Gay Couple's Picture Misused in Anti-Gay Political Attack Ad; Legal Action Possible

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Brian Edwards and Tom Privitere, a New Jersey couple married in 2010, were stunned - and irate - to find themselves on an anti-gay political ad campaign.

The photo of the two men had been posted innocuously on Edwards' personal blog and was originally set against the backdrop of the N.Y. City skyline.

A doctored version shows the gay couple standing in a Colorado setting and was used in a political ad to attack a Republican who supported civil unions:

Gay Couple Ad

The tagline for the attack ad, which was sponsored by Public Advocate of the United States, was: "State Sen. Jean White's Idea of 'Family Values?'"

White later lost the primary.

Now, with the help of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the duo and photographer Kristina Hill are all threatening to sue the organization behind the ad and its president, Eugene Delgaudio, if they do not stop using the photo.

"Our initial reaction was complete shock," said Privitere, 37, who lives with Edwards in Montclair, N.J. The couple has been together for 12 years.

"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," he said.

Public Advocate, based in Falls Church, Va., is on the SPLC's 2011 hate group list. It never had permission to use the photo, unsurprisingly.

Delgaudio, who is head of the board of supervisors for Loudon County in Virginia, told ABC News that he has not yet received SPLC's letter.

He is "looking into the matter" and searching whether or not we have the photo," he said. "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."

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magnoskunk- your name suits you perfectly; a huge horrible smelling animal. Now crawl back in the ground like a good boy & stop trying to be a human being - you're not good @ it.

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@???? Ignorance is not bliss. If being the world ambassador on repect means showing everyone ignorance is not the way...then sign me up.

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Stop with the hate and ignorance! Everyone is entitled to live their life however they choose. That means gay or straight! Im so sick of all these haters. Whatever your beliefs we should always be repectful to one another. Yes we have a right of freedom of speech. But we do out have the right to be bullies. Worry about living your own life. You only live once. It all begins and ends with the word respect!

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@bitches Amen, preach!!!!! @magnoskunk - pic's in the media b/c Delgaudio took it from their page for his smear campaign. They didn't want publicity. Headline's Delgaudio's fault. Blame him; it's his bulls***.

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You bitches who are preachin God and talking shit toward other sure need to hit church more and read the bible more often.

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@magnoskunk if the creep didn't steal the photo off of this guy's photo, there'd be no article. Slanted? Wtf? The headline's 'gay couple's picture misused in political attack ad, legal action possible'. The pic isn't public domain, dumbo- it was on their page-not sharing it with the world you dumbf***. This stupid gop did a smear campaign & misrep'd a pic that wasn't his 2 use. & delgaudio f*** says he doesn't know wtf happened? He's an idiot, just like you. Dumb****s.

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this is some filthy shit.

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There is alot of young people on here.I am starting to feel this Hollywood Gossip site is not for adults.

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