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Irish ‘poster family’ says what they think about their picture on a gay marriage Vote No poster

Irish ‘poster family’ says what they think about their picture on a gay marriage Vote No poster

Following a Facebook by comedian Adam Hills, the family whose picture has been printed on Vote No-campaign posters in the Irish Marriage Equality Referendum has spoken up.

‘Here is what we think. This family believes that every child deserves to be loved and cherished,’ they said in a statement published by Amnesty International on their behalf.

‘This family believes that everyone has a right to marry the person they love regardless of their gender. This family believes that every family matters. And this family would vote Yes.’

In the statement, the family express their wholehearted support for marriage equality and gay adoption.

‘They are upset that an image of their family is being used to promote a message that they profoundly disagree with,‘ Amnesty International said.  

The family, who are expecting their second child in June, said they do not want to the poster family for the No-campaign.

‘In 2014, as a young family, we did a photo shoot with a photographer friend to get some nice shots for the family album. No money was exchanged – we got nice photos for free, they got nice images for their portfolio,’ the family says.

‘As part of this agreement, we agreed to let them upload them to a stock photo album. We knew that these were available for purchase and we gave permission. Perhaps, naïvely, we imagined that on the off chance that any was ever selected, it might be for a small magazine or website.’

The family make clear that neither have they received money nor do they expect to receive money in exchange for the pictures.

‘We completely support same-sex marriage, and we believe that same-sex couples should of course be able to adopt, as we believe that they are equally able to provide children with much-needed love and care. To suggest otherwise is offensive to us, and to many others,’ they said.

As they live in the UK the family will not be able to vote in the referendum held on 22 May, but they said they would vote Yes if they could.

‘No one can convince us that life-long unions of so many loving same-sex couples here in the UK and in Ireland, are inferior to heterosexual unions, and it is important to us that our many gay friends know that we feel this way.’

When it comes to use to the picture, they describe it as a ‘bit of a grey area’, but they do not know whether there are any terms and conditions for using pictures of children for political campaign material.

Mothers & Fathers Matter have offered to step into dialogue with the family, who will then decide whether to pursue matters or not.