But the city of Lexington has a sexual orientation discrimination ordinance similar to the bill that has just been introduced in the Pennsylvania legislature as HB1510 / SB974. And so, while Adamson had always been permitted to accept and reject business in keeping with his beliefs, the city challenged that liberty when it came to a conflict with LGBT activists.
A few years ago, Adamson received an order from the local Gay and Lesbian Services Organization (GLSO) to print t-shirts for the Lexington Pride Parade. As usual, he respectfully declined, sending the group to a different printer who would honor his quote. But this time, because of the city’s ordinance, Adamson was dragged before the Lexington Human Rights Commission, which found against him and demanded that he and his employees undergo “diversity training.”
After years of litigation, one lower Kentucky state court has finally ruled that this particular application of the Lexington ordinance unconstitutionally violated Adamson’s freedom of speech by compelling him to articulate a message against his beliefs. However, courts in other states that have enacted laws like HB1510 / SB974 have consistently ruled against people like Blaine Adamson. Even though Adamson eventually won his case (this time), the litigation consumed years of time, energy, and stress for his family. Meanwhile, all the GLSO would have had to do to get perfectly fine t-shirts at the same price was accept Adamson’s offer to connect them with another printer.
Litigation like this against conscientious business owners is what HB1510 / SB974 promises for Pennsylvania. And there’s nothing fair about that. Call your senator and representative today and ask them to oppose this dangerous bill.