A conservative organization classified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group is being sued by a gay couple who’s engagement photo they used on anti-gay campaign material.
New Jersey couple Tom Privitere and Brian Edwards were shocked to find that the photo had been copied from a blog they created to document their wedding and then placed on material attacking Republican politicians who were supportive of LGBT rights.
The Southern Poverty Law Center filed a federal lawsuit against the group responsible, Public Advocate of the United States, on Wednesday in the US District Court of Colorado on behalf of the couple and Kristina Hill, the photographer who took the photo, who believes her copyright over the image has been breached.
The couple say they received threats and abuse via the internet because of publicity over the use of their photo in the campaign material.
‘People have posted on the internet that Edwards and Privitere deserve to go to hell, that they deserve to be killed, and that any children that they may have would be better off dead,’ the complaint read.
Public Advocate of the United States is headed by Eugene Delgaudio, a Republican county supervisor in Virginia, who has a history of making extreme and offensive statements about LGBT people.
Earlier this year Delgaudio claimed that federal legislation aimed at protecting LGBT students from bullying would require ‘schools to teach appalling homosexual acts.’
Delgaudio claimed the bill was an effort to ‘ram through their entire perverted vision for a homosexual America [and] create a new America based on sexual promiscuity.’
‘The radical homosexuals infiltrating the United States Congress have a plan - Indoctrinate an entire generation of American children with pro-homosexual propaganda and eliminate traditional values from American society,’ Delgaudio wrote in a campaign letter.
In 2010 comments made by Delgaudio made headlines around the world when he claimed that ‘pat down’ safety procedures at airports were part of a homosexual agenda because the United States Transportation Safety Administration had a non-discrimination in hiring policy.
‘It's the federal employee's version of the Gay Bill of Special Rights ... That means the next TSA official that gives you an 'enhanced pat down' could be a practicing homosexual secretly getting pleasure from [it],’ Delgaudio wrote.
Delgaudio has also made past statements where he claimed that gays had to be stopped from adopting or from joining the Boy Scouts of America to stop them from molesting children.