Lesbian couple are supporting Christian printer's right to refuse pro-gay T-shirt orders

(Photo: Hands on Originals)

A Christian printer in Kentucky who found himself at the centre of a row over rights after refusing to print gay pride T-shirts has found support from an unlikely source - the lesbian owners of a T-shirt company.

Blaine Adamson, of Hands On Originals, turned down the order of shirts for the Lexington Pride Festival in 2012 but the Gay and Lesbian Services Organisation of Lexington (GLSO), which placed the order, challenged his actions by lodging a complaint with the authorities.

The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission later ruled that Hands On Originals had "discriminated" against GLSO on grounds of sexual orientation.

The verdict means that if approached with a similar order in future, it would not be lawful for Hands On Originals to refuse it. 

The Alliance Defending Freedom is defending Hands On Originals and exploring options to appeal the verdict.

But they are not the only ones who feel the debate has gone the wrong way.

Kathy Trautvetter and her partner Diane DiGeloromo, founders of BMP T-shirts, say people should not be forced to do something they don't believe in. 

Speaking to The Blaze, Trautvetter said that as a business owner herself, she "really felt" for Adamson, and that people should simply go to the companies that are happy to serve them.

"There are a lot of people out there who would want to host your event or want to work with you and I would go with someone who wants to help rather than someone who doesn't," she said.

After reading the article, Glenn Beck invited the two women onto his show to speak further about their views. 

"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," said Trautvetter.

"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 place I immediately felt like, if that were to happen to us I couldn't create or print anti-gay T-shirts, I could see it from his side. I really felt for him. There's a lot of gay businesses and they would love to do business with everybody."

DiGeloromo added: "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.  If we were to be approached by an organisation such as the Westboro Baptist Church I highly doubt we would be doing business with them and we would be very angry if we were forced to do so."

With the Hands On Originals verdict and similar cases across the US making headlines, Trautvetter said they were speaking out because they felt the "gap is widening" between those on opposite sides of the fence on human sexuality.

"We want everybody just to at least get it a little closer," she said. "Let us understand each other because I put myself in Blaine's place and I hope some of the Christian right would do the same for us.  Try and understand what our lives are like, it's not easy ... Now that the shoe's on the other foot I just felt like, I know what that feels like and we can't let that happen to the T-shirt company."

Watch the full discussion with Beck below: