No gay marriage here: faith-based wedding magazine collapses

No gay marriage here: faith-based wedding magazine collapses November 19, 2018
Screenshot via White Magazine’s website

A leading wedding magazine in Australia, owned by devout Christians Luke and Carla Burrell, has gone belly up.

Advertisers began shunning White Magazine after the couple made it clear that the publication had no place for same-sex wedddings, and they are now complaining that they are being unfairly judged.

The Burrells said that they closed down White because they:

Had no desire to create a social, political or legal war.

In a farewell post on its website, which uses the word “love” 15 times. the magazine’s founders said:

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.

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. We’re not about sides, we’re about love, patience and kindness.

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.

Their argument that they were being compelled to “pick sides” as about as specious as it gets. All people wanted of the magazine was equal treatment, but Christians like the Burrells simply don’t get it. Nor, apparently, did they realise the financial benefits that would accrue from Australia’s burgeoning same-sex wedding industry.

As of January 9, same-sex couples have been able to legally marry in Australia, and it’s been tipped that a $650 million marriage business will follow, creating 800 extra jobs.

The way they see it is that the exodus of advertisers that forced the closure has prevented them from reflecting their Christian “love”. They insist that they cannot operate:

In a way that accurately reflects the deep love we have for all. As much as we love what we do and are inspired by the positive impact it’s had, we need to draw the curtain on this part of our lives,  for now.

Photographer Lara Hotz, who shot three covers for the magazine said she was “deeply hurt” by the Burrell’s exclusion of gay couples.

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.

A Facebook post by White drew a mixed response, with some praising the founders for sticking to their principles, and others branding them homophobes who did not deserve to be in business.

Wrote Ruth Parker.

It doesn’t seem to me that your agenda is just to love, it seems like your agenda is just to love straight people.

But another – Cynthia McKenzie – said she felt the magazine’s freedom of speech had been impeded

Unfortunately today if you have faith and don’t agree with same-sex marriage, you can’t run your own business the way you want.

H/T BarrieJohn

"Speaking at the Basilica of St Thérèse of the Child Jesus in the company of ..."

German cardinal: Christians and Muslims worship ..."
"And of course, this applies to different Christian denominations as well, who vest their god ..."

German cardinal: Christians and Muslims worship ..."
"German cardinal: Christians and Muslims worship different godsHell, there are Christian denominations who insist other ..."

German cardinal: Christians and Muslims worship ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • The Bofa on the Sofa

    Their freedom of speech is impeded because advertisers chose not to pay them to espouse their views.

    It’s an interesting take on the matter, that is for sure

  • CoastalMaineBird

    It’s an interesting take on the matter,

    Not really. Not true, not compelling, not original.

    They’re appealing to a sense of fairness (“they’re shutting down my business”), when they are not being oppressed by the government at all.

    The fact that you are free to speak your mind does not mean that others are required to listen.

  • TheBookOfDavid

    Interesting only in avoidance of calling out their true opposition. If the Burrels have a grievance with anyone, it’s not with a mob of anonymous haters, but the Free Market. And their own photographer.

  • StevoR
  • The Bofa on the Sofa

    The fact that you are free to speak your mind does not mean that others are required to listen.

    But their complaint goes even farther. It’s not about whether others are required to listen, it’s that advertisers are required to pay you to have the views. That’s what they are insisting, here.

    Just think of all the views that you have that advertisers are not paying you to have

    See this comment….

    Instead of allowing us the space to work through our thoughts and feelings,

    Who is that “allowing” she is talking about? Advertisers. She is whining because advertisers won’t let them “work through” their thoughts and feelings (aka their bigotry). That is absolutely an “interesting” take on business.

  • TheBookOfDavid

    The real surprise is that the Burrells were able to attract any interest from advertisers in the first place. To point out the (White) elephant in the room, it doesn’t take a focus group to spot the ticking time bomb of controversy embedded in the magazine’s title. IMO, LGBT inclusion was a convenient pretext for investors to nope out, before the project became a magnet for alt-right activism and race baiting polemics. Luke and Carla are clearly not ready for prime time, and should greet this apparent setback with a huge sigh of relief.

  • Robert Baden

    Wonder if they would have shown photos of my parents at the time, an interracial couple.

  • Robert Baden

    White as a symbol of sexual purity is a whole different kettle of rotten fish from racism.

  • Broga

    They have had 2,000 years working through their views. While still “working” they were torturing victims during the Inquisition and burning helpless old women condemned as witches. How much longer do they need?
    Meanwhile the BBC bans all secular views on the dire Thought for the Day. No working through our views there.

  • Some guy

    Exactly. And what about the advertisers’ freedom to express THEIR views?

  • Some guy

    A pretty creepy kettle in itself, though.

    Actually, I’ve read that a bride’s white dress is supposed to represent happiness, not virginity. (I’d at least like to believe that.)

  • TheBookOfDavid

    A distinction likely lost among a sizeable cross section of the magazine’s target readership of evangelical Christians.

  • I’m still waiting for the conservative Christian who says, “I agree that same-sex marriage doesn’t negatively affect my own marriage (or indeed anyone’s) and that homosexuals don’t hurt me at all. But an honest reading of the Bible* tells me that SSM is wrong. My hands are tied.” Instead, conservative Christians seem delighted that their anti-gay views line up with God’s (or, more accurately: their God’s views line up with theirs).

    * An honest reading of the Bible actually shows no objection to same-sex marriage or loving homosexual relationships.

  • Bob Pattinson

    They hate being judged… while judging others.

