Public hearing delayed on dispute between T-shirt printer, gay rights group

ctruman@herald-leader.comApril 30, 2013 

The discrimination dispute between the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization of Lexington and T-shirt printer Hands On Originals is not headed toward a public hearing any time soon.

After a preliminary hearing Tuesday at the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission attorneys were given until mid-August to continue gathering information. A public hearing date is likely to be announced Aug. 23.

The board of the Commission voted in February for the case to proceed.

At Tuesday's preliminary hearing, attorneys for both sides said they didn't want to go to mediation.

The dispute began in 2012, when Hands On Originals refused to print T-shirts for the annual Gay Pride Festival organized by the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization. Hands On Originals' leader has said he declined the order because the T-shirt vendor is a Christian company, and he disagreed with the message of the shirt. The apparel was to include a stylized number 5 on the front with "Lexington Pride Festival" and a list of the sponsors of the fifth edition of the event on the back.

The commission said the company violated the city's fairness ordinance, which prohibits public businesses from discriminating based on sexual orientation.

Cheryl Truman: (859) 231-3202. Twitter: @CherylTruman.

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