More Progressive Tolerance

A Christian printer who was found guilty of discrimination for refusing to print T-shirts for a gay pride parade won big after a court ruled he can decline to print messages that run in opposition to his religious views. The Fayette County Circuit Court’s ruling overturned a decision by the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission, finding that Blaine Adamson, owner of ‘Hands on Originals,’ of Lexington, Kentucky, was within his rights when he declined to make shirts for the Lexington Pride Parade.

That’s the good news, but…

On the West Coast, a crowd funding campaign that raised more than $109,000 for the Christian-owned bakery Sweet Cakes by Melissa in Oregon was removed after complaints from gay rights advocates. Lisa Watson of Cupcake Jones, a competitor of ‘Sweet Cakes,’ contacted GoFundMe to alert them that the Kleins’ had violated the terms of service.

She complained:

“This business has been found guilty of discrimination and is being allowed to fundraise to pay their penalty. The GoFundMe terms of service address hate speech, bigotry, criminal activity and sexism among other things in their campaign . The amount of money they have raised in a matter of a few hours by thousands of anonymous cowards is disgusting.”

In a statement, GoFundMe said that the page was yanked because the campaign violated their policy against raising money “in defense of formal charges of heinous crimes, including violent, hateful, or sexual acts.”

“After careful review by our team, we have found the ‘Support Sweet Cakes by Melissa’ campaign to be in violation of our Terms and Conditions. The money raised thus far will still be made available for withdrawal. While a different campaign was recently permitted for a pizzeria in Indiana, no laws were violated and the campaign remained live.”

They added, “However, the subjects of the ‘Support Sweet Cakes by Melissa’ campaign have been formally charged by local authorities and found to be in violation of Oregon state law concerning discriminatory acts. Accordingly, the campaign has been disabled.”

The rules seem to be fluid, depending on what the charges are as Jeremy Meeks, the California criminal whose mug shot went viral last year was able to raise over $6,000 for his defense. Meeks was arrested in June 2014 on felony weapons charges and sentenced to two years in prison in February.

Oh, and incidentally — Watson’s bakery was honored earlier this year by the ‘Basic Rights Education Fund’ for “outstanding leadership to advance equality for all LGBTQ Oregonians.”

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About Tom Darby

French-born, American-raised, U.S. citizen, husband, father, friend, veteran, and writer.
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