A Lexington, Ky. T-shirt company is under investigation by the city’s Human Rights Commission after it refused to print T-shirts for a local gay rights organization.
The owner of “Hands On Originals,” a well-known T-shirt company in the region, declined to print the shirts for the city’s Gay and Lesbian Services Organization (GLSO) because it would conflict with his Christian convictions.
The privately owned company is now accused of violating Lexington’s Fairness Act, which protects people and organizations from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
The attacks are out of line, said Jim Campbell, an attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund, the organization representing Hands On Originals.
“No business owner should be forced to violate his conscience simply because someone demands it,” he said. “The Constitution absolutely supports the rights of business owners to decline a request to support a message that conflicts with their deeply held convictions.”
Raymond Sexton, the executive director of the Human Rights Commission told Fox News that Hands On Originals will be “required by law to participate in the investigation.”
“We have subpoena power and have the backing of the law,” he said. “We are a law enforcement agency and people have to comply.”
Should the company be found guilty of discriminating against the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization, Sexton said they could be subjected to fines.
Hands On Originals has faced a barrage of attacks since the accusations were made public. More than 2,000 people have joined a boycott movement on Facebook.