A gay couple has launched a lawsuit against Vistaprint, claiming that the printing company sent them religious leaflets about “understanding temptation” instead of the wedding programs they paid for. The leaflets arrived the day before the wedding, the New York Daily News reports.
Stephen Heasley and Andrew Borg say that their wedding programs never arrived from Vistaprint. Instead, they received a package of leaflets titled “Understanding Temptation: Fight the good fight of the faith.” Heasley and Borg say they believe that they were sent the pamphlets because of their sexual orientation.
The couple is Australian but chose to get married in Pennsylvania to accommodate friends who couldn’t fly across the world to witness their nuptials.
As NYDN notes, the documents the couple received make no direct reference to gay marriage but contain phrases like “Satan entices your flesh with evil desires and sin.” But the couple says that even though the message wasn’t explicit, they think the leaflets were sent to condemn their same-sex marriage.
“This conduct is morally repugnant and Vistaprint must be held accountable,” their lawsuit reads.
According to Pink News, the couple’s lawyers have said that the case represents an “egregious” instance of a company denying the same rights of service to a gay couple that they would give to a straight couple.
In the company’s defense, a Vistaprint spokesperson says that it doesn’t judge customers based on their sexual orientation and that they value diversity.
Gay couple sues Vistaprint after being sent ‘sin’ leaflets instead of wedding programmes https://t.co/RLQXRQGSox— PinkNews (@PinkNews) January 17, 2018
“We understand how upsetting it would be for anyone to receive materials such as these the night before their wedding and we have immediately launched an internal investigation,” Vistaprint representative Sarah Nash told the NYDN.
With more and more countries legalizing gay marriage, providing wedding services, like printing programs and cake decorating, to same-sex couples is becoming a hot-button issue.
In November 2017, the case of a gay couple who was denied a wedding cake by a Christian baker was sent to the Supreme Court. As USA Today reports, in 2012, Charlie Craig and David Mullins tried to order a wedding cake from Masterpiece Cakeshop in Denver, Colorado. The baker, Jack Phillips, said that he could not design the cake for them because gay marriage was against his religious beliefs.
According to USA Today, Phillips says that he is fighting for his “creative” right to make decisions on what he sells. But Mullins and Craig say they’re advocating for their right and the rights of all same-sex couples to receive equal treatment from businesses. They want to have the same freedoms as straight couples to make decisions on what they buy.
Craig and Mullins have had a string of victories in the courts so far. They receive judgments in their favor at the Colorado Civil Rights Commission and the state Court of Appeals. But the Supreme Court could be a tougher nut to crack with the addition of Trump’s appointee to the Supreme Court, conservative Neil Gorsuch.