The publishers of Australian bridal publication White Magazine have said they will shut it down after contributors revealed they were refusing to publish same-sex weddings and they had lost advertisers as a result.
The publishers wrote in a “farewell” note on their website that they’d experienced “a flood of judgment” after contributors revealed in August they’d been told the magazine wasn’t including same-sex couples but the stance hadn’t been publicly disclosed to readers.
“We have had to recognise the reality that White Magazine is no longer economically viable,” the publishers wrote on Saturday.
Since the 12 months since the postal survey last year they had been asked repeatedly why the magazine “had not yet featured all couples”, they wrote.
They said White had “always been a secular publication”, but they were Christians who had had to reflect on their beliefs on same-sex marriage.
“Instead of allowing us the space to work through our thoughts and feelings, or being willing to engage in brave conversations to really hear each other’s stories, some have just blindly demanded that we pick a side,” they wrote.
“We’re not about sides, we’re about love, patience and kindness.”
They wrote that a campaign was launched “targeting the magazine, our team and our advertisers.”
“Couples who have featured in our magazine have also been the subject of online abuse despite their individual beliefs. We’re really saddened by this,” they wrote.
“The result has been that a number of advertisers withdrew their sponsorship out of fear of being judged, or in protest.”
In August, wedding photographer and contributor Lara Hotz, who is in a same-sex marriage, explained to the ABC</> that being told by the publishers that same-sex weddings wouldn’t be featured made her feel “undervalued” and “extremely hurt”.
“As a wedding photographer in the industry for the past 14 years, and having had three of my images printed on White Magazine covers… this makes me feel extremely hurt,” Hotz said.
She said at the time she didn’t want to force White into publishing same-sex weddings, but she believed the publishers should make their stance transparent to contributors, advertisers, and readers.
“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 said.