Discrimination case against Hands On Originals moves toward public hearing

ssloan@herald-leader.comFebruary 26, 2013 

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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 discrimination dispute between the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization of Lexington and T-shirt printer Hands On Originals is heading to a public hearing.

The board of the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission voted last night for the case to proceed, executive director Raymond Sexton said. The organization had brought the two parties together recently, but they were not successful in resolving the issue.

The dispute was triggered by the company's refusal last year to print T-shirts for the annual gay pride festival organized by the GLSO.

The commission found that the company violated the city's fairness ordinance, part of which prohibits businesses open to the public from discriminating against people based on sexual orientation.

Because the board has now approved moving forward with the case, the commission's attorney will represent the GLSO in a public hearing, which is held before an independent hearing examiner, typically a local attorney.

Scott Sloan: (859) 231-1447. Twitter: @HeraldLeaderBiz.

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