"[I]t is the prerogative of the company to refuse any order
that would endorse positions that conflict with the convictions of the ownership."
--Blaine Adamson, Hands On Originals
I agree. It is the company's prerogative to not do business with anyone it chooses to disrespect.
But it is also the prerogative of any customer to refuse to do business with any company that discriminates against valued members of their community. I was surprised and pleased to learn this morning that FCPS Superintendent Tom Shelton, the son of a Baptist minister, took a public stand on this issue and has frozen all FCPS purchase orders for Hands On Originals.
I suppose Shelton knows a thing or two about the teachings of Jesus and stood up for the oppressed. It will now be up to Hands On Originals to prayerfully reassess their convictions in the fresh light of economic considerations.
Way to go Tom: ($28,548.41 customer since July 2010)
Way to go Mayor Gray: ($53,585.27customer since July 2010)
Way to go UK ($200,000 customer since July 2011)
This from the Herald-Leader:
The leader of Fayette County public schools said Wednesday the district will place a temporary hold on purchases from local T-shirt company Hands On Originals, which has been accused of discriminating against the organizers of Lexington's gay pride festival.
Also Wednesday, the school system, city government and University of Kentucky told the Herald-Leader how much business they have done with the company.
Mayor Jim Gray also weighed in, saying, "People don't have patience for this sort of attitude today."
Controversy arose Monday when the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization, which organizes the June festival, filed a discrimination complaint with the city's Human Rights Commission. The GLSO alleged in its complaint that Hands On Originals had submitted a bid to produce T-shirts for the event but then, upon being told it had been selected and learning more about the nature of the event, refused to fill the order "because we're a Christian organization." The company said it would find another company that would honor its price.
The T-shirts for the fifth annual event were to include a stylized number 5 on the front, with "Lexington Pride Festival" and the event's sponsors on the back.
The complaint has sparked criticism of the company, including the creation by community members of a Facebook group encouraging a boycott that now has more than 1,200 members. A protest has been scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday in downtown's Triangle Park. Both the Facebook group and protest have been organized by people other than the GLSO's leadership.
On Wednesday, Fayette County public schools Superintendent Tom Shelton said his administrators "will make our staff aware that a complaint has been filed."
"And if any purchase orders come through before the complaint is resolved, we will temporarily hold them until we find out about any final action being taken," he said.
Since July 2010, the Fayette County Public Schools has paid $28,548.41 to Hands On Originals for various orders. That amount includes only purchases made by the schools themselves, and not booster groups or parent-teacher organizations...