Lexington HRC to Take Gay Pride T-Shirt Case to Ky Supreme Court

May 15, 2017

Lexington Human Rights Commission Director Ray Sexton
Credit kentucky.com

The Lexington Human Rights Commission is asking the state supreme court to hear its case against a local print store. 

The commission made the decision  Monday night after meeting in executive session.

The Kentucky Court of Appeals ruled last Friday that the shop Hands On Originals did not discriminate when it refused to print T-shirts for the 2012 Pride Festival. 


On a unanimous vote, the Lexington Human Rights Commission voted to request that the state’s highest court grant discretionary review of the appeals court decision. 

Bob Orbach (OR-back) chairs the commission. “I think we just wanted to fight on.  We wanted to go as far as we could go with this because in principal we believe we are right,” said Orbach.

The human rights commission sued, claiming the print shop violated the city’s fairness ordinance. 

Hands On Originals Managing Owner Blaine Adamson said he works with all people, but the proposed message of the pride festival T-shirt violated his religious beliefs.

Human Rights Commission Attorney Ed Dove says the State Supreme Court doesn’t have to hear the case.  “The Supreme Court will make a determination whether they want to hear the case or not, whether they will accept discretionary review of the Court of Appeals decision,” noted Dove.

Commission Director Ray Sexton believes the State Supreme Court will take up the issue.  Sexton says, in a similar case, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled in favor of a similar claim by a human rights commission.