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January 17, 2018

Lawsuit: Gay couple received 'hateful' religious pamphlets for Pennsylvania wedding

Flyers sent for Butler County ceremony urge readers to 'fight Satan's temptation'

Lawsuits LGBTQ
gay couple religious pamphlets butler county Wigdor LLP/Facebook

A gay couple says they were sent these religious pamphlets instead of custom wedding programs for their Pennsylvania ceremony.

UPDATE (8:35 a.m., 1/18/18): Vistaprint's management has released a statement in response to the lawsuit, saying they "have never been more disappointed to let a customer down," adding that they do not condone discrimination of any kind. 

The company says the pamphlets were incorrectly sent to Stephen Heasley and Andrew Borg by a third party fulfiller, and an investigation is underway to determine if any individual played a deliberate role in the incident.

The original story can be found below.

A gay couple is suing a printing company for allegedly shipping them pamphlets urging them to "fight Satan's temptation" instead of the wedding pamphlets they ordered for their Pennsylvania ceremony.

Wigdor LLP, a New York-based law firm, says it has filed a lawsuit against Vistaprint on behalf of the couple, who they say received the "hateful, discriminatory and anti-gay pamphlets."

According to the New York Post, the plaintiffs, Stephen Heasley and Andrew Borg, live in Australia but had their ceremony in Butler County. The night before their wedding, they received what they thought would be their 100 customized wedding programs.

When they opened the box, however, the couple claims they found 80 flyers that told them to "Fight the good fight of the faith." The law firm posted pictures of the pamphlets, which tell readers, among other things, how Satan "entices your flesh with evil desires" and how to recognize temptation.

The suit says the flyers were sent to threaten and intimidate Healey and Borg because they're gay. It also noted the couple was forced to make their own programs for the special day. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.

“This case presents a particularly egregious example of a company refusing to provide equal services to members of the LBGTQ community," the couple's attorney, Michael J. Willemin, told the Post.

In a statement to various media outlets, a Vistaprint spokeswoman said the company "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," spokeswoman Sara Nash said, according to the Boston Herald.

Nash said the company only had been notified of the lawsuit Tuesday and has launched an internal investigation into the matter.