HUGE WIN For Religious Freedom
by Shari Dovale
Blaine Adamson owns “Hands On Originals”, a promotional print shop in Lexington, Kentucky. He has never been afraid to turn down work due to his religious beliefs, but in 2012, that conviction was put to the test.
The Gay and Lesbian Services Organization (GLSO) requested a shirt order be printed promoting the group’s pride festival, Adamson politely explained and turned down the order. He even found them another printer that would complete the job at the same price he would have charged.
The GLSO publicized Blaine’s decision, which led to protests and boycotts against Hands On Originals. The group also filed a discrimination complaint with the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission, which ruled against Blaine and ordered him to undergo “diversity training” and print messages that conflict with his religious beliefs.
Blaine knew that this was a violation of his First Amendment rights to free speech and religious freedom. With the help of Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys, Blaine has been asking the courts to uphold his freedom to live and work consistently with his faith.
Two lower courts had already ruled for Blaine. And now, the Kentucky Supreme Court has too! The unanimous court said that the GLSO did not have a legal right to sue Hands On Originals.
“Today’s decision makes clear that this case never should have happened. For more than seven years, government officials used this case to turn Blaine’s life upside down, even though we told them from the beginning that the lawsuit didn’t comply with the city’s own legal requirements,” said ADF Senior Counsel Jim Campbell, who argued before the state high court on Adamson’s behalf earlier this year.
“The First Amendment protects Blaine’s right to continue serving all people while declining to print messages that violate his faith. Justice David Buckingham recognized this in his concurring opinion, and no member of the court disagreed with that.”
This is a tremendous victory for Religious Freedom!
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