A lesbian couple that operates a T-shirt business of their own is expressing support for the Kentucky company that declined to make T-shirts for a gay pride festival.
Kathy Trautvetter and Diane DiGeloromo own BMP T-shirts, which sells LGBT-themed attire.
Last month, as the Inquisitr reported, the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission ruled that Hands On Originals engaged in sexual orientation discrimination when it refused to print the official T-shirts for the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization of Lexington. The company was also ordered into diversity training in the case that originated in 2012.
Hands on Originals owner Blaine Adamson maintained that being forced to print gay pride T-shirts violates his religious principles.
On its website, Hands On Originals describes itself as a Christian outfitter that makes high-quality, customized Christian apparel. The company has a standing policy to decline orders that it considers inappropriate or inconsistent with Christian beliefs.
In an appearance with Glenn Beck last night on The Blaze network (see embed below), Trautvetter and DiGeloromo defended Adamson, whom they’ve never met.
Said Trautvetter: “As a business owner, it struck a chord with me when I read the story because I know how hard it is to build a business, and it’s very personal. You put your blood and your sweat and your tears into every bit of it… When I put myself in his shoes… I can see it from his side.”
Flipping the scenario, she noted that she couldn’t make anti-gay T-shirts if approached by an organization with an order of that nature.
DiGeloromo added her comments, as well.
“We feel this really isn’t a gay or straight issue. This is a human issue. No one really should be forced to do something against what they believe in. It’s as simple as that. And we feel likewise.”
They seemed to suggest that when it comes to such things as T-shirts or wedding cakes, rather than getting lawyers and judges involved, purchasers should just take their business elsewhere to firms that are more receptive.
“Everybody votes with their dollars. People shop where they want to shop because they’re comfortable with that retailer, and why you’d want to go with somebody who doesn’t agree with you — and there [are] others who do agree with you — that’s who I want to do business with,” Trautvetter explained.
Trautvetter concluded the Beck interview with a plea for mutual understanding: “We want everybody to at least get it a little closer. Let us understand each other. I put myself in Blaine’s place, and I hope that some of the Christian right and the people who enjoy your show would do the same for us. Try to understand what our lives are like.”
Should businesses have the right to abide by religious tenets in the way they run their day-to-day operations or is that unacceptable when individual rights appear to be implicated? Should tolerance and diversity be more of a two-way street?
[image via YouTube]