Gay couple’s picture misused
A photo of Brian Edwards and Tom Privitere kissing was misused by an anti-gay campaign in California.
The photo, which was taken at their wedding, was photoshopped and used as part of an attack ad against Colorado State Senate Jean White, who supports same-sex marriages.
The Southern Poverty Law Center demanded Wednesday that a conservative nonprofit organization led by Loudoun County Supervisor Eugene A. Delgaudio (R-Sterling) immediately stop using a same-sex couple’s private engagement photo as part of anti-gay campaign literature.
Delgaudio’s group, Public Advocate of the United States, is listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a “hate group.”
“Our initial reaction was complete shock. 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,” said Tom Privitere.
The couple continues to say that it is not about whether or not the photo was used in a hate campaign or not, it is about the principle of using their photo without permission.
It is customary to get a persons permission to use their likeness or photos, if they are not a public figure and the photos or likeness is not part of the public domain.
The couple could have a case, if they are able to show that this was done with some malicious intent.
“This photo represented our love and commitment and the many challenges we have overcome in order to share our lives together,” Edwards said. “When I first saw how our photo had been publicly destroyed and used against gay and lesbian families, I was shocked, heartbroken, and livid. I don’t want this to happen to another gay or lesbian couple.”
“When I took this photo, I was capturing the love that Brian and Tom share,” Hill said. “When I saw how my image was used, I was sad for Brian and Tom. I was angry that someone would take my work, distort it and use it to reflect the opposite of what it was meant to express.”
“Delgaudio’s use of Brian and Tom’s personal photo is morally reprehensible,” said Christine P. Sun, deputy legal director for SPLC. “For years, Delgaudio and Public Advocate have led a crusade against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. This latest attack … should serve as a warning that your personal photos are not safe from anyone willing to stoop to the vilest level of harassment.”