  • Jon-Michael Ivey

    They did not burn witches. The penalty for witchcraft was usually hanging. Also, the Roman Catholic Church has officially denied the existence of witches since the Council of Paderborn. Believing that witches exist was a heresy that could sometimes get you burned to death. (The Church itself only excommunicated heretics, denying them access to the sacraments, bust most civil governments in Christendom considered heresy a civil crime that warranted execution by burning alive.) In theory someone could be burned for refusing to deny being a witch, but if a false accusation were made to the inquisition then the accusers rather than the accused witch would be put on trial for heresy. Of course, Lutherans and Calvinists did not accept the Medieval Catholic view of witchcraft. The reformation led to a renaissance in witch trials, with lots of innocent people hanged but not burned as witches.

  • Judgeforyourself37

    When Christianity, especially right wing Christianity stops dumping guilt maybe someone will listen. In some churches all we hear is how bad, sinful, terrible we are. Most people, not all, granted, but most people try to be compassionate, giving, kind and non-judgmental.
    The exception to this was a Methodist Church to which I was once a member, I left because no matter how good, kind and compassionate I was, no matter how caring I was toward others, and I was an RN caring for the sick. I was always told, I was bad, sinful and in need of “redemption.” That got old, and I left, meanwhile I learned that that the minister, who was telling the congregation how bad they were, was having an affair with the very attractive organist. His wife was a slim, attractive young woman with two small children. That was not good enough for this “religious” leader.

  • Jon-Michael Ivey

    An honest reading of the bible shows no objection to lesbian sex or relationships whatsoever. It speaks a little bit against male on male penitrative sex in the old testament, where it is denounced in the same terms as eating shellfish. Paul wrote more against it than Moses did, but his perception was probably influenced by the Greek norm of older men having sex with teenage boys rather than a relationship between equals. Romantic same sex relationships that do not involve sex if anything seem to be praised, like that between David and Johnathan.

  • Jon-Michael Ivey

    I think was originally supposed to symbolize how wealthy the family had to be to afford the conspicuous consumption of keeping such a dress clean.

  • Mefistofele

    Don’t be fooled by the crucifixes Luke & Carla have nailed themselves too. They thought publishing a magazine for the very lucrative ‘wedding’ market was going to be their cash cow! Even a 20 year old business management student, would have written a business plan to ensure it included revenue from the pink dollar. Their bigoted attitude places them exactly where they belong, nailed to their crosses.

  • Perhaps “Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones” (Rom 1:26) meant “non-procreative sex” rather than “lesbian sex.”

    I summarize an interesting article about the meaning of homosexual sex here:

  • Sophotroph

    Actually, the passage in Leviticus apparently refers to a ritual that was common in (a) nearby culture(s) at the time and which the Jews were to abstain from (amongst a great many other things) in order to signify their Jewishness.

    Something about the transfer of “strong seed” from the older generation to the new. The word abomination is a poor match for the Hebrew toevah which merely denotes ritual uncleanness, which is the only way it is used in the entire OT.

    It’s part of the list that includes eating shellfish, cutting your hair and wearing mixed fabrics. It was never meant to be taken as a condemnation of homosexuality in general.

    I’m still waiting for a conservative Christian to say “I’m opposed to SSM, but the Bible tells us how to run our own lives, not that we must make these decisions for others, so I support the current law.”

  • Sophotroph

    I’m pretty sure they burned witches in Europe. In the United States they hanged them (mostly) instead. Is that what you meant or do you have a cite for “nobody burnt alive for witchcraft ever”?

  • gedediah

    They’re free to run their business how they like and their advertisers and customers are free to go elsewhere. That’s how freedom works.

  • Broga

    “They did not burn witches. ” Thanks Jon-Michael. That is one hell of a relief to me.

  • starmom


  • Raging Bee

    Actually, some Christians DO say something very much like that. As in, “I love gay people, but my opinion doesn’t override God’s;” or “The Word of God doesn’t change for your convenience (only for mine)!” Or several other variations on that blame-shifting bullcrap.

  • Raging Bee

    It speaks a little bit against male on male penitrative sex in the old testament…

    Yeah, just a teensy bit, just enough to give the bigots all the validation they need forever after. But, thankfully, not one bit more.

  • Raging Bee

    And also lost among a sizeable cross section of the magazine’s target readership of people going into their second or third marriages…?

  • Raging Bee

    I NEVER heard that. Besides, if white meant happiness, then the bride is signaling that she’s happy BEFORE the marriage actually happens.

  • rationalobservations?

    Self loathing and misanthropy is the core content of the indoctrination of christianity.
    If you hate yourself as a “sinner” and hate all mankind as “sinners” when nearly all “sin” is imaginary and most “sins” are not crimes and most crimes are not “sins” – it is little wonder that when this psychosis is revealed ordinary folk do not wish to be associated with such bizarre and anti-humanitarian garbage.

    The third largest and fastest growing human cohort have no such misanthropic and anti-humanitarian intentions and we are demonstrating each and every day that we are not only good without any of the gods and all the religions – we are so much better.

  • Some guy

    Good point. But the staining can start right away!

  • killerbee

    “Unfortunately today if you have faith and don’t agree with same-sex marriage, you can’t run your own business the way you want”

    They ran their business the way they wanted to and the general public decided that they preferred to go else where. Christians are finding the adjustment of not being “the flavour of the month” any longer difficult to cope with. Millennials are probably their biggest market and stats. show that a vast majority of them are in favour of SSM. This business went broke because they failed to move with the times.