Letters to editor/T-shirts: April 1

April 1, 2012 

Company being bullied in name of civil rights

The backlash against Hands On Originals by the Gay and Lesbian Service Organization is stunning in its closed-mindedness.

A business that decides it cannot have its name on T-shirts that espouse something that their Christian values don't allow them to agree to, is being discriminated against. The owners have no problem with gays and lesbians, even employ them in their business and sell to them as individuals.

The problem is having its name on shirts for an organization that stands for something they disagree with biblically. They have every right as a private business to do this. The discrimination steps in when they are castigated for doing this.

Where is the open-mindedness of the GLSO and the city of Lexington, the University of Kentucky and Fayette County schools for agreeing the business has a right to do this? Hands On even offered to find another business to match the price and print the shirts.

Why is it all right for the GLSO to discriminate against this business but not all right for the business to be discriminating in who they print shirts for?

This whole thing is blatant discrimination but is totally one-sided. Evidently, people can have an opinion only if it agrees with GLSO. Hands On is being treated very unfairly.

Nancy Davidson


With respect to the human rights complaint made against Hands On Originals: To me, the issue seems to be whether a privately held business can be forced to publish a message they deem unconscionable, albeit on T-shirts, in the name of civil rights.

It sounds to me like Hands On would be able to make a First Amendment case if legal action were taken against them.

David Jewell


I am writing concerning the refusal of Hands On Originals to produce shirts which promote the gay pride festival. I don't think this is about bias against gay people; the issue here is freedom of speech.

This company is privately owned. It has the right to produce shirts that reflect its beliefs.

I have to ask myself, what if this company were asked to produce shirts of an inappropriate nature; maybe disrespectful to a group of people or sexually obscene-themed shirts?

Would we expect the company to make them even though they were against what they considered appropriate?

If I were gay I would certainly boycott the company. I'm not sure anyone else should be concerned with the decision, at least not unless we are to investigate every T-shirt company we support and only buy or not buy from those who sell to causes we support or don't.

Whether or not we believe in the cause the shirts would have upheld, this company should be respected for standing up for what it believes, even though it will cost it a huge loss in revenue.

Suzanne Jones


Community galvanized

Hands on Originals has been receiving a lot of negative attention, and for a very good reason. Discrimination, whether big or small, legal or illegal, is wrong.

I am a 19-year-old girl living in the year 2012, and I was taught in school that we had overcome the barriers of discrimination that held the nation back.

Sadly, I believe we still have a long way to go. Whether what the company did was within it rights or not, I give them a little credit.

I attend school in Virginia, but thanks to social networking and Kentucky.com the controversy spread quickly. I immediately joined the Boycott Hands on Originals group on Facebook and was astounded that merely three days after the group had been created more than 1,200 people had joined. Less than a week later, there are more than 1,800 supportive people and businesses that have joined.

What Hands On Originals did (not purposefully, I'm sure) was bring a large community of Christians and non-Christians, homosexuals and heterosexuals together in a way that I have never seen.

The support that this has created is astounding and to be praised, definitely something for the Gay and Lesbian Support Organization to be proud of.

So congratulations, Lexington. The company gave you lemons and you made a large batch of sweet lemonade.

Margaret Leer



So Hands On Originals considers itself a Christian company. Well, I was raised by a Christian minister and was taught through my father and his ministry that our faith was one of love and acceptance.

The refusal to print T-shirts for the Gay Pride Festival is an act of judgment and prejudice.

Hands On needs to ask itself, "What Would Jesus Do?" I don't think he would ask Hands On to print his T-shirts.

Robin Waldrop-Swearinger


Frustrated with paper's coverage

It seems that Hands On Originals has committed the "crime" of refusing a profitable contract on the basis of their Christian beliefs and convictions. However, in an effort to accommodate the needs of the buyers, they contacted another company that agreed to supply the goods for the price that had been bid.

That hardly sounds like hate to me. What a tragic day for our state and country when people are vilified, demeaned and harassed for values they hold dear. This is the epitome of un-Americanism. As usual, cartoonist Joel Pett has joined in the cry for blood.

The recent printing of the Doonesbury "comic" strip denigrating and misrepresenting the motives and attitudes of those in Texas and elsewhere attempting to save lives of those unable to defend themselves, was one of the latest assaults on conservative, Christian values by the unbalanced approach of the Herald-Leader. It makes us very sad but we cannot continue to support the paper financially any longer.

Ruth Cook


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