Victory for US Christian printer after seven-year legal battle

A Christian printer who was sued after he declined to produce t-shirts for an LGBT festival in 2012 has won his case.

Blaine Adamson runs Hands On Originals in Kentucky and turned down the request because it conflicted with his “sincerely held religious beliefs”.

He won at two lower courts and this week the state Supreme Court also sided with him.

‘Upside down’

Adamson was supported by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a religious liberty legal group.

ADF said: “For more than seven years, government officials used this case to turn Blaine’s life upside down”.

It added that the US Constitution “protects Blaine’s right to continue serving all people while declining to print messages that violate his faith”.

‘Demeaning’

The court decided the LGBT group that brought the case had no legal standing, because the city ordinance applied to individuals.

In a concurring opinion, Justice David Buckingham said the printing company was “in good faith objecting to the message it was being asked to disseminate”.

He then referenced a 2018 US Supreme Court ruling which warned against compelled speech: “Forcing free and independent individuals to endorse ideas they find objectionable is always demeaning”.

‘Human issue’

Adamson had received widespread support, with 13 friend-of-the-court submissions – including from the Governor.

In 2014, the lesbian owners of a t-shirt company gave their support.

Diane DiGeloromo 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”.

Ashers Baking Co

Last year, a Christian-run bakery in Northern Ireland won its legal case after declining to produce a pro-gay marriage campaign cake.

The McArthur family, who own Ashers Baking Company, said they could not fulfil the order because it conflicted with their Christian beliefs about marriage being between a man and a woman.

The Christian Institute supported the bakery and has just published a podcast with reflections, one year on.

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