This, as they say in some political circles, is a big f-in deal.
A panel of appeals judges in Kentucky affirmed an earlier decision which found that the Lexington Human Rights Commission overstepped by declaring that a printer had violated the city’s fairness ordinance upon refusing to print t-shirts for the 2012 Lexington Pride Festival.
The decision in favor of Hands On Originals’ was a split decision with 2-1 coming out in favor of religious liberty. At issue in the case was whether the business retained the right “to refuse any order that would endorse positions that conflict with the convictions of the ownership.”
It gets more and more interestinger though. If you’re familiar with these cases as I have been over the past few years I’ve noticed that much of the argument comes down to the Christian arguing that they’re not anti-gay because they serve many openly gay people. They just don’t want to take part in a particular event. So it’s not discrimination against a person at all.
That’s usually where the sides split. But in this case, the judge agreed that the business never refused goods or services to a customer on the basis the customer’s sexual orientation or gender identity because the order was placed by an organization which has no sexual orientation of gender identity. In fact, the guy with the gay and lesbian organization who brought the suit was not even gay.
Judge Kramer explained, saying in part:
The acts of homosexual intercourse and same-sex marriage are conduct engaged in exclusively or predominantly by persons who are homosexual. But anyone—regardless of religion, sexual orientation, race, gender, age, or corporate status—may espouse the belief that people of varying sexual orientations have as much claim to unqualified social acceptance as heterosexuals. Indeed, the posture of the case before us underscores that very point: this case was initiated and promoted by Aaron Baker, a non-transgendered man in a married, heterosexual relationship who nevertheless functioned at all relevant times as the President of the GLSO.
One judge dissented, saying in part:
The majority takes the position that the conduct of HOO in censoring the publication of the desired speech sought by GLSO does not violate the Fairness Ordinance. Effectively, that would mean that the ordinance protects gays or lesbians only to the extent they do not publicly display their same gender sexual orientation.
But that’s not actually the case. A dude can come in and be as gay as he wants. If a gay guy wants a birthday cake, the baker can not refuse him.
But let’s bring this kind of thing to its logical conclusion. If a white dude comes in and requests t-shirts for the KKK rally from an African-American printer, what judge would make the printer do it?
Count this as a win for religious liberty. Get this case to the Supreme Court please. Thank you.