A photo from a New Jersey gay couple's engagement party has landed an anti-gay organization in hot water after it used the photo without permission in an attack ad against a pro-civil union Republican in Colorado.
The couple, Brian Edwards and Tom Privitere, were reportedly horrified to see their celebratory photo, a snappy shot of them kissing with the New York City skyline in the background, show up in a campaign mailer sponsored by a group called Public Advocate of the United States against Colorado state Sen. Jean White, who supports same-sex civil unions, according to ABC.
Our initial reaction was complete shock, Privitere, 37, told ABC. We were heartbroken to see that our picture that was taken to represent love and family, and our values, and to share with other LGBT couples, was used for complete opposite purposes to induce fear and spread hate and bigotry.
The revised photo set their smooch in front of a snowy, mountain setting evoking Colorado setting with the tag line State Sen. Jean White's Idea Of 'Family Values?'
Edwards and Privetere, along with photographer Kristina Hill are working with the Southern Poverty Law Center to explore possible legal action against Public Advocate and its president, Eugene Delgaudio.
The Falls Church, Va.-based organization is on the Southern Poverty Law Center's 2011 hate group list.
Delgaudio told ABC he is looking into the matter, and said he has not received any communication from SPLC.
This may be the first objection in 30 years, Delgaudio said. Frankly, we are not distributing this photo and I'd be hard pressed to find anything today. Mostly, this an attack on me from previous statements I've made.