The Christian owners of a wedding magazine in Australia have made the decision to close it down after facing backlash for refusing to feature same-sex couples.
Luke and Carla Burrell, publishers of White magazine, said they had experienced a 'a flood of judgement' over their views on same-sex marriage, which became legal in Australia last year.
'White Magazine has always been a secular publication, but as its publishers, we are Christian,' they wrote in their 'farewell' statement.
'We have no agenda but to love. We have no desire to create a social, political or legal war, which only divides people further and does more damage than good. To us, our faith is anchored in love without judgement. Recently we've experienced a flood of judgement.'
The couple claimed they were the victims of a targeted campaign by people who objected to their view and said advertisers had abandoned them to the point where the magazine was no longer economically viable.
They said couples who had featured in the magazine had been the subject of online abuse.
The Burrells were also critical of the lack of freedom of belief around the issue of same-sex marriage and said there should be space to ask questions.
'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,' they said.
The publication faced criticism earlier this year when a former contributor said they were not accepting photo shoots of gay weddings.
Photographer Lara Hotz, who is in a same-sex marriage, accused the magazine of working with members of the LGBT community while refusing to represent them, something she said she was 'extremely hurt' by.
'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,' she said.
The Burrells went on in their statement to say that it was clear to them they would not be able to operate the magazine in the way they wanted to.
They concluded with a plea to society to allow different views.
'We hope that one day soon our society can learn to accept people's differences and different points of view and love each other no matter what. That's where real positive change begins,' they said.
Courtesy of Christian Today