual orientation. Sexual orientation is a protected class under the public accommodation laws in that jurisdiction. Complaint was filed and the company admitted to violation of said statue. The company was ordered to provide the service it promised the state it would do at formation and was ordered to review and train all employees to adhere to the statues regarding public accommodation (some call it “sensitivity training” or “reeducation” but it is really a review of the law the company promised to abide in the first place)

            Again, it is not my “logic” or “opinion”. it is the law and again, any business owner knows this. This is not a surprise.

  • Gary

    The first amendment does not stop applying to you if you go into business. These laws and court orders trying to force Christians to serve homosexuals are unconstitutional.

    • Peter Leh

      The first amendment is not applicable here. This falls under anti-discrimination laws the company was well aware of: ”

      “examiner Greg Munson therefore ruled in October that Hands On Originals
      violated the law by not printing the shirts for the event.”

      • Gary

        The first amendment is always applicable. It is not overridden by anti-discrimination laws.

        • Peter Leh

          i see the the article states otherwise.

          • Gary

            People who work for the government, including lawmakers, make mistakes all the time. If you think laws that require Christians to do business with homosexuals against their will are constitutional, then you are mistaken.

          • Peter Leh

            no one is asking anyone to do business with anyone against their will. it is voluntary.

          • Gary

            If it is voluntary, then the business would not have been ordered to make the shirts.

          • Peter Leh

            it is voluntary because the business agreed to follow state regulations at formation.

          • Gary

            The government does not have the authority to demand that people follow laws that are unconstitutional.

          • Peter Leh

            please dont change the subject. no one is being forced. the business agreed to follow state regulations at formation. IF the company cannot comply because of a violation of faith the state allows the company to go private of form a religious corp (so far at least) to comply. this company chose not to and is now being cited. if i can do it so can they.

          • Gary

            The regulations that the business was asked to follow are unconstitutional. And the government lacks the authority to enforce unconstitutional laws.

          • Peter Leh

            apparently the do per the article.

          • Gary

            No, they don’t. The government is acting unconstitutionally. They are violating the US Constitution by their actions.

          • Peter Leh

            not yet. that has yet to be determined as stated before

          • Gary

            It is obvious. Maybe it has not been determined by a court, but it is still obvious.

          • Peter Leh

            lots of things are obvious. and we can debate the philosophical as much as we want. however this company and mine live in reality and must deal with what is….. 🙂

          • Gary

            A lot of us are getting tired of this BS. And a new reality may soon come on the scene.

          • Peter Leh

            maybe so.

          • Frank

            The elections are telling. The spanking is still going on.

        • SFBruce

          No right, including religious liberty, is absolute. If it were, a person could commit murder, then say his religion demands human sacrifice. I don’t think that would be successful defense.

          • Gary

            The government has to determine which religion it is going to honor. If it is Christianity, then human sacrifices would be illegal. If the government goes by some other religion, then it could turn out differently.

          • SFBruce

            The government must show neither favor nor animus to any particular religion. Otherwise, we don’t have freedom of religion. We have no state religion. An atheist, or a Muslim, or a Jew has the same freedom of conscience as you do.

          • Gary

            It has to. Can’t be helped. Some moral standard must be employed by the government. But there is nothing in Christian morality that would require the government to force an atheist to attend church, or do business with a Christian if he did not want to. That would not be true with Muslim morality, and some others.

          • SFBruce

            You’re simply wrong. You might want to read about Lemon v. Kurtzman, a case in which legal standards were established to determine if a government act violates the establishment clause of the First Amendment. You may wish we lived in a country where the government favors Christianity, or maybe you want an outright theocracy. But you should understand the way things are if you want to change things, especially something so fundamental.

          • Gary

            The government often violates the rights of citizens. A revolution is necessary. And is coming.

          • SFBruce

            Before you organize that militia, you might try getting legislators elected who share your views.

          • Gary

            That has been tried. It didn’t work.

          • BarkingDawg

            Gary, that is exactly what the 1st amendment prohibits.

          • Gary

            When there are conflicting moralities, the government MUST choose one. The government is not morally neutral.

        • James Grimes

          Absolutely!

        • BarkingDawg

          Anti discrimination laws are based on the 14th amendment. there is no priority in amendments, but the 14th applies here, not the 1st.

          • Gary

            The first amendment is always applicable. It is not nullified by any other amendment.

          • BarkingDawg

            THe first amendment does NOT allow discrimination in the name of religion. This was settled back in the Loving v. Virginia days.

    • David Girard

      You are on spot correct Gary. Just hang in there for the changes, they are coming.

