“Thank you for your interest in Media Graphix. We will have to decline quoting this job because it conflicts with our Moral Objection Policy. Please see the attached. I’m sorry for any inconvenience. Thanks!” Fatina Malik of Media Graphix responded Oct. 31 in an email to Reis.
The “moral objection policy” includes a specific rule to reject projects that “promote or advertise homosexuality such as Gay Pride.”
The policy further states, “Media Graphix is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate against hiring regardless of sex, age, religion, or sexual orientation. Homosexual owners of legitimate businesses are welcome and not to be discriminated against.”
Asadi, however, does state in his email that Media Graphix “will exercise our right not to print or promote any material that advertises homosexuality and conflicts with any point in our moral objection policy.”
The full email from Asadi states:
We deny your claim that our business is anti-gay or discriminates against the gay community. In fact since our inception we have done work with businesses owned by gay individuals, and hired and continue to hire and gave raises to gay employees based only on their skill. We do not hate nor discriminate against gay people, but in this land of America, where there is religious freedom, we will exercise our right not to print or promote any material that advertises homosexuality and conflicts with any point in our moral objection policy.
The holy books of Torah, Bible and Quran all teach us to love our fellow human brethren without exception, whether they have different faiths, opinions or ways of life than ourselves.
Please read carefully our attached Moral Objection Policy and see for yourself, with some objectivity applied, that all your claims and that of GA Voice are indeed baseless. How can you find it discriminatory when it states clearly in our MOP Policy that we do not discriminate and in our employee handbook.
It would be quite embarrassing for you and any one participating in this baseless attack, if we were to present evidence that we have numerous current gay clients and have had some gay individuals in our employee who are all well aware of our moral objection policy.
Thanks for your time and I hope this lays to rest your fears and claims of discrimination.
Asadi had to send a correction to his email when he said he made a mistake in his original email to Ryan and Soto that stated the company does discriminate against gay employees.
“Folks I am sorry it was brought to my attention that there was a typo in my last email CORRECTION ‘states clearly in our MOP Policy that we do not discriminate and in our employee handbook.'”
Media Graphix also states in its Moral Objection Policy that it will not print materials for:
•”strip joints” or other materials used for erotic purposes that includes nudity or pornography, with the exception of some medical materials;
• alcohol, drugs, tobacco and pork, including companies such as Honey Baked Ham, Marlboro and Budweiser;
• abortion and abortion clinics “must be avoided totally”;
• anti-religious, satanic or materials that promote racism;
• gambling, including materials for casinos and the lottery;
• “harm — any piece that may promote harming of fellow humans or the destruction of environment or be the cause of war and bloodshed.”
Thomas Ryan of Carma issued a response to Asadi’s claims:
While we appreciate the fact Gus Asadi, CFO of Media Graphix, took the time to respond to our email, we stand firm in our belief that this business discriminates against our community. Mr. Asadi states in his email that “we have numerous current gay clients and have had some gay individuals in our employee who are all well aware of our moral objection policy.” While Media Graphix may indeed have current gay clients and/or employees, they are still choosing to discriminate against us because of the type of business we are. They are saying that if I owned an Insurance Agency (a “legitimate” business), they would accept my projects. However, because we happen to produce a resource directory for the LGBTQ community, we are not considered “legitimate” and therefore, they deny us their services. Where exactly is the line of a legitimate business?
Furthermore, the fact that they printed the exact same project for us just less than two years ago and now refuse to even bid the project is upsetting. I admire individuals and organizations that stand firm in their beliefs; this is how the Executive Management Team at Carma Productions, Inc. chooses to operate our business. However, when an individual or organization chooses to cite their “morals” as a basis for their professional actions and their actions are then inconsistent, it creates a level of disappointment that is unmatched by any other action in my eyes.
Media Graphix claims to not discriminate against our community because they have gay clients and some gay employees. However, they are selectively discriminating based on standards set forth in their moral objection policy. I would prefer to deal with an organization that is honest about their discrimination rather than one with selective discrimination any day. At least with an organization that is upfront about it, I never have to wonder. For example, I’m getting married next year. If I went to Media Graphix to print my wedding invitations, would they? Is the event of two men pledging their love for one another seen as “promoting or advertising homosexuality”? Where is the line drawn?
It is a shame that this situation has turned out as it has. It is even more of a shame that Media Graphix refuses to take a stand and own what they believe. Our decision to send this to Atlanta’s LGBTQ Media was not an attempt to get them to accept our print project. To be clear, it was to have an opportunity to notify the community of a business that selectively discriminates against us. In our eyes, any level of discrimination is unacceptable.
Chief Financial Officer & Publisher
Top photo: Media Graphix’s offices (via mediagraphix.com)