NOM Stole this Lesbian Couple’s Image, and Now They’re Super-Pissed

World, take note: you do not want to be on Kerri Carder-McCoy’s bad side, because she is not putting up with any of your shit.

You may remember, back in 2008, when Kerri and her wife Erin made headlines right before the vote on Prop 8. When they got married at San Francisco City Hall, Erin’s first-grade class greeted her at the door to throw rose petals. It was all done with parental permission, of course, but the anti-gays latched onto the event as proof that schools would “teach gay marriage.”

That touched off a nightmare for Kerri and Erin, as their faces and the faces of the kids were appropriated and re-used by anti-gay groups. Two and a half years later, it’s still going on: NOM’s anti-marriage ad in New York features a flash frame of Kerri and Erin.

Through our connections with Marriage News Watch, we tracked Kerri down and asked her a couple of questions about the experience. But first, a little background, as told by the documentary March On!:

Kerri and Erin met on the dance floor of a popular club in the Castro district of San Francisco, the day after Thanksgiving 2006. It was love at first sight. Kerri proposed on February 29, 2008. In May of that year, the California Supreme Court made it legal for same-sex couples to be married. Their desired wedding date of 10/10/10 was moved up to 10/10/08. They were married at San Francisco City Hall by Mayor Gavin Newsom.

QUEERTY: Have people you know told you that they recognize you when they see the ad?

KERRI: A fellow cast member [from March On!] told me on the phone this past Tuesday that we were featured in the ad.  They say it ran a couple of times, and is state-wide.

QUEERTY: Has being in the spotlight changed the way that you look at activism? Are you more or less likely to get involved now?

KERRI: Being in the spotlight makes me want to be out fighting for my rights a lot more.  It makes me want to stand up and and put a face to this fight.  It gets in your veins and makes you fight for equality and justice that much more.  The reason being, is that I want to tell my story and show that I count, that I matter, that there are others out there like me.  Hopefully it will send a message to many more people out there like me and my wife that you have a lot of allies and strength out there across our nation and internationally.
It also makes me feel closer to my lgbtq community.  Right before we got married we were active, right after we got married we were super active and continue to be to this day!  I stand beside my wife and she stands beside me and we fight for equality and justice together.  I love her with all my heart and will fight for our civil rights with all that I am and all that I have!

QUEERTY: Have you ever contacted NOM to ask them to take your image out of their ad?

KERRI: No, not as of yet … but I am going to today!

QUEERTY: Knowing what you know now, would you have done anything different?

KERRI: Yes, I would have stood up and spoken up, put a face to our story a whole lot sooner right after we got married when the arsenal of horrible and dispicable Yes on 8 campaign ads came out, but we were advised not to by legal advice.

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  • Molly McKay

    Righteous, Kerri! Yes, GGRLL you go on and step up and step out and put the spotlight back on NOM – Make people re-look at their ad – what is there to fear? Yes, there are gay teachers, yes there are students who love them and with the proper permissions secured from parents for this special field trip – went to throw rose petals in celebration of their wedding! So what! Our side cannot shy away from this – but step right into this and call them on their B.S. and take a stand for love, justice and equality – the response ad should feature the two of you sharing your story and your lives – I’m PROUD of You and encourage you to continue to speak OUT!

  • ohplease

    Although I obviously support their marriage and their right to stage their wedding in any legal way they see fit, Kerri and Erin’s choice to include public school children in a very public setting at the height of a campaign to take marriage equality from everyone that centered around lies about indoctrinating public school children was idiotic in the extreme.

    In a perfect world, their wedding would have been just lovely. We don’t live in a perfect world. There is no question whatsoever that their extraordinarily stupid and selfish choice was a nail in the coffin of marriage equality for everyone in California.

    And now she’s upset that our enemies continue to capitalize on her stupidity? And this woman is a teacher? Who has done nothing to fight back until “today”?

    Please don’t, Kerri: you’ve done more than enough damage already.

  • Laura

    Erin is the teacher and Erin didn’t know the kids were coming to greet the couple AFTER they were married at City Hall. It was PARENT driven and it was a SURPRISE! She is not SORRY they were there because it was beautiful! Erin and Kerri are wonderful people and all they want is for their images to not be used without their consent.

  • the crustybastard


    So it’s Kerri and Erin’s fault that Christians lie and lie and lie and lie and lie and lie and lie…?

    Go jump up your own asshole, dipshit.