      • BarkingDawg

        What changes?

        Are you going to repeal the 14th amendment?

        • RJLigier

          Only in the twisted logic of a homosexual sociopathic jurist does the immutability of race equate to neurotic behavior.

          • BarkingDawg

            sorry, but science refutes your assertion.

    • SFBruce

      Can you identify the constitutional principles on which such laws are unconstitutional? What about laws which forbid racial discrimination? After all, there are still those with sincerely held beliefs that the races should not mix. Should they be forced to violate that belief?

      • Gary

        It is my view that ALL anti-discrimination laws are unconstitutional because they force people to violate their religious beliefs, and interfere with the freedom of association that we all are supposed to have.

        • Peter Leh

          business does not have freedom of association. citizens do

          • Gary

            Citizens run and own businesses. Or at least some businesses.

          • Peter Leh

            yes but they are not one in the same

          • Gary

            I think they are. I have a friend who owns an auto repair business. I can assure you that he would feel personally assaulted if he were required to do business with anyone he did not want to do business with.

          • Peter Leh

            he can feel that way all he wants

          • Gary

            He does. And he does business with who he wants. And rejects who he wants.

          • Peter Leh

            and if he violates the state regulations… guess what?

          • Gary

            What?

          • Peter Leh

            read the article.

          • Gary

            Gotta prove it first. Or at least that is the way it is supposed to work.

          • Peter Leh

            of course. it has to be proven. just as the article explains.

        • SFBruce

          You’re entitled to your opinion, but a business owner who put out a sign saying “Whites Only” would have to answer to the law, and rightly so.

          • Gary

            Yes, it would. But not rightly so. Everyone should have freedom of association, even if the government tries to deny it.

          • James Grimes

            If a business has Christian owners and the business is operated on Christian principles, it becomes a target of the perverts. I hesitate to use the term “pervert,” but it has been proven out in some recent headlines.

          • Gary

            There is no doubt that they target Christians. They are trying to force everyone to accept them, and if some won’t they want to put them out of business. It is definitely persecution.

          • James Grimes

            Wouldn’t be wonderful if people were looking out for good rather than forcing evil upon everyone?

          • Gary

            Yes, it would. Unfortunately, there are many evil people in this world. But that will change.

    • annieconnor

      public accomodation laws are not unconstitutional, they are there to protect people from discriminatory treatment

      • Gary

        Yes, they are unconstitutional. I have the right to choose my own associations.

    • BarkingDawg

      Equal treatment.

      14th amendment.

      • Gary

        The 14th Amendment does not override the 1st Amendment. And it also does not require anyone to do business with anyone.

        • BarkingDawg

          The Commerce clause authorizes Congress to set laws affecting Commerce.

          • Gary

            Congress has no authority to cancel anyone’s rights under the First Amendment. If Congress wants to cancel religious freedom, they need to repeal the first amendment.

          • BarkingDawg

            Slavery is a well established principle in many religeous.

            Are you saying that we should allow it based on the first amendment?

          • Gary

            Slavery works where the government FORCES an individual to work for another. The slave gets to stop being a slave when the law no longer requires him to work for those he would rather not work for. You are promoting slavery when you try to get the government to force one person to do business with another.

  • bowie1

    I suppose the only way around this would be not to advertise to the general public but solicit only from a small select group of businesses that adhere to the same values. It’s like an artist who works only on spec producing art and then hope people will buy it. Besides, doing custom work doesn’t guarantee the customer will like it since they would be dealing with the creative process, where likes may not be the same with every person.

  • Anita Johnston

    Little by little the government encroaches on our lives. From inadequate, unpalatable school lunches to telling a business owner what he MUST produce to forcing insurance companies to provide prostate exams and abortions for senior women, the overreach is everywhere. I’ve lived too long, I fear. (Socialized medicine will soon resolve that problem. :-()

  • robertzaccour

    This stuff is getting ridiculous. It seems a lot of these gay groups are wanting to cause trouble. Why would they go into a Christian store and ask for gay prints?

    • Frank

      To purposely run them out of business. To try and silence God’s voice one note at a time.

    • Peter Leh

      why would one go into a t-shirt shop and order t-shirts? Becuase that is what the sell to the public. 🙂

      • KenS

        This is where you are wrong. The company does not sell t-shirts. It sells Christian messages. The Webpage is clear on this. Therefore, asking the company to sell a message that is not christian is the equivalent to asking a vegetarian restaurant to sell you a steak. This should not be an issue of discrimination at all because they are asking this company to sell them a product that they do not carry as a regular part of their inventory and never ever planned to.

