Silence on same-sex marriage stance results in forced closure of magazine

A controversial stance on same-sex marriage has led to the forced closure of Australian bridal magazine, White. While not everyone in Australia’s agrees with same-sex marriage, and the national postal survey revealed that just over 62% of the nation was in favour, businesses in the wedding industry with a stance that is either negative, or one which they remain silent on, risk adverse reactions from those they interact with.

And such was the outcome for the bridal publication which was started 12 years ago. Contributors to the magazine revealed that it refused to feature same-sex weddings, and that they were ignored after submitting same-sex content. The magazine’s silence, and refusal to openly state their position, added further fuel to the fire, and when advertisers withdrew their support, the future of White was effectively doomed. The issue was first raised in late August when text message correspondence with the editor revealed that publication would not be including gay weddings.

Sydney wedding photographer, Lara Hotz, herself in a same-sex marriage, and a long-time supporter of the publication, whose images have featured on the cover, reached out to White, on two occasions months apart, to ask if they would feature non-heterosexual couples. Hotz said that she felt discriminated against and undervalued.

For our feature on Wedding & Portrait photography in The Annual 2018, Capture reached out to the publication to get clarification on their position, but received no response.

In a recent article appearing on the SMH site, Hotz stated that she wanted the magazine to be open about its position so people knew before buying it or advertising. Another advertiser, photographer, Ona Janzen, told AAP it didn't feel right that a same-sex couple could subscribe to White without knowing its stance. The publishers stated that some people had "demanded that we pick a side" instead of "allowing us the space to work through our thoughts and feelings" or being willing to engage in "brave conversations".

A farewell post on Saturday on the magazine’s blog stated that while it was a secular publication, its publishers were Christians who had "no agenda but to love". The publishers went on to say that they'd recently experienced "a flood of judgement" and lost a number of advertisers. "We have had to recognise the reality that White Magazine is no longer economically viable," the publishers said.

Read the full statement on White’s blog, and check out the video posted by the founders of the publication.


The March/April 2015 cover of Capture magazine. Image by Frank Farrugia.
The March/April 2015 cover of Capture magazine. Image by Frank Farrugia.

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