For all intents and purposes, it was a standard request: Andrew Borg and Stephen Heasley needed wedding invitations, so they sent in an order to Massachusetts-based online printing house Vistaprint.
Instead, they received a bizarro boxful of antigay, Satan-obsessed pamphlets that warned that “Satan entices your flesh with evil desires.”
Now, according to Yahoo News, the couple is suing Vistaprint, “claiming breach of contract and emotional pain.”
article, the couple claims:
“This was by far the most direct, personal, and aggressive act of homophobia either of us has experienced to date.”
Related: Homophobe Attacks Two Gay Military Academy Grads, Gets His A$$ Kicked
They reportedly received the pamphlets on the evening of their ceremony, which included a party for 100 guests.
The programs were supposed to list the order of events that day, the members of the wedding party, and lyrics to “Treasure” by Above & Beyond, which played as the couple walked down the aisle.
What they received was a bunch of spooky prose that included creepy nuggets like this:
“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.”
According to The New York Daily News, the couple is convinced these pamphlets were sent deliberately as a grim remark on their sexuality.
They wound up paying $79.49 for the programs, which they never received.
“This conduct is morally repugnant and Vistaprint must be held accountable,” the lawsuit claims.
The New York Post printed this lengthy excerpt from the lawsuit:
“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 betrothed] were both emotionally devastated by Vistaprint’s intimidating and discriminatory conduct.”
On top of that, they wound up having to print their own programs (and spend more money).
Says their lawyer, Michael J Willemin, “This case presents a particularly egregious example of a company refusing to provide equal services to members of the LBGTQ community.”
Vistaprint released the following prepared 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.”
Low Country Boy
I’m sure it was some low level employee in shipping with an axe to grind.
Sounds like a rogue nutcase employee. I doubt Vistaprint was behind it.
Yes, but Vistaprint would still be legally liable.
Some rogue employee (which still, of course, makes the company liable). The printing industry workforce skews old, old, old. Lots of homophobes and various deplorable types.
But personally, I always enjoy how Satan entices my flesh with evil desires!
I especially enjoy it when I can sue the hell out of ignorant bigots who are stupid enough to pull crap like this (or negligent enough to allow something like this to happen on their watch).
I am so sorry that this happened to this couple on their wedding day, and I hope that they get a nice large settlement that will pay for their first anniversary vacation. 🙂
Bigotry is getting expensive, I hope that they expose either the employee or employees who did this and make sure they have to pay at least part of the settlement.
Wow! It’s almost hard to believe.
If this is true- bye VistaPrint. I hope they sue your company for every cent you’re worth because that’s the sickest thing I’ve read in a long time. I would have been devastated
Quick! Neil, look over your shoulder. You have a tiny Merrick Garland following you like a bowl of oatmeal. Step down, illegitimate bench warmer.
I call bullshit.
Vistaprint is way too big a company to risk the backlash created by pushing a crazy agenda via such ridiculous means as substituting a contracted product for religious finger-wagging.
Soon to be exposed as yet another hoax, I suspect.
censorship? Really, queerty?
Are you this frightened of words, David Grant? Are radical concepts difficult? (Restore my comment.) I’ve been on Queerty since 2008, but this is where we part ways if you’re too afraid to let stand what was written. — Acid to the face is acceptable? All manner of death wished on other commenters acceptable? Name calling o.k., but my comment regarding the biochemical effects of our thoughts too much for you? Restore my comment.
They had a party for 100 guests and got the pamphlets/invitations the night before? Did they really plan that large of a party and only order the invitations ten days before? i have used Vistaprint – they are very fast and inexpensive. i certainly hope they are not liable for one disgruntled employee – they certainly didnt seem homophobic to me.
Jaroslaw..read the article. They were wedding programs. In case you didn’t know, they are handed out at the wedding not before.
Repugnant! If self-proclaimed, holier-than-thou Christians really want to play this game, then LGBT need to start forcing their hand. Claim to be a Christian just like the hypocrites and take them to court that your religious beliefs have been violated. Unless the government is prepared to start getting into the business of deciding who is a real Christian and which interpretation of Christianity is valid (establishing a state sanctioned religion), then the whole anti-gay religious arguments in legal disputes will fall apart.
The only thing I am wondering about this case though, is why they went to a lawyer first and never contacted VistaPrint.
Two reasons — what could VistsPrint do? It was too late for them to send the correct order, since the pamphlets arrived the night before the ceremony.
Second — because, in order for this couple to get anything above a simple refund of their money, it will have to go to court. Now, VP may settle — their lawyers are idiots if they don’t try — but, if we don’t may it expensive for them, nothing will change.
This of course was deliberate, whether by corporate officials or low level management. The end result was very insulting and offensive to the couple. We should share what VistaPrint did with the widest audience possible and encourage boycotts if necessary, as the law suit could be thrown out and VistaPrint must be held accountable. Straight folk don’t get memos from Satan instead of their invitations.
Well that just paid for their wedding I guess.
I seriously doubt that VistaPrint or upper management had anything to do with this, including being aware of it. They would not want the bad publicity. Indeed, the gay wedding industry is pretty lucrative and VistaPrint would be stupid not to cash in. Most importantly, the company is based in Massachusetts, one of the most gay-friendly states. If I’m not mistaken, they were the first state to legalize same-sex marriage. As such, I’m sure that businesses must adhere to all kinds of gay-friendly statutes. If VistaPrint was homophobic, I doubt that they’d base themselves in Massachusetts.
As for culpability, I’d say that the company is liable for any inconveniences and financial losses the couple faced, but no t for pain and suffering. In other words, no punitive damages unless negligence is shown. That said, as a sign of good faith, the company should have more gay imagery in their ads and have mandatory diversity training for the staff.
And as someone else mentioned, I certainly hope that this isn’t a hoax from the gay couple…
Very well said! My partner of 56 years and I got married in Massachusetts in 2004 and we have many friends, gay and straight, single and married, that are loving and inclusive. I do not know why gays would create a hoax unless they are Trumpsters!
Evangelicals are going off the deep end since equal marriage, ruining their brand. They’ve always used their religion as a license to judge and act better than non Christians but now it’s just crazy (I think the pamphlet thing is psycho)
I am shocked to hear that a company in Massachusetts, where my lifetime partner of 56 years, married in Massachusetts in 2004, are both retired and living the American dream, would do such a thing. Trump must have stirred up an employee’s emotions to do this, and Vistaprint must be held liable, and the perpetrator needs to be fired and sued for his discrimination!
Seriously? You’re blaming Trump for this? These types of things happened under Obama too, you know.
While I’m sure the company will sadly be held liable:
1. If VistaPrint is only hearing about this through a lawsuit, maybe the aggrieved couple could’ve save time by contacting them first. Why in earth does everything have to START with a lawsuit?
2. I used VistaPrint for my super gay wedding last year for everything from Save-the-dates through invitations to thank you cards without a single hiccup…of COURSE they’re not anti gay.
Comments are closed.