  • Frank

    Aaron Baker is obviously not a Christian. Every Christian should put him on their prayer list for his salvation.

    • James Grimes

      So true. His only agenda is to promote the evils of homosexuality and can only offer persecution to those who disagree.

  • pjwung

    It’s your business – you manufacture or create whatever projects your company deems suitable for their organization – this is not a government run enterprise. This forced pro-homosexual agenda and absurd laws will go the way of prohibition eventually. This is not a communist nation yet and the government has never been successful in imposing a highly unpopular piece of extremist legislation – this will prove to be an exercise in futility. Time will reveal that history certainly does repeat itself..again and again and again. The will of the people en masse will prevail – it is very predictable in terms of the historicity.

  • Demopublicrat

    The pervert brigade again out targeting anyone or anything with “Christian” attached.

  • Peter Leh

    are you open to the public? then guess what?

    • David Girard

      I have a feeling that change is in the air coming soon. People are tired of pandering to gays and that is going to change. Hobby Lobby lit the match and the fire is burning. I am a business owner and we all say the same thing. The politicians have gotten the message and more and more we as businessmen and businesswomen are tired of catering to these people. I used to be pro-gay but they are tuning out to be just what we feared, just a group of overly sexed selfish perverts.

      • Peter Leh

        what does “overly sexed selfish perverts” have to do with ordering a t-shirt? You are business man… you are responsible to know and follow state regulations. Just as i am.

        • Gary

          Regulations that interfere with a Christian’s freedom to avoid evil people are unconstitutional.

          • BarkingDawg

            You are not allowed to discriminate based on religion.

          • Gary

            According to the First Amendment to the US Constitution, I do.

          • BarkingDawg

            No. You do not if you run a business of public accommodation.

          • Gary

            The public accommodation laws do not cancel first amendment rights. People have the right to exercise their Christian religion, even if you don’t want them to.

          • Peter Leh

            according to the 1st amendment, indeed… as an individual.

        • KenS

          Again the business is selling christian messages, they were not asked to print a christian message, they were asked to print a secular message. Secular messages were not part of their inventory.

      • SFBruce

        I’m sorry, but how does the expectation that a business establishment should follow anti-discrimination laws translate into LGBT people being “a group of overly sexed selfish perverts?” I don’t think much of religious conservatives’ attitudes about LGBT people, but I can find ways to communicate that disagreement without calling you names.

    • KenS

      Just because they are open to the public does not mean that they have to change their inventory because one member of the public wants an item that they do not carry in their inventory.

  • http://www.imagineitincorporatedng.com/ Tessa

    I stand with the church
    The gay people can do business with others…

    • BarkingDawg

      Let’s change what you posted a little bit . . .

      I stand with the church
      The black people can do business with others…

      How’s that?

      It’s good that you can sit and eat at any lunch counter that you want, is it not?

      • Peter Leh

        the church in the south had separate bathrooms and entrances for “the colored”. But they or some apologized 160 years later. i wonder what else the church will be “apologizing” for?

      • Gary

        Homosexuals do not have the right to force people to do business with them.

        • BarkingDawg

          Businesses do not have the right to discriminate against homosexuals.

          • Gary

            Yes, they do. What you are saying is that the rights of homosexuals are greater than the rights of anyone else. And that is not true.

          • Peter Leh

            gary why do you attempt to fuse the to right of the individual with the right of a business? the law does not view or regulate them the same. If what you say is true there would not be business law only civil law.

          • Gary

            Businesses are owned by and operated by people. People who are in business still have the same rights they had when they were not in business. The government has no authority to dictate to anyone who they must do business with. Business transactions should be voluntary on the part of all of those participating. It would be wrong for the government to stop someone on the street and order them to go into a certain business and buy something. It is also wrong for the government to demand that any business sell to anyone.

          • Peter Leh

            ok.. you are still living is a “should be” world. all the best to you. 🙂

  • AustinBamBam

    Glad many communities across America have anti-discrimination in public accommodations laws that include gay Americans.

  • RJLigier

    Good job standing up to the homonazis………….be sure to investigative the court officers and jurist…………

  • Brenda Volino

    Shoebat wanted a cake made for a Traditional Marriage event and he called thirteen bakers, all of them gay. They told him where he could take his order. They told him the following ‘We can’t be force to bake you anything that violates what we do.” The same line, but without the nasty name calling, that the Christian bakers gave.

  • gypsyj

    The atheists & LGBT folks are treating the Christians with refusals also for any Christian related demands There was a guy who called 13 of those businesses and they refused services however the Christians did not take them to court which they should have