Earlier this year, a Supreme Court ruling protected certain closely held companies whose owners have a religious objection to offering certain drugs mandated under the ObamaCare law. While this was seen by many as at least a partial victory for pro-life business leaders, the same courtesy is not being afforded to companies with a biblical view of sex.
According to recent reports, a Kentucky business owned by Christians decided that printing a line of T-shirts celebrating a local gay pride event would constitute a compromise of its corporate values. Hands On Originals informed the prospective client of its concern in 2012, sparking backlash from gay activists and human rights groups in the area and beyond.
@DLoesch how do we buy shirts from hands on originals, I'd love to give them some business
— privilged one (@Privileged91) October 8, 2014
The Gay and Lesbian Services Organization began by filing a formal complaint against the company in which it alleged the business engaged in discrimination against the gay group. Just this week, reports indicate the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission upheld the GLSO’s assertion and is subjecting employees of Hands On Originals to mandatory sensitivity training.
According to the legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, which argued on the Christian company’s behalf, the ruling is an affront to the freedoms guaranteed to American citizens.
“No one should be forced by the government – or by another citizen – to endorse or promote ideas with which they disagree,” asserted Jim Campbell, the group’s senior legal counsel.
In addition to the sensitivity training, the company can also be required to shell out money to cover the ostensible expenses of finding another printing company. In the end, however, the GSLO received their printed shirts for free from another company sympathetic to its situation.
GLSO President Aaron Baker expressed relief with the ruling against the Christian business.
“We are happy to finally have a declaration from the Human Rights Commission that Hands On Originals did discriminate and they should refrain from discriminating in the future,” he said.
BCN editor’s note: This article first appeared at Western Journalism.