Gay couple sues printing company after receiving religious pamphlets instead of wedding programs

A recently married gay couple has filed a federal lawsuit against printing company Vistaprint after receiving a box of religious pamphlets instead of the wedding programs they had ordered.

Andrew Borg and Stephen Heasley, an Australian couple living in Pennsylvania, filed the lawsuit in a Massachusetts District Court on Tuesday, seeking unspecified damages for mental anguish and emotional distress. Vistaprint is based in Massachusetts.

“Vistaprint … has engaged in its own attack on gay marriage,” the suit alleges. “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. This conduct is morally repugnant.”

According to the lawsuit, Heasley and Borg had ordered programs for their ceremony, but instead received about 80 copies of a “discriminatory” religious pamphlet titled “Understanding Temptation: Fight the good fight of the faith,” which describes “temptation” as an act of Satan and a “rebellion against God’s holiness.”

The suit alleges that the pamphlets “were clearly sent to intimidate, threaten and harass Plaintiffs because they are gay men” and caused the couple “emotional devastation.” The couple wound up printing their own wedding programs, according to the lawsuit.

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Vistaprint CEO Trynka Shineman responded in a statement, saying that the company will investigate how the incident occurred and that it supports “diversity and reject discrimination in all forms.” 

“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,” the statement read. “We have never been more disappointed to let a customer down."

Shineman added that the company has reached out to the couple to “express our sadness that this incident occurred” and that the company is planning how promote their support for same-sex marriage.

“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,” Shineman said in the statement.

This incident occurred just weeks after the Supreme Court heard arguments in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, centered around the owner of a bakery who refused to bake a custom wedding cake for a gay couple.