Brian Edwards and Tom Privitere will file a federal lawsuit against the Virginia-based Public Advocate of the United States, a conservative non-profit organization led by Loudoun County Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio and listed a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The group used the couple’s engagement photo in anti-gay mailers distributed in Colorado during a June primary election involving Jean White, a Republican who had supported a civil union bill in that state.
In the original photo, the couple is kissing before the New York City skyline. The flyer—which replaced lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge with a snowy backdrop—read: ”State Senator Jean White’s Idea of ‘Family Values?’”
The Southern Poverty Law Center will sue on behalf of the couple alleging that Public Advocate “used the couple’s personal engagement photo without permission and altered the image to include anti-gay propaganda.”
“I cringe every time I look at what once was one of our favorite photos,” said Edwards in a statement released Wednesday. “All I see now is the defiled image used to attack our family and our community.” Photographer Kristina Hill is also named as one of the plaintiffs.