2012 Election | Colorado | Gay Marriage

No Apologies From Political Group Who Pilfered Gay Couple's Wedding Pic For Attack Ad

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On Thursday, Andrew reported on the hideous repurposing of a gay couple's wedding photo for use in a political attack ad in Colorado. The ad was created by a third-party group supporting Republican Rep. Randy Baumgardner, who's looking to unseat Republican Sen. Jean White, of Hayden. Rep. Baumgardner accuses Sen. White of "joining Denver liberals attacking traditional marriage" by twice voting for a civil unions bill. (Sen. White has a gay niece and nephew.)

20120606__white2~p1The couple pictured in the ad have nothing to do with the political campaign. In his previous report, Andrew quoted one of the men, Brian Edwards, who wrote movingly of the photo-pilfering on his blog:

I want to share what this picture means to me. 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 group responsible for the ad is called the Public Advocate for the United States, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled a "hate group." They've caught wind of the controversy generated by their ad, and they've issued a statement. From the Denver Post:

Eugene Delgaudio, the president of Public Advocate, was asked via e-mail why his group used that picture and whether there were concerns about copyright infringement.

He responded: “We are a non-profit and make no money from any photos, postings, references, parodies, street theater or educational materials. Other groups make fair use of our materials or 2000 photos from our website under these broad principles of political education and we acknowledge a limited use of many of our own materials, by other groups, under parody, some fairly strong critical attacks from our political opposition on our efforts as part of a robust debate.”

No apologies, then. Presumably, it wouldn't strike Delguadio as particularly unethical for a rival political group to use pictures of his own family in an attack ad -- especially since he, unlike the couple whose picture he pilferred, is a public combatant in the political arena. Or maybe he has a different standard for straight folks. 

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Comments

  1. Instead of focusing on the knuckle-dragging homophobe, my goes out to Sen. White. She's a Republican trying to do the right thing here.

    Posted by: vraxvalhalla | Jul 1, 2012 1:15:40 AM


  2. *support

    Posted by: vraxvalhalla | Jul 1, 2012 1:16:14 AM


  3. That's not a correct use of the word 'pilfer', which usually refers to stealing small bits of something over a period of time.

    Posted by: tim | Jul 1, 2012 1:41:45 AM


  4. if I lived in Colorado I vote for jean white

    Posted by: Richard Golden | Jul 1, 2012 6:46:20 AM


  5. I'd like to defend Ken here. I don't think he's a troll. He's posted many times on Towleroad and he seems sincere to me. It is true that there are still millions of people who are repelled by any photo of same-sex affection. But it's also true that the more people see these photos the more their opinions change over time. So a wedding photo of two gay men kissing innocently is just what they SHOULD see to get accustomed to the idea that marriage equality is a change they can live with.

    DelGaudio and those like him can always show the flamobyant types that march in gay pride parades and this will repel more Americans, but it is increasingly starting to strike ordinary citizens as dirty tactics to portray gays as ostentatious "freaks". Increasingly the anti-gay side is boxed in, unable to portray gays as eccentric and threatening and only furthering the pro-gay cause by showing gays as mainstream and wanting to commit.

    So Ernie I'm with you on this one - and this may be the first time we've agreed on anything! I know from personal experience. I gave up my opposition to marriage equality when I started to view gay couples as beautiful. How could I convince other that they looked "unnatural" when I couldn't even convince myself anymore?

    Posted by: Mary | Jul 1, 2012 9:02:47 AM


  6. I am on Delgaudio's mailing list for Public Advocate of the United States. I believe it is important to know what one's enemies are up to.

    PAUS is a very small group and I will sarcastically claim that it consists of Delgaudio alone. PAUS' IRS statements show that it is mostly a bare-bones operation. PAUS is constantly soliciting donations (of which I give none).

    PAUS is exclusively focused on denying LGBTQ people equal rights. Every email concerns same-sex marriage (or, "gay marriage"--god I hate that term!) or that equality for LGBTQ people will mean rampant child molestation and sexual indoctrination in public schools that favor the "homosexual lifestyle".

