Press Release

Christian, LGBT printers unite for free speech Kentucky Supreme Court to decide if government can force artists to print gay pride t-shirts

Media Contact

Ryan Colby 202-349-7219

Additional Information

WASHINGTON, D.C. – An important free speech case has united Christian and LGBT printers at Kentucky’s high court as they seek protection for the right of artists to choose what messages they promote. In Baker v. Hands On Originals, a Kentucky court ruled last year that the government cannot force Blaine Adamson, a Christian screen printer, to print gay pride t-shirts in violation of his religious beliefs. The government has now appealed, and today Becket and University of Virginia Law Professor Douglas Laycock filed a friend-of-the-court brief supporting the printer.

“Free speech protects everyone—from the LGBT printer who doesn’t want to print anti-gay messages, to the Christian printer who doesn’t want to print gay-pride t-shirts,” said Luke Goodrich, deputy general counsel at Becket. “In a diverse society, the government doesn’t get to pick one preferred viewpoint and force everyone to agree.”

In 2012, the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization (GLSO) asked Blaine Adamson, the owner of Hands On Originals, to print shirts promoting the local gay-pride festival. Because of Mr. Adamson’s religious beliefs, he declined to print the shirts and instead referred GLSO to other printers who would match his price. Although GLSO received many offers and ultimately obtained the shirts for free, it filed a complaint against Mr. Adamson with the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission, which ordered him to print the shirts and attend government-mandated “diversity training” to change his views.

In the printing industry, it is standard practice for business owners not to print messages they disagree with. That is why LGBT business owners have also stood up for Mr. Adamson’s right to choose what messages he promotes.

Mr. Adamson is represented by Alliance Defending Freedom. Becket is represented by Professor Douglas Laycock and Stoll Keenon Ogden PLLCS.

For more information or to arrange an interview with a Becket attorney, please contact Melinda Skea at or 202-349-7224. Interviews can be arranged in English, Chinese, French, German, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.


Becket is a non-profit, public-interest law firm dedicated to protecting the free expression of all religious traditions. For over 20 years, it has defended clients of all faiths, including Buddhists, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Native Americans, Sikhs, and Zoroastrians (read more).