Printer rejects lesbian T-shirt business

By John Wright Staff Writer

Owners of Bitch Pride Tees say Dallas Screen Printing owner cited religious objections to art content

Rebecca Saunders and Nicole Cordeiro were all set for the Dallas Lesbian Pride Festival at Sue Ellens on Sunday, July 1.

Saunders and Cordeiro, friends who co-own the year-old T-shirt company Bitch Pride Tees, had their booth reserved and their printing order in.

But then they got some disturbing news.

When they called Dallas Screen Printing to check on the order Tuesday, June 26, they were told the company would not be filling it because lesbian-themed messages on the shirts ran counter to the owner’s religious beliefs.

“They didn’t even call us to tell us they weren’t doing it,” Saunders said. “If we wouldn’t have been able to find someone else, we would have been so screwed.”

Fortunately Saunders and Cordeiro were able to find another printer. And Saunders said they even ended up saving a little money on the 100-shirt, several-hundred-dollar order.

But she felt compelled to contact the Voice about Dallas Screen Printing’s discriminatory business practices. She said the shirts contain humorous messages like “Hold my drink while I kiss your girlfriend” and “Everything I know about sex I learned from lesbians.”

“It wasn’t anything lewd, and there were no expletives,” Saunders said. “They were just all lesbian-themed shirts. It was just crazy to me.”

Lisa Rodrigues, an employee who answered the phone at Dallas Screen Printing, insisted she tried to contact Saunders and Cordeiro as soon as possible to inform them of the situation. Rodrigues also referred Saunders and Cordeiro to the other printer.

“She’s getting her shirts, so I don’t understand what her problem is,” Rodruigues said. “I felt bad for her, and I didn’t want to leave her high and dry.”

Rodrigues identified the owner of Dallas Screen Printing only as Cheri. According to the company’s Web site, one of its co-founders is Cheri Blair.

“She just didn’t feel comfortable printing it,” Rodrigues said of the owner. “It’s a Christian-based company.”
E-mail wright@dallasvoice.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, June 29, 2007.

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