As most of you probably know, the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled in favor of a T-Shirt printer that refused an order for Pride shirts. Blaine Adamson, the proprietor of Hands on Originals, claimed that his religious beliefs prevented him for accepting the order. It’s a specious argument. Adamson told the Kentucky Human Rights Commission:

Specifically, it’s the Lexington Pride Festival, the name and that it’s advocating pride in being gay and being homosexual and I can’t promote that message. It’s something that goes against my belief system.

Adamson is an ignoramus. For sure. Whether he realizes it or not, what he really did was to seize an opportunity to demonstrate his disapproval of LGBTQ people. Refusing the order was Adamson’s way of shaking a finger and shouting “Shame!” People like Adamson are wed to the mistaken belief that we seek their approval and that service equates to approval.

Were I in Adamson’s place I would be happy to accept money from Westboro Baptist Church to print God Hates Fags T-shirts.  It’s just business. I would not be promoting a message that I disagree with. I would thank WBC for their unintended donation of my profit to the Human Rights Campaign. That makes me the ultimate winner of the contest.

Hands on Originals was represented by the anti-LGBTQ hate group, Alliance Defending Freedom. The problem with this case is that the original plaintiff was Gay and Lesbian Services Organization (“GLSO”). (At the high court the Lexington-Fayette Human Rights Commission sued in their stead.) The Court ruled that GLSO did not have standing:

The ability of federal, state and local governments to protect individuals
from discrimination by places of public accommodation is beyond question.
While very important issues have been presented to the Court in this case, this
matter must be dismissed because the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization
(“GLSO”), the original party to bring this action before the Lexington Fayette
Urban County Human Rights Commission (“Commission”), lacked statutory
standing to assert a claim against Hands On Originals …

The Court would later quote applicable local law requiring an individual to file a complaint for denial of service. In other words, the complainant should have been the individual who was told: “We don’t serve your kind here!”

Overly anal. Perhaps but I will remind readers that California Proposition 8 was invalidated for similar reasons (Hollingsworth v. Perry).

California declined to appeal Judge Vaughn Walker’s ruling at the United States district court. (led by Dennis Hollingsworth) intervened in their stead. At the district court emphasized that they were protecting their own interests but on appeal they claimed that they were agents for the state. the Supreme Court ruled that the Ninth Circuit erred in allowing to intervene because it did not have Article III standing.

Going forward a strict interpretation of standing prevents some boob like Brian S. Brown from challenging Obergefell v. Hodges. Jurists who are among the most conservative are also sticklers for standing.

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.