For the better part of a decade a shirt maker who wouldn’t make a shirt that expressed a belief he didn’t feel was appropriate. The Kentucky Human Rights Commission, a non-elected bureaucracy, ruled that he was compelled to express speech he didn’t want to because not doing so was doubleplusungood. Since then, the shirt maker has had to go through court after court after court.
Now, the Kentucky Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that NO, the shirt maker can not be compelled to speech.
“The Kentucky Supreme Court ruled unanimously Thursday that a printer cannot be forced to print T-shirts that violate his faith.
“In a case that dragged on for seven years, Blaine Adamson, owner of Hands On Originals, a promotional printer in Lexington, declined to print T-shirts for the Lexington Pride Festival, hosted by the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization.
“The state’s high court wrote in its opinion, ‘this matter must be dismissed because the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization, the original party to bring this action before the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission, lacked statutory standing to assert a claim against Hands On Originals under the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government ordinance.;
“A concurring opinion from Justice David Buckingham cited recent U.S. Supreme Court precedent prohibiting compelled speech, writing, ‘Hands On was in good faith objecting to the message it was being asked to disseminate. … Forcing free and independent individuals to endorse ideas they find objectionable is always demeaning.’”
The irony is that the shirt maker is anything but a “H8r”,
“’I have gay customers and employ gay people,’ [the shirt maker] Adamson said in a video op-ed for The Daily Signal in 2017. ‘For example, we have printed materials for a local band called Mother Jane whose lead singer is a lesbian. That was never a problem for us because, as I said, we’ll work with everyone, but we can’t print all messages.’
“Adamson also talked about other T-shirts he wouldn’t print, including one that would have read ‘Homosexuality is a sin.’
“’I didn’t feel right making that one either. I don’t think that’s how Jesus would have handled the issue; Jesus would have balanced grace and truth,’ Adamson said.”
It’s not about who is served, but what people are compelled to serve.