A New Jersey gay couple is suing a
group which used their engagement photo in a political attack mailer.
Brian Edwards and Tom Privitere are
seen holding hands and sharing a kiss in the photo.
The Virginia-based Public Advocate of
the United States used the photo in a mailer to attack Colorado state
Senator Jean White, one of a handful of Republicans who supported
civil unions this year. The group replaced photo's Manhattan skyline
backdrop with a snowy background to represent Colorado and added the
caption: “State Senator Jean White's idea of 'Family Values?'”
White told DCist
that she believes the mailers were “solely responsible for my
defeat” in the June GOP primary.
Public Advocate is headed Eugene
Delgaudio, a member of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors.
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC),
which is representing the couple, issued Public Advocate a
cease-and-desist letter in July and now plans to file a lawsuit in
U.S District Court for Colorado.
“Public Advocate, a group identified
as a hate group by the SPLC, used the couple's personal engagement
photo without permission and altered the image to include anti-gay
propaganda to attack Colorado state lawmakers including Sen. Jean
White, who supported Colorado's civil union legislation,” the SPLC
said in a statement.