A Sydney business is under fire for refusing to print flyers for an official Pride Match roller derby event that is taking place today on the basis of religious beliefs.
Kwik Kopy in Sydney CBD, which is one of 43 franchisees declined the request with owner Wing Khong arguing his “faith requires me to obey what the Bible teaches”.
The Pride Match team names on the flyers (Butches, Femmes, Rainbows, and Sparkles) are “tongue-in-cheek” references to gay stereotypes, given the sport’s popularity with queer women.
Kwik Kopy Australia CEO Sonia Swabsk has since issued a grovelling apology and has printed the flyers for free at another franchisee, telling The Daily Telegraphthat the organisation was “genuinely sorry”.
“Our organisation embraces a richness of cultures, and a look into the make-up of our teams to reinforce our stance on diversity.”
One of the roller derby skaters involved, Vanessa Peterson, said the situation highlighted why pride was important.
“It’s because of things like this,” she told news.com.au.
“This is the reason we need to celebrate pride and normalise our differences.
“They have addressed it, they responded to it, we managed to get our flyer printers, they directed us to another one of their branches and did it for free.”
Mr Wing declined to comment to news.com.au because he “did not want publicity” but said he had been inundated with calls and messages of support this morning.
In the email, obtained by The Daily Telegraph, the franchisee referenced his Christian faith when refusing the print job, adding he hopes they “understand”.
When further questioned about the refusal Mr Wing said he had “no comment to make other than to say we need to respect one another in the view and position we take”.
The 1984 Sex Discrimination Act states that it is illegal to refuse goods or services based on sexuality or gender.
The Morrison government attempted to pass religious freedom laws in early 2022, a signature policy the former Prime Minister Scott Morrison took to the 2019 federal election, but was thwarted by moderates within his own party, Bridget Archer, Fiona Martin, Katie Allen and Dave Sharma.
The five Coalition MPs sided with the crossbench and Labor to extend protections to transgender students from being discriminated against by religious schools. The government had agreed to exempt gay students from expulsion and have a review into transgender students.
Story Credit: news.com.au