Hate Group Swipes NYC Couple’s Photo For Anti-Gay Ad In CO

Each week, Queerty picks one blowhard, hypocrite, airhead, sanctimonious prick or other enemy of all that is queer to be the Douche of the Week.

Have a nominee for DOTW? E-mail it to us at [email protected].

When models sign photo releases, they never know where their likenesses will end up. But Brian Edwards and Tom Privitere of New York never agreed to let anyone else use their wedding photo—certainly not the right-wing hate group The Public Advocate of the United States.

The Public Advocate, a DC-based organization classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, found a cute picture of the guys smooching on their big day on Edwards’ blog, the Gay Wedding Experience, and thought it’d be a great way to scare voters in Colorado against voting for State Sen. Jean White, who supports civil unions for gay couples.

They stole the photo—Phtoshopping the couple into a more alpine setting to boot—and sent it out to thousands as part of a mailer. Edwards and Privitere only found out through an old college friend who saw the repurposed image in an article on the election.

On his blog, Edwards spoke from the heart about how this misappropriation has disturbed the couple:

First off, 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 long-term 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…

Now I see it faded and brown with a big red, blood-emulating slash across our bodies.  It cuts us in half just below our hearts. How do I feel? I’m in shock and I’m angry and I’m hurt and I’m flabbergasted and I’m livid.

And, I can’t help but feel the need to warn other LGBT couples that hey, even after you overcome your fears of coming out to your families and friends and coworkers; even after you graduate and leave that hellhole of a high school, where every single day you feared for your life; even after all the letters to your senators and the countless marches that eventually won you and your state the marriage equality you deserve; even after you find your soul mate, get engaged and then married… someone, a stranger, will seek out your image on the internet, perhaps on a site like this one which was created to document our journey down the aisle with the hopes that our experiences would benefit other LGBT couples… steal it and use it in an attempt to destroy others who support you.

I tell you what – I never saw that coming, would you?

Don’t worry friends – this is not the end of this story.

According to the Denver Post, the Public Advocate doesn’t think it’s done anything wrong, even though the photo is copyrighted. Their basic argument is “everyone does it.”

Eugene Delgaudio, told the Post, “Other groups make fair use of our materials or [and the] 2,000 photos from our website under these broad principles of political education.”

All together now: What a douche!

And, hey, if you’re an attorney who specializes in copyright infringement, give the guys a hand in sticking to the Public Advocate.

Original Photo: Kristina Hill Photography

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  • Matt

    Copyrights are consistently upheld by the courts so this group has a huge lawsuit coming its way. I hope this couple bankrupt the bastards.

  • 1equalityUSA

    I hope this couple can buy a huge, beautiful, full-floor flat in their favorite part of NYC with the money they make from suing these F__ktards into the red. Go get ’em, boys!

  • Hephaestion

    Check out their wacko web site at and you’ll see that they gave Marcus Bachmann an award!!! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

  • Geoff B

    Marcus Bachmann got an award for something other than power-bottoming? I swear, you learn something new every day.

  • Aaron A.

    There is no “they” in Public Advocate. Public Advocate is run in its entirety by Eugene Delgaudio, a member of the Board of Supervisors of Loudoun County, VA. It truly appears that Public Advocate is nothing more than a cash cow for Delgaudio – he rakes in hundreds of thousands of dollars a year from little old ladies and right-wing wack jobs whom he terrifies with weekly emails about the “rabid homosexuals” who regularly “threaten [his] life and family.” This is completely typical behavior for him.

  • G

    I can’t wait to hear the follow-up story where the couple gets so much money out of their dumb asses.

  • joh

    Someone should add this bit of thievery to his wikipedia page.
    He appears to be another of those polititian/grifters.

  • shannon


  • B

    Queerty’s article stated, ‘Eugene Delgaudio, told the Post, “Other groups make fair use of our materials or [and the] 2,000 photos from our website under these broad principles of political education.”’

    It will be amusing to see what happens if they try to run that argument past a judge! If he thinks the “everyone does it” defense will work, try that with a speeding ticket.

