Vistaprint: Gay couple wedding program mix-up unintentional

AP News
|
Posted: Feb 06, 2018 5:50 PM

BOSTON (AP) — The CEO of a printing company that was sued by a gay couple who received pamphlets about temptation and sin instead of wedding programs said Tuesday that it was an unintentional order mix-up.

Vistaprint CEO Trynka Shineman said the company's investigation into the matter found that the pamphlets and wedding programs were printed simultaneously and the wrong shipping label was inadvertently put on the boxes by a third-party partner.

"Humans are involved in our process and with that, we're not perfect. We make mistakes and that's what happened in this case," Shineman said.

Stephen Heasley and Andrew Borg filed a lawsuit in federal court in Boston last month, accusing the company of attacking them because they are gay by replacing their programs with the religious pamphlets. The Dutch company has a regional headquarters in Massachusetts.

The pamphlets included phrases such as "fight against Satan's temptation and pursue what is good" and "do not set on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evildoers." The couple said they believed the pamphlets were meant to intimidate and threaten them.

Shineman said the flyers were designed for a religious program, adding that they did not single out any group or organization. She said the mix-up was not a "malicious act," but the result of human error.

Vistaprint has resolved the matter with the couple and a notice of dismissal of the lawsuit will be filed later this week in court, Shineman said.

The couple said in a statement released through Vistaprint that they have accepted the company's apology. Vistaprint also has agreed to make donations to three organizations that support LGBTQ causes — including one in Australia, where the men live.

"After we filed our case, Vistaprint engaged us in a dialogue and invited us to their offices to apologize and share the results of their investigation," Heasley and Borg said. "We have always wanted to use this as an opportunity to create greater understanding and acceptance of the LGBTQ community."