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Kentucky Supreme Court hears arguments in Pride T-shirt case

Posted at 12:23 PM, Aug 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-23 17:26:52-04

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — The Kentucky Supreme Court held a hearing Friday morning over the long-running dispute over an LGBTQ Pride shirt and a Lexington shop.

Hands On Originals, a T-shirt printing business in Lexington refused to print a T-shirt in 2012 for the Pride festival.

Friday's hearing lasted about an hour, at which the shop's lawyers defended its decision not to print the shirts on the basis of the owner's religious beliefs.

The shirts were intended for the 5th anniversary of the festival and had the message "Lexington Pride Festival" along with multicolored dots.

The Lexington Human Rights Commission sued, saying the business was discriminating. But a lawyer for Hands On Originals stood by the decision, saying business owners should not be forced to do something that voilates their religious beliefs.

The Human Rights Commission said allowing the business to turn away customers would set a bad precedent in Lexington and other places that have adopted fairness ordinances.

Company owner Blaine Adamson spoke to supporters after the hearing.

"I will work with anyone no matter ... but when I am conflicted with a message ... I don't leave my faith at the door," he said.

Lower courts have supported the company's decision. It's unclear when the Supreme Court ruling will be made public.