A Christian business owner in Kentucky has gained unexpected allies as he enters the fourth year of litigation defending his religious convictions against government regulations.

Blaine Adamson, owner of Hands On Originals, a Lexington print shop, was found guilty of discrimination by the Urban County Human Rights Commission after he refused to print T-shirts for the city’s gay pride festival.

He was ordered to serve all future requests from LGBT organizations and undergo “diversity training.”

The Commission has appealed the decision, but Adamson has found support from a surprising source – the owners of a LGBT business have come to his defense.

“No one should be forced to do something against what they believe in," said Diane DiGeloromo, co-owner of BMP T-Shirts, a competitor of Adamson. “If we were approached by an organization such as the Westboro Baptist Church, I highly doubt we would be doing business with them, and we would be very angry if we were forced to print anti-gay T-shirts.”

Westboro Baptist Church, which is unaffiliated with the Baptist Church, has gained notoriety for demonstrating against homosexuality at military funerals.

DiGeloromo’s business partner, Kathy Trautvertter added, “You put your blood and your sweat and your tears into your business. It's very personal. When I put myself in his shoes, I could see it from his side.”

The Commission’s original decision finding Adamson guilty of discrimination was overturned by a Circuit Court with a finding that the commission acted outside its authority and “violated the recognized constitutional rights of the print shop and its owners to be free from compelled expression.”

Other LGBT businesses have joined their support with scholars and legal groups, including The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a non-profit, public-interest law firm and educational institute that defends the free expression of all faiths.

The Becket Fund’s Deputy General Counsel Luke Goodrich commented on the case.

“This case is about whether the government will allow people who disagree to live side-by-side in peace, or whether the government will instead pick one “correct” moral view and force everyone to conform. The right of free speech protects everyone, and it means that the government doesn't get to force anyone to say things that contradict their deeply held beliefs.”

LGBT business owner DiGeloromo told reporters, “This isn't a gay or straight issue. This is a human issue.”

Source - ChristianPost



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