  • Mark

    @ohplease: ohplease — they didn’t know they were going to do it AND they had parental permission. Give it a rest!

  • Brian Glenn Bryson

    The young cast (11-17 years old) of the award winning play “Prop 8 Love Stories” supports Kerri and Erin, and stands with them against discrimination. May their truth and love be an antidote to fear and intolerance!

  • Kenny

    Blaming these ladies is silly. No on 8’s slow and ineffective response to the Princess tv ad was by far more damaging and probably what gave Prop 8 the final push it needed to pass. Until there is a coherent and effective message from people to whom straight parents can relate, ads that prey upon the fears of parents will continue to be extremely effective. The sad but simple truth.

  • Kerri

    @Mark: It was all parent driven, permission slips were issued, opt out options were available and we DID NOT PERSONALLY INVITE THEM … nuff said.

  • Kerri

    @Kerri: … I think I’m reading these reply things incorrect … my intention was to respond to OhPlease ….

  • bbryson

    The young creators & cast (11 to 17 years old) of the award winning play “Prop 8 Love Stories” support Kerri & Erin, and stand with them against discrimination. We believe their love story is an antidote to fear and intolerance.

    More logs on your fire, Kerri & Erin! Burn warm! Burn bright!

  • Kerri

    @bbryson: I would love to come see the play … and thank you for your kind words … peace and love

  • Zoe Nicholson

    FOX media used this story, misrepresented the truth so significantly that NOM could even use it to support their anti-equality position. Erin & Kerri had no idea the kids would be there. The parents of these 1st graders thought it would be fun to surprise their beloved teacher, Erin. The fact is that O’Reilly nor NOM had permission or told the truth. That is the actual “teaching moment.”
    I hope they have lots of support from allies and LGBT to inform the public of how their joy was stolen and used against civil rights.

  • Jeffree

    Two quick comments:
    1) Yay Matt Baume! Great idea for an article: nicely done! More like this, please.

    2) Kerri: Thanks for speaking up! Where I come from we sometimes say “Much love” instead of “Thank you,” so much love to you & Erin.

  • Benjamin

    I’m sorry, would someone please enlighten me as to what exactly is so wrong with school children seeing an LGBT wedding ceremony? Was porn at the wedding or something? Was the recitation of each vow followed by mandatory tequila shots for everyone in attendance? Did Lisa Lampanelli officiate? What the hell does “Teaching Gay Marriage” mean anyway? If that refers to letting children know that there is such a thing as a homosexual, and that sometimes these homosexuals meet other homosexuals and get married and have happy adult lives, then yes, we absolutely do want to teach gay marriage. I would think that was obvious.

    One of the things that bothers me most about this particular line of attack is its fundamental intellectual dishonesty. This is an obvious attempt to convince the uninformed that all gay people walk around in a constant search for impressionable young people, so that we can give them candy wrapped in literature about fisting. We probably put the gay curse on them too. I’m not exactly sure how it’s supposed to go.

    My problem with this is one of logic. They have to know this isn’t the case. It seems like a transparent attempt to slander our community, and the one quality shared by all slander is its untruth. So if this isn’t the case, and gay people are not conspiring to turn the entire world into deviant monsters, one 4 year old at a time, and if they know that gay people basically want to be left alone to live our lives in peace, then, honestly, why are they making up the lie in the first place? They know as well as anyone else that we are totally harmless, yet they dedicate their lives to attacking us anyway. I just can’t wrap my head around it. And it’s not the religion thing either. It’s a convenient excuse, but if this behavior was really the result of a fundamentalist adherence to christianity and all its principals, then they would flip out about all the other little esoteric parts of the bible. They would wage tireless war against cotton/poly blends for example. Yet this does not occur. Ever. None of it makes any sense. Where does all this hate come from, anyway? What did we ever do to them? What is their actual, honest, problem with us? Not the propaganda they use to try to win this ridiculous fight of theirs, but the real deep down problem? I would love to know that answer.

    And to drag this happy couple and their admiring first graders into this, and smear them with this ugliness? Disgusting.

  • Jeffree

    @Benjamin: Well said. I hope to read more from you here soon. And, BTW I have just purloined your line about the “mandatory tequila shots” because that was like nine kinds of genius!

  • Ruby & Ami

    Go Erin and Kerri! You guys are super rad, thanks for everything you do. I’ve learned from your bravery to speak up and expose injustice and wish your family all the best.

  • Disgusted Gay American

    I agree with Benjamin

Comments are closed.