Interstate Printing, an Alabama printing company that has strong Christian convictions recently refused to print a University of South Alabama’s student magazine that championed pro-LGBT messages, including cross-dressing and drag queens, despite the roughly 40 years of cooperation with the university.
According to Al.com, “Interstate Printing told the Editor-in-Chief of Due South Magazine said on Wednesday that the content of the magazine, which is about diversity and inclusion, did not align with the company’s religious values.”
The edition, which will be instead printed by printing services at the university, due for release Nov. 20, included stories about LGBTQ students and drag queens, along with articles about religious head coverings, body positivity, and students with disabilities.
Tracy Smith of Interstate Printing, which has printed Due South for the last seven years, said the content of the edition did not align with the company’s religious grounds. Smith also stated that as the magazine expressed freedom of lifestyles, his company also had it right to express its freedom by declining to print the edition. “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,” Smith said.
Apparently, the decision received complaints from the University of South Alabama. Sara Boone, Due South Editor-in-Chief said, “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.”
“This is more than having personal beliefs. This is actively discriminating against a group of people and trying to silence their stories,” she added, as NBC News reported.
The University of South Alabama said in a statement that it respected student courage on the issue and hoped for healthy dialogue on the issue in the future.
“The University of South Alabama is committed to the principles of freedom of expression and the exchange of different points of view,” said the statement. “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.”