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
Local

Police look for man suspected of threatening Muslim…

Police seek man suspected of calling a teen Muslim girl a "terrorist" and spitting on her multiple times while on a Queens bus.

National

Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas concert, condition unknown,…

Singer Miley Cyrus was hospitalized on Tuesday night after suffering what is believed to be 'a severe allergic reaction' to antibiotics medication. The 21-year-old Bangerz…

News

Explosions in new Boston Marathon bomb panic, 'twisted'…

A fresh Boston Marathon terror alert, which caused Bomb Squad officers to order an evacuation while two controlled explosions were carried out, was today being…

National

Reddit boosts news capabilities in social media turf…

By Jennifer SabaNEW YORK (Reuters) - Reddit, a website with a retro-'90s look and space-alien mascot that tracks everything from online news to celebrity Q&As,…

Entertainment

Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas concert, condition unknown,…

Singer Miley Cyrus was hospitalized on Tuesday night after suffering what is believed to be 'a severe allergic reaction' to antibiotics medication. The 21-year-old Bangerz…

Television

'Orphan Black's' Jordan Gavaris talks Felix's Season 2…

Jordan Gavaris plays heroically helpful foster sibling Felix to main clone Sarah on "Orphan Black." We talked to him about what’s ahead for him in…

Going Out

Accomplice Tour: New York (Spoiler Alert)

When I signed up for the Accomplice show tour, I had no idea what I was in for. But every grimy job comes with a great reward.

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, April 15: 'New Girl,'…

'New Girl' Nick and Jess are hiding their breakup from the other loft residents. And Winston passes the police academy exam! That guy needed some…

NBA

Nets miss chance to clinch No. 5 seed…

Nets head coach Jason Kidd expressed little concern after a 109-98 loss to the Knicks, but others seemed to disagree.

NFL

Jets confident despite Chris Johnson leaving with no…

Jets fans clamored for a playmaker on offense all offseason. It looked like they were going to land that player on Tuesday when Chris Johnson…

NBA

Knicks, Nets rivalry never materialized despite national attention

When the NBA schedule was released, the league anticipated an intense rivalry between the Nets and Knicks with all four games slated for national TV.

NBA

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could…

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could the Mavericks surprise?

Home

Steal home decorating tips from Nattystyle blogger Natalie…

Despite the towering ceilings and enviable exposed brick, it’s easy to see how Natalie Decleve’s apartment could be considered a challenge. Perched above the streets…

Home

How to plant a garden in the city

Small on space but big on gardening? You can still have that welcoming oasis of fresh air with an urban garden. Peter Smith, owner of…

Style

Personalize your massage at a private practice

CityTouch customizes spa treatments to meet client's needs.

Style

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show moving to England

It will still broadcast on CBS this fall.