BREAKING NEWS: On October 31, 2019, the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled for Blaine Adamson. After a seven-year legal battle, the court ruled unanimously that the group who sued Blaine did not have a legal right to do so. Praise God for this victory! Please support us as we continue to defend religious freedom in similar cases.
Blaine Adamson never expected to get caught up in a legal battle over religious freedom. He’s just a regular guy. In fact, he’s probably a lot like you.
But his world was turned upside down when a Lexington commission threatened to take away his freedom.
This is how it happened …
Blaine thought that he might lose his business
Blaine owns Hands On Originals, a small promotional printing shop in Lexington. He works hard to support his family, provide jobs for his employees, and honor God in all he does. He was just living life, like we all do. He wasn’t bothering anyone.
And then one day, without warning, his religious freedom came under fire.
What had Blaine done? Why did the government come after him? It’s all because he respectfully declined a request to print a shirt with a message promoting a local gay pride festival. Blaine simply could not in good conscience print a message that was so clearly at odds with his faith and its teachings.
Blaine offered to connect the festival organizers with another printer. He thought it was a good and reasonable solution, but the situation escalated quickly.
The pride-festival group filed a complaint with the local government and sent a press release to the local newspaper. Others called for a boycott of Blaine’s business. He received hateful emails, phone calls, and Facebook comments. Lexington’s mayor publicly criticized him. And large customers began pulling their business.
Blaine remembers sitting with his wife on the floor of their bedroom, pouring out their pain and uncertainty to God.
Blaine was beginning to understand just how frightening it can be to face the government on your own. But through God’s work behind the scenes, Blaine didn’t feel alone for long.
Blaine wouldn’t have to fight alone
The very next morning, an ADF attorney walked into Blaine’s office. After introducing himself, he told Blaine that his case was not unique. He explained that others were facing similar legal battles and that Alliance Defending Freedom would be glad to take on his case, completely free of charge.
Blaine still remembers the relief he felt: “It was just like, ‘Okay, God — You’ve got this. It’s going to be all right. It’s going to work out.’”
Through it all, he remained faithful
Almost immediately, the government launched an investigation into Blaine’s business. The process was invasive and intimidating. The investigator demanded that Blaine produce thousands of pages of documents about his business, and the comission ordered him to come in for questioning.
But ADF succeeded in limiting the investigator’s overwhelming requests. And we sat with Blaine during the government’s attempts to question him, ensuring that he wasn’t bullied during the process.
The ADF media team also leapt into action and helped turn the tide on the negative press Blaine had been receiving.
Within days, the calls for boycotts ended, and the Lexington paper published an article that set much of the record straight. This was crucial because the court of public opinion often affects the outcome of cases. And more than that, Blaine needed to make sure that he wouldn’t be driven out of business by the smear campaigns launched against him.
But the ordeal was far from over
The government agency that launched the investigation against Blaine eventually ruled against him, declaring him a lawbreaker, and ordering him to attend “diversity training.”
Blaine knew that unless that decision was reversed, he would likely be forced to close or sell the business that he worked so hard to build.
Yet what worried Blaine more was the risk that his employees would lose their jobs. Blaine struggled with this. “When I think about Hands On Originals from an employee’s standpoint, I definitely think of family.” But, as much as he wrestled with the possibility of losing close employees and even his business, his relationship with God comes first in his life.
Blaine moved forward, resolving to remain faithful to God. “I will stand, no matter what the cost will be.”
“It’s not that God needs people to understand,” Blaine says. “God is God. But from my human perspective, I want them to see God’s glory and understand that He’s faithful. I want His faithfulness shown to people who don’t even believe in Him.”
Almost immediately, Blaine and Alliance Defending Freedom asked the state court to correct the government’s wrong decision. And thanks be to God, the court did just that.
“Thankfully,” Blaine says with a smile, “we’ve had to lay off no one. Did we take some hits? Yes, we did. But we’re still here.”
The government was unwilling to accept defeat. It appealed all the way to the Kentucky Supreme Court. Thankfully, on October 31, 2019, the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled for Blaine!
“It’s frightening that the government would be so committed to ensuring that its citizens would violate their convictions,” said Kristen Waggoner, ADF Senior Vice President of U.S. Legal Division.
Blaine’s case is just one example of the growing legal battles faced by people because of their faith.
Right now, a group of generous individuals has offered a $2 million challenge grant hoping to inspire you to join them today to defend religious freedom.
Today, YOU can give to defend people like Blaine and further the impact of the challenge grant.
Today, YOU can help ensure a future of religious freedom in America — for your children and grandchildren.
ADF regularly gets calls from people who are threatened with the loss of their business or vocation … simply because they are following their religious beliefs. We can’t sit back and watch this happen.
You can support ADF as it defends people like Blaine free of charge.
About Alliance Defending Freedom
Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, nonprofit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.
ADF was launched in 1994 by 35 ministry leaders, including Dr. James Dobson, Dr. D. James Kennedy, Dr. Bill Bright, and Larry Burkett.
With God’s blessing, ADF has grown from the prayers of those godly leaders to become a major force in the legal battle for religious freedom, winning nearly 80% of our cases, including 14 victories at the U.S. Supreme Court since 2011.