    Based on the content of PAUS' emails, the SPLC is correct to designate PAUS as a hate-group. Much of what PAUS states in its emails and its public statements stop just this short of advocating violence against LGBTQ people.

    I reiterate a point I made the other day about this ad:

    The couple in the picture have legal grounds to sue PAUS and I mean sue them into bankrupt oblivion. If the couple does not hire an attorney and do so, or if no LGBTQ legal advocacy group does not step up and do so, then a pox on all of their houses.

    Having said that, I think there is a great irony in PAUS' use of the couple's wedding photo as a clarion call against legalising "same-sex" marriage.

    The irony is that PAUS could have used any available photo from the various Pride Parades of last weekend and garnered any number of photos of men in assless leather chaps or drag queens or kissing bull-dykes to make its point.

    Instead, it chose an innocuous picture of two very loving men, kissing chastely in a photo-shopped scene of a beautiful, pristine, pure-as-snow backdrop.

    I believe that more people will look at that ad and have their anti-marriage equality, anti-LGBTQ attitudes changed to acceptance more than those who might have their bigotry confirmed.

    If this lovely photo of sweet, charming couple engaging in a sweet, gentle, non-sexual kiss can't change attitudes then nothing can.

    And I still think the couple should sue PAUS into oblivion.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Jul 1, 2012 12:36:02 PM


  7. UTOGO: Bigotry originated in the 1960's. Queers have stolen it for their "struggle." My comment is not backward. The world is not an episode of "Glee" and I hope just because you sound like such an assh---that you won't have to find that out. FYI: Troll means noting to me. That's your world.

    Posted by: Todd | Jul 1, 2012 2:42:23 PM


  8. Sue their asses off. Even if the couple doesn't win a lawsuit, it'll make those bigots think twice next time.

    Posted by: Derek Pearce | Jul 1, 2012 4:42:44 PM


  9. Nice try Eugene. Someone's wedding photo does not fall under "fair use" and cannot be appropriated for political advertising without consent. Your "non-profit" (he pays himself a nice 6 figure salary) status is completely irrelevant.

    Posted by: Leo | Jul 1, 2012 6:13:24 PM


  10. Uhm "Ken" you were just CAUGHT red handed in your trolling. Responding to a post with Todd when you meant to with Ken. Hahahah what a foolish thug. Back to the hood you go bozo.

    Posted by: USC Trojan Fan | Jul 2, 2012 6:03:20 AM


  11. Ken/Todd.... Now that you've been outted, it will be easy to assume every anti gay comments posted here (by someone posing as a gay person) is in all likelihood coming from one of your screenames. You really suck at trolling.

    Posted by: Jacob | Jul 2, 2012 6:05:37 AM


  12. Can't someone who works for a non profit for perhaps, STDs, just follow the organizers around and take and or use some of their photos for a campaign of their own say against anal warts.

    Posted by: Miffed | Jul 2, 2012 11:46:49 AM


  13. An offer of apology is not really needed; an attractive settlement offer is. And throw in a mailing to everyone who received that ad stating that the couple had their wedding picture used without their consent.

    Posted by: Bill | Jul 2, 2012 3:05:06 PM


  14. What PERVERTED CRAP, NONSENSE AND LIES YOU PROPAGATE!

    Why don't you tell the world the secret signs sexual perverts use to avoid arrest in public to signal other perverts so they can have anonymous sex in those same public places.

    While you're at it, include testimonies of the perverts who have reported with joy, the molestation and seduction of children in those same sort of encounters.

    Yeah, right. Honesty IS NOT your policy, especially revealing to the country your agenda to legalize sex with children.

    Posted by: Back tothe Closet | Jul 12, 2012 11:06:26 PM


  15. What PERVERTED CRAP, NONSENSE AND LIES YOU PROPAGATE!

    Why don't you tell the world the secret signs sexual perverts use to avoid arrest in public to signal other perverts so they can have anonymous sex in those same public places.

    While you're at it, include testimonies of the perverts who have reported with joy, the molestation and seduction of children in those same sort of encounters.

    Yeah, right. Honesty IS NOT your policy, especially revealing to the country your agenda to legalize sex with children.

    Posted by: Back tothe Closet | Jul 12, 2012 11:06:29 PM


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