CASELexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission v. Hands On Originals

Client Story
Blaine Adamson

Blaine Adamson, the owner of Hands On Originals, a promotional printing company, has turned down several requests to create shirts based on the message that he was asked to print on them. But when he declined one particular design, he faced charges of illegal discrimination.


 

That order came from the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization (GLSO), and the requested shirt promoted the group’s pride festival. Blaine explained that he could not print a shirt bearing a message that conflicts with his faith. He then offered to connect the GLSO to another printer who would create the shirts for the same price that he would have charged.

The GLSO rejected Blaine’s offer and filed a discrimination complaint with the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission.

The Human Rights Commission declared that Blaine was guilty of illegal discrimination, and ordered him to print shirts with messages that conflict with his religious beliefs.

In May 2017, the Kentucky Court of Appeals got it right when it ruled that Blaine is free to decline orders that would require him to print messages that conflict with his religious beliefs.

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Summary
Lexington, Ky., printer Blaine Adamson of Hands On Originals declined to print expressive shirts promoting the Lexington Pride Festival, hosted by the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization, because he did not want to convey the messages printed on the shirts. He nevertheless offered to connect the organization to another printer that would produce the shirts for the same price that he would have charged. Unsatisfied, GLSO filed a complaint with the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission and alleged illegal discrimination despite eventually obtaining the shirts for free from another printer.
News Releases

Lexington printer to Kentucky Supreme Court: Uphold expressive freedom

Religious Freedom

Lexington printer to Kentucky Supreme Court: Uphold expressive freedom

ADF attorneys file opening brief on behalf of Hands On Originals

Apr 11, 2018 Read More

Kentucky governor, 10 states, others provide chorus of support for Hands On Originals

Religious Freedom

Kentucky governor, 10 states, others provide chorus of support for Hands On Originals

Briefs filed with Kentucky Supreme Court support Lexington printer 13 to 1

Feb 12, 2018 Read More

Kentucky printer asks state high court to leave in place decision affirming expressive freedom

Religious Freedom

Kentucky printer asks state high court to leave in place decision affirming expressive freedom

ADF attorneys represent Lexington printer Blaine Adamson, Hands On Originals

Jul 12, 2017 Read More

ADF: Kentucky high court should leave victory for printer’s freedom in place

Religious Freedom

ADF: Kentucky high court should leave victory for printer’s freedom in place

The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Jim Campbell.

Jun 12, 2017 Read More

Kentucky appeals court upholds victory for printer, deals blow to govt coercion

Religious Freedom

Kentucky appeals court upholds victory for printer, deals blow to govt coercion

ADF attorneys represent Lexington printer Blaine Adamson, Hands On Originals

May 12, 2017 Read More

Kentucky printer standing up for everyone’s expressive freedom

Religious Freedom

Kentucky printer standing up for everyone’s expressive freedom

ADF attorney available to media Tuesday following oral arguments before state appeals court

Dec 12, 2016 Read More

Kentucky printer’s victory is victory for all

Religious Freedom

Kentucky printer’s victory is victory for all

Lexington, Ky., printer Blaine Adamson of Hands On Originals declined to print expressive shirts promoting the Lexington Pride Festival, hosted by the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization, because he did not want to convey the messages printed on the shirts. He nevertheless offered to connect the organization to another printer that would produce the shirts for the same price that he would have charged. Unsatisfied, GLSO filed a complaint with the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission and alleged illegal discrimination despite eventually obtaining the shirts for free from another printer.

Feb 10, 2016 Read More

Ky. court upholds freedom of printers not to print

Religious Freedom

Ky. court upholds freedom of printers not to print

ADF attorneys represent Lexington printer Hands On Originals

Apr 27, 2015 Read More

ADF to Ky. court: Uphold printers’ freedom to print or not print

Religious Freedom

ADF to Ky. court: Uphold printers’ freedom to print or not print

ADF attorneys available to media following hearing Friday

Mar 12, 2015 Read More

Free to speak or not speak? That is the question in Ky. printer case

Religious Freedom

Free to speak or not speak? That is the question in Ky. printer case

ADF files appeal on behalf of Lexington printer in lawsuit with potential ramifications for all business owners

Dec 09, 2014 Read More

Recommended ruling in Ky. printer case could result in freedom for no one

Religious Freedom

Recommended ruling in Ky. printer case could result in freedom for no one

Group that filed complaint agrees ruling against printer, if adopted, forces all printers to promote messages they oppose

Oct 07, 2014 Read More

ADF: Ky. T-shirt company not required to promote message it disagrees with

Religious Freedom

ADF: Ky. T-shirt company not required to promote message it disagrees with

ADF attorneys representing T-shirt printer file response to discrimination complaint

Apr 20, 2012 Read More
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Court Title Date
State Supreme Court
Brief of appellee filed with Kentucky Supreme Court
State Supreme Court
Amicus brief - Kentucky Supreme Court - 16 legal scholars
State Supreme Court
Amicus brief - Kentucky Supreme Court - 10 states
State Supreme Court
Amicus brief - Kentucky Supreme Court - 9 law and economics scholars
State Supreme Court
Amicus brief - Kentucky Supreme Court -The American Center For Law & Justice
State Supreme Court
Amicus brief - Kentucky Supreme Court - Becket Fund for Religious Liberty
State Supreme Court
Amicus brief - Kentucky Supreme Court - CatholicVote.org
State Supreme Court
Amicus brief - Kentucky Supreme Court - The Cato Institute
State Supreme Court
Amicus brief - Kentucky Supreme Court - Center for Religious Expression
State Supreme Court
Amicus brief - Kentucky Supreme Court - The Commonwealth of Kentucky (by and through Gov. Matthew G. Bevin)
State Supreme Court
Amicus brief - Kentucky Supreme Court - Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, Jews for Religious Liberty, and Kentucky Baptist Convention
State Supreme Court
Amicus brief - Kentucky Supreme Court - Sherif Girgis
State Supreme Court
Amicus brief - Kentucky Supreme Court - Sutherland Institute
State Supreme Court
Amicus brief - Kentucky Supreme Court - Tyndale House Publishers
State Supreme Court
Response to motion for discretionary review
State Supreme Court
Discretionary review motion
Appellate Court
Kentucky Court of Appeals Opinion
Appellate Court
Brief of appellee filed with Kentucky Court of Appeals
Appellate Court
Friend-of-the-court brief filed with Kentucky Court of Appeals - Becket Fund
Appellate Court
Friend-of-the-court brief filed with Kentucky Court of Appeals - Cato Institute
Appellate Court
Friend-of-the-court brief filed with Kentucky Court of Appeals - American Center for Law and Justice
Appellate Court
Friend-of-the-court brief filed with Kentucky Court of Appeals - Sutherland Institute
Trial Court
Trial court decision
Trial Court
Complaint and notice of appeal
Administrative Agency
Final commission ruling
Administrative Agency
Hearing examiner's recommended ruling
Administrative Agency
Blaine Adamson Affidavit in Support of Respondent's Motion for Summary Judgment
Administrative Agency
Determination by Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission
Administrative Agency
Respondent’s statement of position
Administrative Agency
Complaint

Commentary

Resources

Watch: Blaine Adamson's Story

 


Campaign: Create Freely

Video B-roll (2012): Hands On Originals

Bio: Bryan Beauman, Law Office of Sturgill, Turner, Barker & Moloney

Biographies

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