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Australian wedding magazine shuts down after refusing to feature same-sex couples

"We hope that one day soon our society can learn to accept people’s differences and different points of view."

2018-11-19

Words: Will Stroude

An Australian wedding magazine is closing down for good after refusing to feature same-sex couples.

White magazine founders Luke and Carla Burrell said they were shutting down the publication after a mass exodus of advertisers left the title "economically unviable".

The White magazine's refusal to include same-sex couples following the legaliasation of equal marriage in Australia last year was made public earlier this year by a photographer who worked with the company, the BBC reports.

Lara Hotz said she'd didn't want to force the magazine to include LGBT people, but wanted ot make consumers and brands aware of its anti-gay stance.

"It appears they are happy to take money, content and photographs from LGBTQI advertisers and contributors, but are yet to support and represent us in the same way as heterosexual couples are represented in the magazine," she told radio programme Hack.

Announcing White's closure in a blog post on Saturday (November 17) Luke and Carla Burrell claimed they had been targeted with online abuse since the story broke, and said they hoped "society can learn to accept people’s differences and different points of view and love each other no matter what."

Yes. Seriously.

"Celebrating love and relationships – rather than selling products – has always been White’s message," the couple wrote.

"Last year the Australian law was changed to allow same-sex couples to marry.  Since then we have been asked repeatedly why our magazine had not yet featured all couples.

"Like many people, we have had to reflect on our beliefs, not to judge ourselves or others, but to intentionally make space for new conversations.  It’s a long and continuing journey, it’s not black and white, there are so many grey areas that need to be explored. 

"Our greatest mandate is to love and the biggest question we’ve continued to ask ourselves throughout it is, how do we best love?

They continued: "White Magazine has always been a secular publication, but as its publishers, we are Christian. We have no agenda but to love. We have no desire to create a social, political or legal war, which only divides people further and does more damage than good. To us, our faith is anchored in love without judgement.

Recently we’ve experienced a flood of judgement. We know much of that comes hand-in-hand with running a public magazine. But we are also just two humans fumbling our way through these big questions and like anyone else, and we don’t have all the answers.

They added: "We hope that one day soon our society can learn to accept people’s differences and different points of view and love each other no matter what.

"That’s where real positive change begins."

Honestly, White magazine, we couldn't have put it better ourselves.