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March 29, 2012 Print

Kentucky T-Shirt Company Under Fire

by Karla Dial

What happens in Kentucky when a Christian company turns down business from gay activists?

The same thing that happens just about everywhere else: The activists file a complaint with the local human rights commission, charging discrimination.

That’s what Hands On Originals, a family-owned Christian company in the Lexington area, found out on Monday, when the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization went to the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission. The group is seeking to have T-shirts made for an upcoming gay-pride festival, and said it chose Hands On Originals because it had the lowest prices.

“What (Hands On Originals) said in a very kind way is, ‘This is against our conscience. We don’t want to be a part of the gay-pride parade,’ ” noted Kent Ostrander, executive director of The Family Foundation of Kentucky. “And yet out of deference they said, ‘But we found another company for you that will honor our quote.’ ”

The activist group complained nonetheless. Lexington’s human-rights ordinance contains no religious exemptions; the commission usually deals only with complaints about individuals, not businesses.

“The sad part is that this family, because of this intimidation, bullying factor, might lose their business, or a substantial portion of it, because the University of Kentucky and the public schools side with the gay component (and may pull their business),” Ostrander said. “It’s just wrong for government to be involved in this.”

Learn more about Hands On Originals.

Learn more about The Family Foundation of Kentucky.