    BTW, there was an incident in San Francisco several years ago where some porn-shop owner put an ad outside his store using a photoshopped image of a scantily clad guy lifted off of a European-based dating site, with photoshop used to add some dildos. Unfortunately for the store owner, the guy whose picture he used lived in San Francisco and saw it. He was a therapist or something and sued or threatened to sue due to the damage this picture would obviously do to his reputation – people would assume he was modeling for the porn shop. The porn shop owner whined about it, but he had no leg to stand on as he clearly violated copyright laws.

    I hope these two do the same thing – sue for damages. They are not even public figures.

  • 1equalityUSA

    NOM’s Robert P George is at it again, hiring a scholar, a term used with derision, named Regnerus to slap together a bogus study in time for the 2012 election that says gays are unfit for parenthood. The same underhanded methods were used to gather fraudulent data similar to attempts to drive a wedges between blacks and gays, then Jews and gays. University of Texas, Austin has rules against Academic fraud. Sign the petition to have University officials call for an investigation. Robert P. George is using researchers to bolster his homophobic agenda and will resort to giving grants amounting to $785,000.00 in order to get his ill-gotten data in time for the 2012 election. Romney signed the NOM pledge. These two are so gross.

  • brian

    as an alumnus of the university of texas system, o hells yeah there are very stringent rules about data that they take Very seriously. not to say $785k cant make them look hard at the twisting you can do in the statistics but it is peer reviewed and they know it and they take their accreditation very seriously which in part is impacted by their following of statistical ethics.

  • B

    Re No 11: I’m not impressed. BTW, when I tried to cross check this guy’s claim that Robert P. George personally(?) arranged for the funding, I ran across this article:

    It had a critique of the paper Regnerus wrote, but the only “link” to George was in a comment by the same LBGT “activist” and maybe a few others, who seems to be posting his theory about funding in comment sections or in their own articles.

    I could not find a credible source showing that George in fact arranged funding personally. If you have one, provide a link to it. George doesn’t seem to be directly associated with NOM at present – he’s listed as having an emeritus position (i.e., he “retired” but they want to keep mentioning his name).

  • Belize

    I’m not surprised that The Public Advocate of the United States is acting this way. If you don’t even have enough money to hire your own models and photographers, I’m not surprised if you don’t have enough money for good education. :)

  • Tavdy79

    If I were in their position I wouldn’t demand financial compensation, I would demand a public apology – the more public the better. Ideally, a series of prime-time-slot adverts on Colorado radio & TV.

  • Chris-MI

    It’s clearly not fair use. Eugene Delgaudio needs to talk to a lawyer before he gets his head so far up there that it gets stuck. And citing the education exception for an attack ad slides past lame through infuriating and lands squarely in hilarious.

  • James

    Screw a public apology. That will teach him nothing. I can just hear it now: “Though I am sorry for utilizing a photograph without authorization I still contend these heathens are human scum.” Yeah, that’s really helpful.

    Suing would be a giant pain in the ass, unfortunately, because the guy will surely have millionaire anti-gay tea party jerks giving him top notch lawyers; and the gay couple will have similar support from gay anti-defamation groups. It will last forever, be appealed, blah blah blah…

    All that being said, there isn’t a judge in the WORLD who wouldn’t side with the couple in the photo. Ownership of the photo aside, by using it in advertising you inherently suggest that they have some sort of association with the organization in question (even if the photo is using them to demonstrate what the organization is against.) To say that indicating a married gay couple are associated with an odious anti-gay group is defamatory is an understatement.

  • the other Greg

    @James: I guess the only legal way around that problem would be for them to get two homophobic men, who believed in the group’s homophobic aims and message, to kiss for the camera!

    Come to think of it, judging from Republican politicians, that shouldn’t be too difficult.

  • 1equalityUSA

    many do come to think of it

  • Baba Booey

    Hopefully The Public Advocate is sued and bankrupt.

  • Ted TampaBay

    Gosh, I thought it was a depiction of Yesua being kissed by one of his disciples.

  • Ted TampaBay

    Gosh, I thought it was a depiction of Yehsua being kissed by one of his disciples.

  • JON

    Well…they can just suck my dick! Ha Ha Ha

  • Dr cooper

    I think we should give Loudoun County Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio a call to his office and let him know this is not ok: 703-777-0204
    Also send an email: [email protected]

Comments are closed.