A Christian printer in Kentucky who refused to print t-shirts for a gay pride event has received the backing of a lesbian couple who also own a t-shirt company.
Blaine Adamson of Hands On Originals, declined an order from the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization to print t-shirts for its Pride Festival in 2012, because he did not want to promote the message of the event.
Last month Adamson was told by an administrative law judge that he had acted unlawfully by refusing the order.
Right to refuse
But Kathy Trautvetter and her lesbian partner Diane DiGeloromo, owners of BMP T-shirts in New Jersey, openly defended Adamson’s right to refuse the order.
They clearly expressed their belief that people should not be forced to do something they don’t believe in.
Trautvetter told independent news network The Blaze, that as a business owner herself, she “really felt” for Adamson.
She said: “There are a lot of people out there who would want to host your event or want to work with you and I would go with someone who wants to help rather than someone who doesn’t”.
DiGeloromo, speaking on a TV show, said: “We feel this really isn’t a gay or straight issue, this is a human issue. No one really should be forced to do something against what they believe in, it’s as simple as that”.
Trautvetter said: “As a business owner, it struck a chord with me when I read the story because I know how hard it is to build a business”.
“When I put myself in his place I immediately felt like, if that were to happen to us I couldn’t create or print anti-gay T-shirts, I could see it from his side. I really felt for him.”
Jim Campbell, senior lawyer with Alliance Defending Freedom, which is defending Adamson, said at the time of the ruling: “No one should be forced by the government – or by another citizen – to endorse or promote ideas with which they disagree”.
“Blaine declined the request to print the shirts not because of any characteristic of the people who asked for them, but because of the message that the shirts would communicate.”