An Alabama-based printing company has refused to print the University of South Alabama’s first-ever issue on diversity and inclusion citing that the company is Christian-run, according to AL.com, a site for several Alabama newspapers.
“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,” Due South’s editor in chief of three years, Sara Boone, told AL.com.
"It was so ironic to me because this entire issue is our very first special topics issue and it's on diversity and inclusion. So all the stories in the magazine relate to different aspects of diversity,” Boone told TV station WALA. "We have stories on body positivity, students with disabilities, different types of religions, we also have stories on LGBTQ life and drag queens in Mobile."
Boone said she believes it is the LGBTQ content that triggered Interstate Printing’s refusal to print the issue.
Interstate Printing has printed the university’s magazine since 2012 and had initially quoted Boone $5,000 for 3,500 copies of the issue.
When WALA and AL.com reached out to Interstate Printing for comment as to why it refused to print the inclusive issue of Due South, both outlets were shut down or turned away. However, the company’s website vows that it “will serve the Lord God Almighty in any way we can.”
The current issue will go on as planned with the university’s on-campus service printing the magazine.
Meanwhile, the University of South Alabama released a statement saying it supports its students and also Interstate Printing’s right to discriminate based on religious views.
A statement from the administration to WALA reads:
"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."