An Alabama printing company that has strong Christian convictions and has been working with the University of South Alabama for roughly 40 years engendered hostility when it refused to print a student magazine that championed pro-LGBT messages, including cross-dressing and drag queens.
As Al.com reports, “Interstate Printing told the Editor-in-Chief of Due South Magazine Wednesday that the content of the magazine, which is about diversity and inclusion, did not align with the company’s religious values.”
Interstate Printing is forthright about its Christian beliefs; on the company’s website it quotes Romans 10:13: “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” The website also states, “We are a Christian company that will serve the Lord God Almighty in any way we can.”
Due South Editor-in-Chief Sara Boone said that the edition contained stories about LGBTQ students and drag queens.
Tracy Smith of Interstate Printing, which has printed Due South for the last seven years, stated, “As the magazine expresses freedom of lifestyles, we must express our freedom by declining to print on the principle that we are a Christian company that does not adhere to the content. We value the 40-plus years relationship we have with the University of South Alabama, and look forward to continuing our work with USA on other print and mail service projects.”
Boone told Al.com, “They emailed me back and said they would be exercising their right to decline printing this issue because it does not adhere to their Christian values and they hope to print with us in the future.” She complained, “It’s very ironic for me because this particular issue of Due South is a special topics issue on diversity and inclusion. And it’s the very first special topics issue that we have ever produced. For them to decline printing it because it’s so diverse and the content is incredibly ironic.”
Boone added, “It’s kind of disheartening to know that there are people out there who won’t change their minds, their views will not be wavered. No matter what we do, whose stories we write, no matter whose stories we tell, they are not going to bat an eyelid at all.” NBC News reported that Boone said, “This is more than having personal beliefs. This is actively discriminating against a group of people and trying to silence their stories.”
The University of South Alabama commented:
The University of South Alabama is committed to the principles of freedom of expression and the exchange of different points of view. We respect our students for having the courage of their convictions. At the same time, we also respect the rights of individuals and private businesses to make decisions that are consistent with their values. It is our hope that healthy and constructive dialogue can emerge from differing perspectives.
Interstate Printing’s website states:
From design to mailing, we’ve got your project covered. Whether you have a rough concept sketched on a notepad, or a fully-prepared project ready to print, Interstate will make sure your project looks its best. Need a special die-cut, foil-stamped or embossed six-color folder? No problem. There’s no project too large, or too small. Staying on top of the latest technology, our equipment is the best for cutting-edge printing and finishing innovation.