Australian wedding journal White Magazine has reportedly folded, just months after publicly refusing to feature same-sex couples.
Luke and Carla Burrell, the married Christian co-founders of the magazine, announced the publication’s closure in a blog post over the weekend.
“Celebrating love and relationships – rather than selling products – has always been White’s message,” they wrote, not specifying but implying that this does not apply to same-sex couples.
“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,” they wrote.
Though the Burrells say that the magazine was a “secular publication” and that they “have no agenda but to love” and don’t wish “to create a social, political or legal war”, they elected to continue to exclude queer couples from their pages.
The “couple say that they “experienced a flood of judgement” for openly discriminating against same-sex couples, and that their critics “blindly demanded” that they “pick a side.
“We’re not about sides, we’re about love, patience and kindness,” they wrote.
“A campaign was launched targeting the magazine, our team and our advertisers,” they said.
They also said that couples featured in the magazine received online abuse as a result of their association with the publication.
“The result has been that a number of advertisers withdrew their sponsorship out of fear of being judged, or in protest.
“We have had to recognise the reality that White Magazine is no longer economically viable.”
In a video concluding the statement, Carla Burrell says that they “started getting messages then saying ‘you’re the only magazine in Australia that’s not showing your support, like, come on guys jump on board, move forward with 2018’.”
“But then there was always something that just stopped us because we just didn’t want to enter into that conversation that wasn’t a loving conversation.”
“The accusations that it is unfair that at this time we are not featuring same-sex marriage, I get that can be hurtful and people feel like that’s unfair ,” her husband Luke said.
“And that is part of the tear within us because we don’t want anyone to feel that way.”
Australian Conservatives candidate and former Australian Christian Lobby head Lyle Shelton appeared on Sky News to say that the same may happen to anyone who doesn’t “bow to the rainbow view of the world”.