In 2012, Blaine Adamson, the owner of Hands On Originals, a Kentucky-based print company, was approached by the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization (GLSO) to produce shirts for a gay pride event.
Adamson declined out of respect for his faith, and “nevertheless offered to connect the GLSO to another printer who would create the shirts for the same price that he would have charged,” according to Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).
In response, however, the GLSO’s president filed a complaint with the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission alleging sexual orientation discrimination.
Obviously, things escalated and went to court, and then this decision was reached:
Chief Judge Joy Kramer wrote in her May 12, 2017, majority opinion:
The right of free speech does not guarantee to any person the right to use someone else’s property…
In other words, the ‘service’ Hands On Originals offers is the promotion of messages…The ‘conduct’ Hands On Originals chose not to promote was pure speech.
There is no contention that Hands On Originals is a public forum in addition to a public accommodation. Nothing in the fairness ordinance prohibits Hands On Originals, a private business, from engaging in viewpoint or message censorship.
Meaning: The Christian won and the homosexual complainants lost.
Now, this is a win for free association and the right of individuals to be free to choose who and/or how they interact with others.
However, while this is a temporary win, we need to remember that, in the end, these fights are not about alleged equality, they are about power. Namely, the power of the progressive-left over traditionalists, and especially traditionalist Christians.
And how do we know this? We know this because the progressives specifically target Christians; for example, they also don’t do this to Muslims. They also don’t object when liberal artists or designers take similar stances in refusing to dress or work with such individuals as Melania Trump. And finally, we know this because if, say, the Westboro Baptist Church went into a print-shop run by homosexuals and requested shirts printed with an virulently anti-homosexual message, or a message celebrating the high suicide rate amongst homosexuals, then the print-shop owners would no doubt tell the Westboro folks to go to hell…and rightfully so. But that standard needs to be applied universally, which is not the case now.
And this is the other thing. If the Left wants to keep using a double-standard, that is fine, but they should realize that they are no longer dealing solely with conservatives; rather, they are dealing with the Alt-Right and Alt-West, and these two groups will have no problem using the same tactics that the Left uses against them. So if the progressives want to keep pushing the envelope against Christians, they should expect push-back of a similar nature very soon. And that push-back could be much worse than they expect if the Hard Right truly mobilizes itself in this direction.