Gay Couple's Wedding Photo Turned Into Attack Ad

By Lucas Grindley

Originally published on Advocate.com June 29 2012 11:27 AM ET

A married gay couple are outraged after an antigay "hate group" stole one of their wedding photos and used it in a political attack ad.

Brian Edwards heard about the ad from a friend who sent an iPhone picture after recognizing him and husband Tom Privitere.

"I’m in shock and I’m angry and I’m hurt and I’m flabbergasted and I’m livid," Edwards wrote on his blog, The Gay Wedding Experience.

The Public Advocate of the United States, which is classified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an antigay "hate group," had taken the photo right off the website, cut out the New York couple and pasted them in a Colorado setting, then slapped on it the question: "State Senator Jean White's Idea of 'Family Values?'"

It was then mailed to thousands of people, according to a report in The Denver Post, as an attack on the state senator seeking reelection. White has twice voted in favor of Colorado's failed effort to pass a civil unions law there.

"I want to share what this picture means to me," Edwards wrote in reaction. "It represents my first home away from home, my beloved NYC, which at the time this image was taken (2 years ago) did not allow same sex couples to marry. It represents my longterm relationship with my best friend, my partner, and now husband — the love we share and obstacles we have overcome. It is a reminder of the happiness I felt the day he proposed to me and of the excitement I had all throughout our engagement. It represents hope and it represents love. Or at least it did."

The Post reports that the Public Advocate refuses to apologize and claims that even though the photo is copyright-protected, it can do with it as it pleases — since others have supposedly done the same with its copyrighted images.

“Other groups make fair use of our materials or 2,000 photos from our website under these broad principles of political education," the group's president, Eugene Delgaudio, told the Post.