Gay Couple’s Wedding Photo Used in Anti-LGBT Campaign

Imagine that your wedding photo, which you shared with family and friends on the internet, was secretly used to fuel a political battle that you were unaware of. That’s exactly what happened to New Jersey couple Brian Edwards and Tom Privitere.

The two men were married in 2010 and shared a touching picture of their wedding kiss for friends and family on the internet. Months and months later, a friend discovered that the wedding photo was used on an anti-gay political mailer being sent out during the election season.

The mailer includes a photo of the couple kissing in front of a snowy background. The words “State Senator Jean White’s Idea of ‘Family Values?’” are plastered over their intimate, sweet, personal moment. The language and the image was part of a campaign engineered by a group called Public Advocate of the United States. They launched a campaign against Senator Jean White, a republican who favored civil union rights, Good Morning America reports.

Sen. White did lose the campaign, but Edwards and Privitere lost their privacy in this incident. Privitere’s reaction to the disturbing use of their wedding photograph sums up the feelings of the couple:

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.

The couple and the photographer who took the picture are planning to pursue a lawsuit against Public Advocate. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SLPC) plans to help the couple get answers and pursue a possible legal case against the organization, which opposes any LGBT rights in the United States. Both Edwards and Privitere hope this incident will help spread awareness and support to others who are facing such discrimination.

SLPC has not included Public Advocate on any official hate group listings at this moment, yet some of the statements that the organization’s Eugene Delgaudio makes seem pretty outright hateful. Recently, Delgaudio petitioned against what Public Advocate called the “Homosexual Classroom Act.” In his speech, he stated that the bill, “contains words that will eventually require schools to teach homosexual acts and spin impressionable students away from normal lifestyles.” His statement sets “normalcy” as oppositional to LGBT relationships.

Delgaudio has also denied any knowledge of this propaganda or the use of the couple’s photo. As SLPC awaits a response from Public Advocate regarding the possibility of a new legal challenge, the president, as quoted by Yahoo! News, stated: “I am searching whether or not we have the photo…I have not commented on this ever and I have no statements on it… Someone could do this without my permission — but I am working on it.”

With hundreds of these mailers having already reached a number of homes in the United States, it is clear that Public Advocate obtained and used the photo for their own gains without notifying the owners. The saddest twist in the whole story is that a day that was meant to be a happy memory has been used by anti-LGBT organizers to criminalize loving relationships and basic civil rights.

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Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons


Neal Gay
Neal Gay4 years ago

The religious losers of this world need to look up the definition of the word abomination for starters. As far as stealing someones photo SUE THEM !!! Take everything they have and leave them penniless !

Jennie Perez
Jennie Perez4 years ago

This may be the hottest news about gay these days. I see there are many gay talking about this at the blog / form area of PozKiss, a community for gays positive for HIV or Herpes.

Lynda Duke
Lynda Duke4 years ago

Freedom Of Religion should also include Freedom From Religious Persecution!

Danielle K.
Danielle K.4 years ago

Only a truly heartless wretch would be disgusted by an image of a married couple kissing--no matter what sex the members were--and only a vicious scumbag would use it as a campaign point.

And like so many others, I really, really love the shirt of the person on the left.

Robert Ludwig
Robert Ludwig4 years ago

Take them to the cleaners - right down to their last penny.

Dan(iel) M.
Dan(iel) M.4 years ago

Good for Brian and Tom. I truely hope that they are successful in any legal actions they take .

JT Smith4 years ago

Even taking that knowledge into account, it still fails to address another simple fact: America was NEVER founded on the Christian religion. While the majority of the founding fathers were Christian, they wanted to make certain that the country they were creating was not a carbon copy of the one they were breaking away from (otherwise, there would be absolutely no point in breaking away in the first place). One of the contensions of the time was in fact the freedom of religion. Which is why the American Constitution even states: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." Since their is no state established religion, Christians do NOT legally get to force their religious beliefs on others and on how others live their lives. And as an ordained minister of the Christian faith, I wouldn't have it any other way.

JT Smith4 years ago

(...continued) The Bible has since been translated numerous times before ever having been translated to English. What’s more, even when a modern translator is fluent in both Hebrew and English, or 0003 AD Greek and English, they’re still having to go with the closest translations. And the end reader would still be unaware of the culture that originally bred the original texts, and without that understanding, a LOT of information is simply lost in translation.

JT Smith4 years ago

(...continued) the flavour of that original language. Even when you try to be as specific as possible without using any idioms, you will still lose things in translation because different cultures react to the same things differently. I can give two good examples of this between English and German. In English is the expression "Catch-22" which we know is a shorthand for "buggered if you do and buggered if you don't." 99% of people, when translating to/from a foreign language, translate literally for the simple reason that it's easier. Even if you translate the term "catch 22" directly into German, unless the German you're communicating with is really familiar with American culture, and or the book/movie titled "Catch 22", they're not going to know what you're talking about, even if they get the general concept once it's fully spelled out to them. From German to English: Fensterkruetz literally translates to "window cross" in English. Most English speakers unfamiliar with German would probably think of something along the lines of a Christian-style cross in a window. And they would be mistaken. It literally refers to the cross of a vertical piece of wood with a horizontal piece in a multi-pane window. Think of an older style window with two sashes, and upper and a lower, and each of those sashes has four pieces of glass with wood in a + pattern between them. THAT is a fensterkreutz. The Bible has since been translated numerous times before ever having been translat

JT Smith4 years ago

Third, the Bible was NOT written in English. And this has some rather serious ramifications. The early books of the Old Testament were written in Aramaic (ancient Hebrew). Which worked because the people originally reading this actually SPOKE Aramaic. The later books of the Old Testament were written in a more modern Hebrew. This still worked because, rather how modern English speakers can still read and basically understand Shakespearean English, the people originally reading this were still Hebrew and knew the language fluently. The New Testament is where we start running into problems. The main writers were still Hebrew. Jesus was a Jewish Rabbi, so Hebrew was still the first language. The trade language of the Mediterranean at the time of Jesus was NOT Hebrew, it was Greek. The reason this is important is two-fold. First off, the books of the New Testament are really more letters to others which were deemed Important. And those others were not native Hebrew speakers, but spoke their own languages. Greek was used as a trade language to get around this particular problem (Esperanto, which still has never really taken off, wasn't invented yet and wouldn't be for nearly two millennium). The second reason this is important is because, as anyone who's studied foreign languages knows, NO two different languages EVER translate cleanly (I'm referring to languages, not dialects). Whenever you translate from one language to another, you lose the history, the flavour o