The Kentucky Supreme Court has agreed to hear the discrimination case against Blaine Adamson, owner of Hands On Originals, a Lexington, Ky., print shop. And that could be a problem.
Up to this point, Adamson has won all rounds in the case brought against him by the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission. The commission ruled in 2014 that Adamson violated its nondiscrimination ordinance when he declined to print T-shirts promoting a gay pride festival for a local LGBT organization. Adamson appealed to a state circuit court judge, arguing he should not be compelled by government statute to print messages that conflict with his Christian convictions.
Fayette Circuit Judge James Ishmael agreed and reversed the commission’s ruling.
But the commission appealed to the Kentucky Court of Appeals, which ruled in Adamson’s favor in May. The government agency appealed again, this time asking the Kentucky Supreme Court to weigh in.
“It’s frightening that the government would be so committed to ensuring that its citizens would violate their convictions,” said Kristen Waggoner, an attorney for Alliance Defending Freedom, the Christian legal group defending Adamson and similarly situated business owners sued by state and local Civil Rights Commissions.
The Kentucky high court could have refused to hear the case, letting the appellate court ruling in Adamson’s favor stand, but it did not.
“The fact that the Kentucky Supreme Court granted a hearing on it is concerning to us,” Waggoner said. “It’s unnecessary.” —B.P.