Kentucky Supreme Court Dismisses Case Against Printer Who Refused to Make Pride Shirts

by Sam Cronin

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Tuesday November 5, 2019

The Kentucky Supreme Court sided with a print shop owner Friday in dismissing a case brought against him for refusing to print LGBTQ Pride t-shirts for Lexington's Gay and Lesbian Services Organization.

The argument began in 2012 when the Lexington Human Rights Commission ordered shop owner Blaine Adamson to make the shirts and to attend diversity training. He brought the case to court in 2012, and since then the circuit court and state court of appeals have sided with the print shop owner, who argued making the shirts went against his religion.

In 2017, the appeals court sided with Adamson, saying that though his business was subject to the city's fairness ordinance, a private business was not prohibited "from engaging in viewpoint or message censorship" under that ordinance, according to NBC News.

The State Supreme Court of Kentucky agreed and upheld the lower court rulings, saying that "the gay advocacy group lacked standing to make a claim against shop owner Blaine Adamson because the city's gay rights law was written to protect individuals," according to NBC.

"While this result is no doubt disappointing to many interested in this case and its potential outcome, the fact that the wrong party filed the complaint makes the discrimination analysis almost impossible to conduct, including issues related to freedom of expression and religion," the justices wrote in the ruling.

Adamson said in August after a hearing before the State Supreme Court that printing the shirt, which would have said "Lexington Pride Festival" "goes against my conscience."

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