Out of Lexington, KY we see how civil rights laws or ordinances that include sexual orientation or gender identity can come into conflict with religious liberty.  The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that the organizers of Lexington’s annual gay pride parade (the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization of Lexington) has filed a discrimination complaint with the city’s Human Rights Commission against Hands On Originals, a Christian owned t-shirt company, when they refused to produce apparel for the event.  Below is a picture of the graphic that went with the order that was refused.

The owner of Hands On Originals, Blaine Adamson, issued the following statement:

Hands On Originals both employs and conducts business with people of all genders, races, religions, sexual preferences and national origins.  However, due to the promotional nature of our products, it is the prerogative of the company to refuse any order that would endorse positions that conflict with the convictions of the ownership.

The story then quotes Raymond Sexton who is the director of the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission whose stated mission is to “to safeguard all individuals within Lexington-Fayette County from discrimination because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, familial status and sexual orientation/gender identity in connection with employment, housing and public accommodations.”

His organization will conduct the investigation into Hands On Originals.  Sexton made some troubling comments:

If you have other organizations using their services and they’ve made T-shirts for them, and this organization is not allowed and the only difference is sexual orientation, that could be problematic… Religious exemption is a valid defense under the local ordinance, but it’s typically reserved for churches.  If you’re Hands On Originals, you’re a business, not a religious organization. You’re into T-shirts.

It seems like his mind is already made up before he even starts an investigation.  Sexton pointing out that they are not a church is why I have problems with civil rights language that includes sexual orientation or gender identity at the local, state or federal level.  There is no protection of religious liberty for those who are not a church.  In most cases Christian owned businesses can (and should) serve all customers, but in this instance it was the matter of the message and not the messenger that is the problem so to speak.  It isn’t an individual homosexual ordering t-shirts for a little league team or some other event.  Rather this group, and I have to believe this was intentional (I mean they’re the only company in town?), wanted to have this Christian-owned company to produce a t-shirt which violates their convictions.

Consider the reverse, how would this group feel if a homosexual owner of a t-shirt company was asked to produce apparel for say… a “Love Won Out” conference or some other event that spoke out against homosexual behavior?  I would suspect they would (and should have the right to) refuse the order.

If religious liberty means anything it that an individual’s, in this case the owner of Hands On Originals, religious conscience is protected.  The First Amendment protects freedom of religion, not just freedom of worship, so it includes religious conscience and conduct.  A governmental agency should not be allowed to compel a citizen to violate their religious conscience or conviction.  But here again we see another instance when religious liberty buts up against homosexual “rights” the First Amendment doesn’t seem to matter.

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  1. This article seems to imply that the company discriminated against the group wanting to purchase this t-shirt.  This company didn’t say they would not help this group, but instead they would not print shirts for this particular event.  Totally different situation. 

  2. Go to a company that wants your business….a privatly owned business has the right to not do business with whom ever they choose

  3. Gay rights are wrong
    From an article written by
    Dr. Henry Makow

    Under the guise of being a persecuted minority seeking human rights, homosexual activists are actually using the state to persecute heterosexuals. They are waging successful war against heterosexuality — masculinity, femininity, marriage and the nuclear family, the sources of our identity, love and meaning.

    .…Nevertheless lesbian feminist and gay activists, by their own admission, are dedicated to recasting society in their own image. They want replace heterosexual norms with homosexual ones.
    ….Since 1970, gay-feminist activists have waged a campaign to foster homosexuality among heterosexuals. They are candid about this goal. “The end goal of the feminist revolution is the elimination of the sex distinction itself,” says Shulamith Firestone (The Dialectic of Sex, 1972, p.11)

  4. A previous comment on this post by Leslie Johnson (using information from an article by Dr. Henry Makow) sums up som the fanatical, tyrannical goals of the homosexual movement.

    They are neither moral or tolerant.

    1.  Exactly. The issue here is that homosexuality agenda people must shove down
      everyone’s throats their homosexuality propaganda, and, according to
      them, no one has the right to reject it or to think otherwise (and more
      intelligently) about sexuality.

      Social conservatives must act collectively to expose the sham that this homosexuality agenda is, and to cut public funding for such destructive organizations, whose basic goal is to spread misinformation and destructive ideas about sexuality and personal relationships.

  5. The main issue which is being lied about here is about the nature of
    this denial of service. A company must have
    the right to refrain from doing business with other destructive
    organizations, such as homosexuality activists.

    If the KKK was
    having a parade and came to this company to have their t-shirts printed,
    wouldn’t this business have a right to discriminate against printing
    political/ideological messages that are harmful and destructive?

    this homosexuality agenda group is doing is POLITICS. In no way can
    GLSO be equated to a black person who is denied a t-shirt because they
    are black.

    A black person who is engaging in destructive
    politics who wants a business to print their destructive political
    messages is a different situation than a black person who is simply
    denied service because of the color of their skin.

    came to this company and said they wanted to have their NAMBLA-promotion
    t-shirts, couldn’t this company refuse? Could NAMBLA then sue the
    company for discrimination?

    GLSO is a disgrace to society and their tactics are a display of how much people with a homosexuality agenda lack ethics.

    This is an example of how freedom of conscience is not safe when people with a homosexuality agenda are in power. 

  6. “homosexual activists are actually using the state to persecute heterosexuals”Yeah, heterosexuals are the ones being persecuted… not the LGBT community who you ignorant people keep trying to deny any rights.
    You all make me ashamed!

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