Frankfort, Kentucky — February 6, 2018. Today, the Center for Religious Expression submitted a friend-of-the-court brief to the Kentucky Supreme Court, urging the state high court to protect Christian printer Blaine Adamson’s right to decline to print messages contrary to his faith.
Blaine Adamson owns Hands-On Originals, a printing company that prints custom-designed messages and graphics on t-shirts and other accessories. Blaine is personally involved in designing the prints to create a high quality product that captures the message he wants to send. His Christian faith informs everything he does, including how he runs Hands-On Originals, so he will not create and print messages that are not honoring to God, such as messages that include profanity.
So, when a local LGBT Pride Festival asked him to print shirts promoting their event, Blaine politely declined, offering to connect the Festival with another printer who would print their message. Instead, the Festival filed a complaint with the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission alleging discrimination, and the Commission is now seeking massive fines to run Hands-On Originals out of business. Fortunately, Kentucky state courts overturned the decision, so far recognizing that it is not discrimination to decline to print or create a message one cannot support. The Commission has now appealed the decision to the Kentucky Supreme Court, asking that Court to force Hands-On Originals to produce objectionable messages or face punishment.
CRE’s brief points out that there is a wide consensus, including among the LGBT community, that declining to produce a particular message for anyone is not discrimination. Rather, the decision of what to say or what not to say lies at the heart of what the First Amendment is designed to protect.