LEXINGTON, KY — The Family Foundation applauded today’s ruling by the Kentucky Supreme Court in favor of a Lexington T-shirt company which had been accused, by the Lexington Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission, of discrimination against gays because it refused to print a shirt promoting a gay pride event.
“This ruling is a victory for tolerance at a time when entities like the Lexington Human Rights Commission, portraying themselves as fighting against intolerance, are increasingly engaged in it,” said Martin Cothran, spokesman for the group.
The Court ruled in favor of Hands On Originals and against the Lexington Human Rights Commission on the grounds that the plaintiff had no standing to bring the suit. The Lexington ordinance only prohibits discrimination against individuals and not against groups. Since the case was brought by an organization, no discrimination could be established.
Cothran pointed out that, while the ruling was issued on a kind of technicality and did not directly address issues of free speech or anti-religious discrimination, the ruling still sent a good signal. “This action is an indication that courts are not going to put up with activist government entities who try to bend the law to accomplish their partisan purposes.”
Cothran said it was also encouraging that a concurring opinion by Justice Buckingham criticized the Lexington Human Rights Commission for trying “to compel Hands On to engage in expression with which it disagreed.”
“While this case was a victory,” said Cothran, “it still goes to show that more protections may be needed to ensure that free speech and religious freedoms are protected from activist government entities.”