Gay Couple Threatens Lawsuit After Conservative Organization Uses Their Picture in Anti-Gay Mailer

| by Michael Allen

A conservative anti-gay political organization, Public Advocate of the United States, photoshopped a picture of a gay married couple, Brian Edwards and Tom Privitere, kissing at an engagement party, and used it in a direct mail campaign against Republican State Sen. Jean White, who supports civil unions.

The text with the doctored picture, which was changed from a New York City background to Colorado, read: "State Sen. Jean White's Idea of 'Family Values?'"

Now, Edwards, Privitere and photographer Kristina Hill are threatening a lawsuit [with the help of the Southern Poverty Law Center] against Public Advocate of the United States and its president, Eugene Delgaudio, if they do not stop using the doctored photo.

Privitere told ABC News: "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."

Edwards added: "We want to use this as an opportunity to educate people and show them that a gay couple can and do have loving relationships."

Delgaudio responded: "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. "