Andrew Borg and Stephen Heasley sent Vistaprint, a Massachusetts-based online printing house, an order to print their wedding invitations. What they received instead, was a box of anti-gay pamphlets warning that “Satan entices your flesh with evil desires.”
The couple is suing Vistaprint, “claiming breach of contract and emotional pain,” Yahoo News reports:
“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.
The wedding programs ordered by the couple were to have listed the order of events, members of their wedding party, and lyrics to the Above & Beyond song “Treasure,” which played as they walked down the aisle. Instead, the fire-and-brimstone pamphlets they received warned that, among other notions, “Satan knows our flesh is weak. He preys upon our weaknesses to tempt us to sin. Satan can only influence us to want to sin. He cannot make us sin.”
The New York Daily News adds: “Although the pamphlets make no reference to gays, the couple was convinced that the message was intended as a judgment about their lifestyle, according to their lawyers, David Gottlieb and Michael Willemin. They paid $79.49 for the programs they never received. ‘This conduct is morally repugnant and Vistaprint must be held accountable,’ the lawsuit says.’
“The pamphlets — plainly sent to threaten and attack Mr. Heasley and Mr. Borg because they are gay — warn that ‘Satan entices your flesh with evil desires,’” the suit says.
The betrothed “were both emotionally devastated by Vistaprint’s intimidating and discriminatory conduct,’’ they say in court papers. They had to print their own programs at an additional cost, the suit says. They’re suing for unspecified damages.
“This case presents a particularly egregious example of a company refusing to provide equal services to members of the LBGTQ community,” said their lawyer, Michael J. Willemin, of the law firm Wigdor LLP.
Vistaprint released a statement:
“Vistaprint would never discriminate against customers for their sexual orientation. We pride ourselves on being a company that celebrates diversity and enables customers all over the world to customize products for their special events. We have just been made aware of this incident in the last few hours. 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. Until we have had the opportunity to complete our investigation, we cannot comment further.”