“Last month, Maria Goldstein, a Roman Catholic, asked employees at an Office Depot location in Schaumburg, Ill., to make 500 copies of ‘A Prayer for Planned Parenthood.’ . . . Company spokeswoman Karen Denning told the Chicago Tribune that Office Depot prohibits the copying of material that advocates ‘the persecution of certain groups of people,’ among other criteria. She says the flier ‘contained material that advocates the persecution of people who support abortion rights.’ But Goldstein says the handout (PDF) was part of a weeklong prayer and fasting campaign that aims to change opinions on abortion.”
The company has issued a formal apology.
Office Depot chairman and CEO Roland Smith said, “We sincerely apologize to Ms. Goldstein for her experience and our initial reaction was not at all related to her religious beliefs. We invite her to return to Office Depot if she still wishes to print the flier.”
It doesn’t matter what reason Office Depot gave for not printing the flier. It’s their business, and they should be able to accept or reject whatever business they want for any reason they want, especially when it comes to a dispute over content, even when the content is misconstrued.
Of course, refusing to print the flier was bad for business once the story got out.
Goldstein was able to get the flier printed elsewhere. No lawyers. No government. No judges. No fines. It’s called liberty. It’s too bad the Thomas More Society threatened legal action.
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