Couple fights back after wedding photo used in anti-gay marriage ad

The altered image as seen in the attack ad.

A gay northern New Jersey couple said they are considering legal action if a conservative think tank doesn’t stop using their wedding photo as part of an attack ad campaign in a Colorado state legislative race.
 
Brian Edwards, a university administrator from Montclair, N.J., received an email from a friend on June 27 with a link to a political advertisement that pictured Edwards and his then-fiancé, Tom Privitere, kissing on the Brooklyn waterfront. In the background, the East River can be seen, as well as the scenic Brooklyn Bridge and Lower Manhattan skyline.

The photo that Edwards saw, however, was radically altered: Instead of the city skyline, the backdrop showed a snowy forest scene and read, “State Senator Jean White’s Idea of ‘Family Values?’”
 
After a bit of digging, Edwards discovered that a Washington, D.C.-based conservative group called Public Advocate created the mailers, he told Metro.

On its website, Public Advocate lists its opposition to “same sex marriage and the furtherance of so-called ‘Gay Rights.’”

Sen. Jean White is running as the incumbent in a Republican primary for a state Senate seat in northwest Colorado. White voted last year and again in 2012 in support of a state bill that allows same-sex civil unions.

Except the New Jersey couple had never even heard of that particular Senate race, much less authorized their image to be used in attack ads.
 
“I was shocked,” Edwards said. “I rushed home and quickly Googled ‘Jean White attack ad.’”

He said the couple did post the image to their own personal wedding blog, The Gay Wedding Experience. But it was never meant to be altered, especially for an anti-gay marriage campaign.
 
“The original image was taken to convey love and family but was used for the complete opposite effect,” Privitere told Metro. “It was used for a cause we fight vehemently against every day; we were hit below the belt.”

The photographer who snapped the original photo, Kristina Hill, also never gave permission for the image to be altered or used.
 
The couple contacted the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has reportedly listed the Public Advocate as a hate group. The Southern Poverty Law Center issued a cease-and-desist letter to Public Advocate on July 11.
 
The couple is still waiting on a response to the letter from Eugene Delgaudio, the president of Public Advocate. Delgaudio also never responded when Metro questioned him repeatedly about the mailer.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Sierra Leone Ebola patient, recovered from family, dies…

An Ebola patient whose family sparked a nationwide hunt when they forcefully removed her from a treatment center and took her to a traditional healer has died.

Local

VIDEO: Cop reassigned as NYPD investigates alleged head…

An officer alleged to have stomped on a Brooklyn man's head last week had his gun taken away and placed on modified duty.

National

New York Times calls for legalization of pot

The New York Times editorial board on Saturday endorsed a repeal of the federal ban on marijuana, becoming the largest paper in the nation to back the idea.

National

Two injured after cable snaps on Ohio amusement…

(Reuters) - A cable on a large swing ride at an Ohio amusement park snapped and struck two riders as the swing was in motion,…

Music

Newport Folk Festival: Photo gallery of 35 moments…

As has been the tradition since Bob Dylan plugged in a bajillion years ago, the Newport Folk Festival embraces more musical genres than its name implies.

Music

MKTO: Behind the bromance

MKTO's Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller talk about the American Dream tour, Demi Lovato and getting turned down by girls.

Arts

James Earl Jones and Rose Byrne head to…

Two-time Tony winner James Earl Jones returns to the New York stage next month as an eccentric grandfather in a revival of the 1930s comedy…

Movies

Box office: Scarlett Johansson wins battle of brains…

Scarlett Johansson's "Lucy" handily dispatched with Dwayne Johnson's "Hercules" over the weekend.

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

MLB

Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Auto racing

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Wellbeing

This Week In Health: Friends share similar DNA,…

Friends share similar DNA, study finds Location: U.S. Study subjects: Nearly 2,000 people Results: When it comes to our social networks, it seems that birds of…

Education

Are liberal arts colleges turning away from the…

Bryn Mawr College, a small women's college located just outside of Philadelphia, announced last week that it would be making standardized tests like the SAT…

Education

Recent grads discover school superintendent plagiarized parts of…

  Two recent high school graduates made a surprising discovery about the commencement speech their school superintendent delivered at their graduation: portions of it was copied…

Career

Feeling stuck? Get out of the entry-level job…

Television and movies may be littered with 20-something characters who seem directionless when it comes to their careers, but author Mary Traina says she finds…