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Alliance Alert

Jul 13, 2017

Kentucky Printer Asks State Supreme Court to Leave Appeals Court's Ruling in Place

Tuesday, Blaine Adamson, a Kentucky printer who owns Hands On Originals, asked the Kentucky Supreme Court to leave in place an appeals court's ruling that affirmed his freedom.

Let's take a look.

Here's a reminder of what has happened so far in this case:

In 2014, the [Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission] ruled that [Blaine] Adamson must print messages that conflict with his faith when customers ask him to do so. Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys appealed the order to the Fayette Circuit Court, which reversed the commission’s ruling and affirmed Adamson’s freedom to live according to his faith. The commission then appealed that decision to the Court of Appeals in Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission v. Hands On Originals. The appeals court upheld the circuit court’s decision.

What spawned the case was Blaine’s faith-based objection to printing messages promoting the Lexington Pride Festival. Blaine offered to refer the organization hosting the festival—the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization—to another printer who would do the job for the same price, but that wasn't good enough.

After the appeals court upheld Blaine's freedom to decline orders with messages that violate his religious beliefs, the commission requested that the Kentucky Supreme Court review the ruling. ADF attorneys, representing Blaine, have asked the court to leave in place the appeals court ruling.

Here's what ADF Senior Counsel Jim Campbell had to say:

Americans should always have the freedom to say no when asked to express ideas that violate their conscience. Blaine is willing to serve all people, but he cannot print all messages. The two lower courts properly affirmed that Blaine can’t be forced to print words and logos that express ideas in conflict with his faith. The Kentucky Supreme Court should leave those decisions in place.

The ADF response to the commission's request explains that this case unites many people with opposing ideological perspectives: "Lesbian print-shop owners, LGBT advocates, and groups that support gay rights have joined with free-speech and religious-liberty groups, and they all agree that the Commission cannot force [Hands On Originals] to print messages that conflict with its owners' beliefs."

We encourage the Kentucky Supreme Court to leave the appeals court’s ruling in place, which will ensure everybody's freedom to live and work consistent with their faith.

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