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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, September 28, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 39
Hijacked by homophobes
Section One
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Hijacked by homophobes

Couple says anti-Gay group used their image in political campaign

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

A New Jersey couple is suing a group that used their engagement photo in two anti-Gay campaign fliers in Colorado.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has announced it will file suit against the Virginia-based Public Advocates of the United States, on behalf of Brian Edwards and Tom Privitere. The firm is accused of altering the couple's engagement photo to attack two pro-Gay Republican candidates, Jean White and Jeffrey Hare, during Colorado's primary election campaign. White, a state senator, had voted for a bill in support of civil unions, and Hare was running for an open state House seat in Weld County.

Originally pictured kissing before the Manhattan skyline, one ad placed Edwards and Privetere against a snowy backdrop with the words, 'State Senator Jean White's Idea of 'Family Values?' The other version featured clouds and posed the question, 'Jeffrey Hare's Vision for Weld County?'

Both pro-Gay candidates lost their respective primary races.

According to news reports, when the ads initially appeared, The Denver Post asked Public Advocate's president, Eugene Delgaudio, why they used the photo and if they were worried about copyright infringement.

'We are a non-profit and make no money from any photos, postings, references, parodies, street theater, or educational materials,' Delgaudio responded via e-mail. 'Other groups make fair use of our materials or 2,000 photos from our website under these broad principles of political education and we acknowledge a limited use of many of our own materials, by other groups, under parody, some fairly strong critical attacks from our political opposition on our efforts as part of a robust debate.'

Edwards said on his blog, 'I can't help but feel the need to warn other LGBT couples that hey, even after you overcome your fears of coming out to your families and friends and coworkers; even after you graduate and leave that hellhole of a high school, where every single day you feared for your life; even after all the letters to your senators and the countless marches that eventually won you and your state the marriage equality you deserve; even after you find your soul mate, get engaged and then married & someone, a stranger, will seek out your image on the Internet, perhaps on a site like this one which was created to document our journey down the aisle with the hopes that our experiences would benefit other LGBT couples & steal it and use it in an attempt to destroy others who support you.'

The Southern Poverty Law Center earlier placed Public Advocate of the United States on its list of anti-Gay hate groups. Among the reasons it cited was a fundraising letter that asked the reader to 'imagine a world where the police allow homosexual adults to rape young boys in the streets.'

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