The LGBT Community Fund of the Chicago Community Trust held a reception Thursday Jan. 24 to launch its Fund II initiative and share the fund's past accomplishments via a 12-page brochure.
The brochure was designed and produced by The Kineo Group Principal and Creative Director Deborah Schneider. Schneider told Windy City Times that she engaged Yorke Printe Shoppe in Lombard, a longtime vendor of The Kineo Group, to do the job. According to Schneider, they agreed to do the work but upon receipt of the copy, Yorke Print Shoppe owner Brad Scull contacted her and cited his refusal to print the brochure due to his religious beliefs.
Schneider explained that Scull facilitated the production of the job with an alternate printerQuantum in Morton Grove.
"We were immensely proud to be chosen by The LGBT Community Fund to design and produce their fundraising brochure," said Schneider. "We believe in its mission and are proud to support it. We never would knowingly send work to a vendor who might discriminate against our client or any group. I was shocked by Brad's response. He has been a resource for many years but his action in this matter marks the end of that relationship for us at The Kineo Group.
"This is a timely and critical reminder of what people today face in our world. Because some are able to navigate their lives and careers without encountering discrimination does not mean it does not existtoo often with profound effects for many. This underscores the importance of the LGBT Community Fund's mission and why its work is so critical in today's world."
"In light of Yorke's decision to refuse the LGBT Community Fund's printing job, we feel we have no other recourse than to file a complaint with the Illinois Human Rights Department," said The LGBT Community Fund Co-Chair Denise Foy. "We believe Mr. Scull and Yorke have violated Article 5 of the Illinois Human Rights Act. While Mr. Scull notes he 'has gay and lesbian friends and business associates' he also said he has 'an issue when stuff gets into the promotion of a lifestyle.'
"When does the discrimination end? When do the judgments end? Why do we, the LGBT community, and various other marginalized communities, have to endure this type of treatment, day in and day out? The only way to remedy this is for a federal law to be enacted, like the federal hate crimes act that covers LGBT people, to set things in motion for a better day in our where everyone is treated equally under the law in all aspects of life."
According to the Illinois Human Rights Act, a company with more than 15 employees cannot discriminated against anyone based on their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. It is not clear if Yorke is covered by this act.
Windy City Times reached out to Scull for comment; however, he has not yet responded.