January-February 2020 – In 2012, Blaine Adamson, the owner of a Lexington, Kentucky, Christian outfitter shop called Hands On Originals, declined when asked to print T-shirts for a local gay pride event. Adamson offered to refer the Gay and Lesbian Service Organization (GLSO) to a shop willing to fill their order, but instead, GLSO filed a formal complaint with the Fayette County Human Rights Commission.
The case eventually made its way to Kentucky’s Supreme Court after two lower courts ruled in favor of Adamson’s Christian business. Adamson garnered help from Alliance Defending Freedom, the same organization that helped Jack Phillips and Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado reach a favorable outcome at the U.S. Supreme Court in June 2018.
On October 31, 2019, the Kentucky Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favor of Hands On Originals. Justice David Buckingham indicated that the Human Rights Commission clearly went beyond the scope of its governmental charge. Buckingham added that “the government may not regulate expression, either by prohibiting disfavored expression or compelling favored expression.”