Gay Couple Sues Printing Company over Homophobic Wedding Pamphlets
Two gay men who ordered programs for their wedding from a popular printing company ‘Vistaprint’ but instead received a boxful of anti-gay pamphlets warning, “Satan entices your flesh with evil desires,” have filed a lawsuit claiming breach of contract and emotional distress.
“Rather than send Plaintiffs the custom wedding programs they had purchased, Vistaprint instead sent Plaintiffs literature with hateful, discriminatory and anti-gay messages equating their relationship to Satan’s temptation,” a federal lawsuit against the printing company states.
“At first we thought it was simply a mistake, and we had accidentally received someone else’s order. But once we saw the images and actually read a bit of the pamphlet, we quickly realized this wasn’t a simple or innocent error,” Stephen Heasley, 31, and Andrew Borg, 39, who live in Australia, share to Yahoo Lifestyle via email. “Both of our initial reactions were ones of shock … utter shock. The wording and imagery was aggressive, threatening, and deeply personally offensive.”
The suit was filed on Tuesday in U.S. District Court of Massachusetts, the state where the company in question is based.
“This was by far the most direct, personal, and aggressive act of homophobia either of us has experienced to date,” they added, regarding the shipment of homophobic pamphlets, which the couple received on the eve of their ceremony and a party for 100 guests.
Trynka Shineman, the CEO of ‘Vistaprint’, and Robert Keane, the company’s founder, issued a joint statement Wednesday saying they “share in this couple’s outrage” and “have begun a complete investigation” into the matter.
The statement reads: “Vistaprint in no way condones – and does not tolerate – discrimination against any of our customers based on their race, religion, gender or sexual orientation. We have encouraged members of the LGBTQ community to use our services to help celebrate their life events for many years, and have published thousands of wedding invitations, programs and other content for same sex couples.”
Michael Willemin, an attorney for the couple and a partner at the firm Wigdor LLP, said his clients, who currently live in Australia, hope their lawsuit helps increase awareness surrounding the issues facing LGBTQ people.
“This case presents a particularly egregious example of a company refusing to provide equal services to members of the LBGTQ community,” Willemin told NBC News. “This took a great deal of joy out of what should have been the greatest day of our clients’ lives. They want to make sure that this story is told and that people know what happened to them.”http://sambagblog.com/2018/01/18/gay-couple-sues-printing-company-homophobic-wedding-pamphlets/http://sambagblog.com/gallery/2018/01/heasley_and_borg_7956a8cb48d7fb0ffe857381115f53e8.fit-560w.pnghttp://sambagblog.com/gallery/2018/01/heasley_and_borg_7956a8cb48d7fb0ffe857381115f53e8.fit-560w-120x80.pngGay Issues