- The Washington Times - Friday, November 15, 2019

A Christian-owned publisher has refused to print a University of South Alabama magazine that includes stories about LGBTQ students and drag queens, saying the issue’s content conflicts with its religious values.

Due South Magazine Editor-in-Chief Sara Boone said she was shocked after Mobile-based Interstate Printing, which has been working with the magazine for the past seven years, declined to publish its first diversity-themed issue because it did not adhere to their Christian values.

“Normally I just send them the files and they get everything printed and it’s all good and we’ve never had any issues in the past,” Ms. Boone told a local Fox affiliate.

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“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,” she said. “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.”

Interstate Printing confirmed in a statement that it was declining to print the issue on “principle.”

“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,” the company told AL.com. “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.”

The University of South Alabama issued a statement saying it respected the company’s “freedom of expression” as well as students’ “courage” to speak out against it.

“It is our hope that healthy and constructive dialogue can emerge from differing perspectives,” the school said.

The university’s on-campus printing service will instead publish the magazine, which releases Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Ms. Boone said this marks the end of her magazine’s relationship with Interstate Printing.

“We can’t just ignore the stories that we don’t wanna hear and so for a student magazine to not be able to be published just because of a printer’s specific views go against whatever is said in the magazine, it seems kind of wrong to me,” she said.

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