Vistaprint posts emotional open letter to LGBT community after gay couple sent ‘sin’ leaflets
Printing company Vistaprint has renewed support for same-sex marriage following a controversy where a gay couple was sent leaflets about sin on the eve of their wedding.
The company came under fire this week after a gay couple said they received religious leaflets about sin on the eve of their wedding.
The couple, Andrew Borg, 31 and Stephen Heasley, 39, is suing Vistaprint after 80 pamphlets were delivered the night before their wedding.
They were titled: ‘Understanding Temptation: Fight the good fight of the faith.’
According to the couple, the leaflets were delivered in place of their wedding brochures which never arrived.
Vistaprint has now responded saying it has launched an investigation into the incident, has said it has reaffirmed its commitment to equality internally and is looking into ways to reiterate its support for same-sex marriage.
In a lengthy statement on the Vistaprint website, CEO Trynka Shineman and founder Robert Keane expressed “disappointment” at the incident.
They said: “To know that any customer could feel treated in such a way, especially during a time that should be filled with joy, is extremely disheartening. Imagine a customer who took the time to create something personal to mark this special day and instead, the day before their wedding, goes to open their wedding programs and finds materials that they feel had targeted them in a hurtful way. We have never been more disappointed to let a customer down.”
Adding: “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.”
The statement went on to say that the company has learned “that materials that were intended to be printed for one customer were incorrectly sent to this couple by a 3rd party fulfiller. We, and our partner, are committed to understanding how and why this happened. If we determine that any individual played a deliberate role in this mix up, we will take strong action.”
They added: “We have communicated with all Vistaprint team members and reaffirmed our commitment to equality and diversity for all of our customers and employees.
“We have begun to plan how we can use our global brand platform to share a message of support for same-sex marriage and equality around the world.”
The pair also said that they had reached out to the couple “to express our sadness that this incident occurred, and disappointment that this in any way diminished the joy of their wedding day memories. We are hoping to establish a dialogue with them so together we can use this incident as an opportunity to shine a light on important LGBTQ issues.”
As well as complaining to Vistaprint, the couple says they were forced to pay extra for new brochures to be printed.
According to the New York Daily News, the lawsuit filed by the couple – who live in Australia but wed in the United States – states that they paid nearly $80 for 100 wedding brochures to be printed.
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Their brochures were meant to include customised lyrics from the song ‘Treasure’ by Above and Beyond.
But the brochures they actually received read: “Satan entices your flesh with evil desires and sin is the result of your failure to resist the temptation. It is an act of rebellion against God’s holiness.”
The lawsuit also states that despite there being no explicit anti-gay message in the brochures, the sentiment was clearly intended to be hateful.
It also says that it compared their “relationship to Satan’s temptation.”
Borg and Heasley’s lawyer, Michael J Willemin, said the case “presents a particularly egregious example of a company refusing to provide equal services to members of the LGBTQ community.”