A gay couple sued Vistaprint on Tuesday in Massachusetts, alleging the printing company sent them pamphlets with messages about temptation and sin instead of the wedding programs they ordered for their special day.
Stephen Heasley and Andrew Borg were married in Pennsylvania in September but on the eve of their wedding, they say they opened up a package that was supposed to be their wedding program, and instead they say Vistaprint sent them pamphlets about sin and Satan.
The couple filed a federal lawsuit claiming discrimination.
U.S. & World
The couple's lawsuit says they were horrified to find the package they received the day before their wedding contained pamphlets with "hateful, discriminatory and anti-gay'' messages. They say they hope their lawsuit sends a message that "there will be consequences for acts of hate.''
The couple's lawyer spoke for them from New York via FaceTime.
"It was supposed to be the happiest day of their life and it was marred by this delivery," Michael Willemin says.
Willemin believes the pamphlets are an assault on the rights of all gay people, equating the couple's relationship to satan's temptation.
The printing company, with a regional headquarters in Massachusetts, confirmed in a statement Wednesday night that they just learned of the incident on January 16 and says they support diversity and reject discrimination in all forms.
"Vistaprint in no way condones — and does not tolerate — discrimination against any of our customers based on their race, religion, gender or sexual orientation."
Vistaprint CEO Trynka Shineman and Vistaprint founder and Cimpress CEO Robert Keane said in the statement they have reached out to the couple to "express our sadness that this incident occurred, and disappointment that this in any way diminished the joy of their wedding day memories."
Heasley and Borg say their special event was a little less special because of the hateful messages.
"Of course they didn't want to become the face for this but they know what they're doing has to be done," Willemin says.
The printing company went on to say in their statement that they are hoping to establish a dialogue with the couple so together they can use this incident as an opportunity to shine a light on important LGBTQ issues.
"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," Vistaprint said in the statement. "We have never been more disappointed to let a customer down."
Vistaprint officials say they are investigating the incident to determine how and why the couple received the materials.