John Stonestreet and David Carlson on Kentucky’s Ruling in Favor of Hands On Originals is Another Victory for Religious Freedom

Blaine Adamson, owner of Hands on Originals, says, ‘I don’t leave my faith at the door when I walk into my business.’ | (PHOTO: ALLIANCE DEFENDING FREEDOM)

Blaine Adamson is the owner of Hands On Originals, a “Christian Outfitters” shop in Lexington, Kentucky. Hands On creates customized apparel such as t-shirts, hoodies, and baseball caps.

In 2012, when Adamson got a phone call from the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization (or, GLSO) asking him to print t-shirts for a local gay pride festival, he explained that he could not accept the order because it would mean expressing a message that violated his Christian faith. He offered to refer GLSO to another shop that would gladly help them.

You can probably guess what happened next.

The GLSO filed a complaint with the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission. GLSO also widely publicized what happened, which led to protests, a boycott, vile phone calls, and threats of violence.

The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission ruled against Adamson and ordered him to print whatever GLSO wanted. But even that wasn’t enough. Taking a page out from the Colorado Civil Rights Commission’s “How to Persecute Jack Phillips and Masterpiece Cakeshop” playbook, they ordered Adamson to undergo diversity training.

Thankfully, in a positive similarity to the Jack Phillips case, Blaine Adamson received help from the Alliance Defending Freedom.

Even though two different lower courts ruled in favor of Adamson, GLSO took its case to the Kentucky Supreme Court. On Thursday, seven years after the incident, the Court ruled unanimously that GLSO had no standing, and therefore no right to sue Adamson.

The Court ruled that because it was an organization and not an individual, GLSO had no standing under Kentucky law to file a suit. Which means, as the Alliance Defending Freedom explained, the decision “didn’t directly address the broader First Amendment questions concerning Blaine’s right to live and work consistently with his faith.”

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SOURCE: Christian Post, John Stonestreet and David Carlson