The Christian owner of a print shop has defended his decision to reject a LGBT charity fund’s brochure, claiming it’s against his religion to “promote” the gay lifestyle.
Yorke Printe Shoppe in Lombard, Illinois had received the order for brochures on behalf of LGBT Community Fund, a local Chicago charity fund that has raised more than $1 million for LGBT+ causes.
The print shop’s owner Brad Scull had initially accepted the order and scheduled the job—but cancelled it after realising the charity would benefit LGBT+ causes.
Print shop owner attacks ‘promotion of the lifestyle’
Speaking to local business newspaper Crain’s Chicago Business on January 28, Scull said: “I’m a Christian, I believe in Scripture, and my faith is really important to me.
Scull insisted he has “nothing against” gay people, because he has gay friends and business associates.
But he added: “I have an issue when stuff gets into the promotion of the lifestyle.
“I don’t think people really understand that I can love the people and maybe not agree with them… but people don’t do the same for me.”
The brochure was commissioned on behalf of the Community Fund by Deborah Schneider of marketing firm Kineo Group.
LGBT charity workers were shocked by discrimination
Schneider explained to Crain’s that she works with many nonprofits, and had used Scull’s printing service for around 20 years.
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She added that her company would be getting all its printing elsewhere for now on, adding: “He made a decision as a businessman, and I made a decision as a businesswoman.”
The LGBT Community Fund has threatened to file a civil rights complaint over the incident.
Co-chair Adnaan Hamid said of the discrimination: “You think in this day and age it doesn’t happen, but it does.”
The Illinois Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Tensions are heightened for Chicago’s LGBT+ community in the wake of an attack on Empire actor Jussie Smollett.
Police have released CCTV stills of two persons they are seeking to identify in connection with the attack on Smollett, which took place on January 29.
Smollett, who plays a high-profile gay character on Fox show Empire, was hospitalised after the violent incident, in which he was reportedly branded a “faggot Empire n****r” and had a noose tied around his neck by two men.
ThatGrapeJuice, the first outlet to report the attack, alleged that a threatening letter was sent to Smollett days before the attack that reads: “You will die black fag.”
The envelope featured the acronym ‘MAGA,’ which stands for the pro-Trump slogan “Make America Great Again.”