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Gay Couple Sues Printing Company for Allegedly Sending Satan-Themed Wedding Programs

Wednesday Jan 17, 2018

A gay couple is suing the printing company Vistaprint for allegedly sending them 80 wedding programs on the eve of their big day that turned out to be religious pamphlets that referenced Satan, according to The New York Daily News.

The night before their wedding in September 2017, Andrew Borg, 31, and Stephen Heasley, 39, were "horrified" to discovered their package of wedding programs actually contained religious bulletins that read, "Understanding Temptation: Fight the good fight of the faith."

"Satan entices your flesh with evil desires and sin is the result of your failure to resist the temptation," the pamphlet read, according to the NYDN. "It is an act of rebellion against God's holiness."

Though the programs did not have any explicit anti-gay messages, the men, who are from Australia and tied the knot in Butler County, Pennsylvania in a ceremony for their friends, say the pamphlets they received were a form of anti-gay discrimination.

"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," the lawsuit says, according to The New York Post.

The suit adds the men "were both emotionally devastated by Vistaprint's intimidating and discriminatory conduct."

Borg and Heasley say they spent weeks designing their wedding programs, which were supposed to feature a picture of hydrangeas, a list of the wedding party and words to their processional song - "Treasure" by Above and Beyond. The couple paid $79.49 for 100 programs, which they never received.

"This conduct is morally repugnant and Vistaprint must be held accountable," the lawsuit says, according to the NYDN.

"Our goal is to hold Vistaprint accountable for the harm they have caused ... and to send a message that there will be consequences for acts of hate perpetrated against others," the men said in a statement to The New York Post.

Speaking with The Boston Herald, Heasley and Borg added:

"Our memories from that day should have been filled with nothing but love and happiness. Instead our memories are mixed with vivid memories of the moments where we were taken away from our wedding day, our thoughts filled with the worries and the disturbance that came from receiving the shocking hate mail only hours earlier."

The couple's lawyer Michael J. Willemin told The New York Post: "This case presents a particularly egregious example of a company refusing to provide equal services to members of the LBGTQ community."

A spokeswoman for Vistaprint says the company would never discriminate against customs based on their sexual orientation and that the incident is being investigated.

"We pride ourselves on being a company that celebrates diversity and enables customers all over the world to customize products for their special events," Sara Nash told the NYDN. "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."

The federal lawsuit was filed in Massachusetts District Court. The men are suing for unspecified damages.


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