Company donates T-shirt printing for gay pride fest

May 4, 2012 

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This is the design for front of the proposed T-shirt.

PHOTO COURTESY GAY AND LESBIAN SERVICES ORGANIZATION OF LEXINGTON

A Cincinnati company has offered to donate printing for 500 T-shirts to a gay rights group for the Lexington Pride Festival after a local company, Hands On Originals, refused the order.

The Gay and Lesbian Services Organization filed a complaint with the city's Human Rights Commission, which investigates alleged violations of Lexington's fairness ordinance that protects against forms of discrimination including sexual orientation. Hands On Originals responded by saying the ownership's religion-based refusal was due to the message of the shirt rather than the sexual orientation of the members of the GLSO.

Chris Swain, senior accounts manager of Cincy Apparel, said, "As business professionals, we have no right to judge our clients. Our job is to provide a service to the community."

The cost of the printing normally would be about $3,000. GLSO board president Aaron Baker said the group's Pride Festival committee had received numerous offers to print the shirts at a discounted cost.

"It is heartening to see that there are businesses who recognize that discrimination just isn't good business," Baker.

The Pride Festival will be June 30 at the Robert F. Stephens Courthouse Plaza in downtown Lexington.

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