Category Archives: press
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Update: The SPLC Teams Up With Us To Demand That Delgaudio Stop Using Brian & Tom’s Engagement Photo
I’ve been bombarded with e-mails and comments regarding this situation – it’s so nice to have the support of so many wonderful people and photographers! It’s been a really busy and stressful time for all of us, but we are so excited with where we are at right now. I am sharing with you, below, the press release from the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Again, thank you for your continued support. While I might not answer everyone’s e-mails, each one helps fuel this fight further. Brian, Tom and I really do appreciate all of the love!!!
I’m not going to post all of the news outlets that have picked up our story, but I do want to share Brian & Tom’s appearance on ABC Local Channel 7 last night (at end of post). To keep up, you can check out my Facebook page, my twitter or Brian’s Blog – we’ve been sharing coverage as we are made aware.
* SPLC Press Release *
SPLC demands hate group stop misusing gay couple’s engagement photo
It was supposed to be a reminder of one of the most special days shared by Brian Edwards and Tom Privitere – their engagement photo.
The black-and-white photograph shows the two men kissing with the New York City skyline in the background. The picture was one of several that Edwards posted on his blog to allow friends and family unable to attend the couple’s wedding to share their joy. But what was supposed to be a symbol of the life-long commitment between two people in love was hijacked by an anti-gay hate group.
Recently, the men discovered their photo had been taken from the Internet and used in an anti-gay mailer to attack a political candidate in Colorado. The city skyline had been removed from the background and replaced with snow-covered trees one might find in Colorado. Bold words, on a red background, were added: “State Senator Jean White’s idea of ‘Family Values?’” White supported Colorado’s civil union legislation. “This photo represented our love and commitment and the many challenges we have overcome in order to share our lives together,” Edwards said. “When I first saw how our photo had been publicly destroyed and used against gay and lesbian families, I was shocked, heartbroken and livid. I don’t want this to happen to another gay or lesbian couple.”
Neither the couple, nor the photographer, knew about the doctored photo until a friend of the couple informed them. The mailer was the work of Public Advocate of the United States, a Falls Church, Va., organization the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated as an anti-gay hate group.
Today, the SPLC sent a cease-and-desist letter to the group and Eugene Delgaudio, its president. The letter, sent on behalf of the couple and photographer Kristina Hill, warns that the SPLC is investigating the unauthorized use of the copyrighted photo and demands that Delgaudio, Public Advocate and anyone acting on their behalf immediately stop using the photo. It asks Delgaudio to confirm within 10 days that he and Public Advocate have stopped using the photo.
“Delgaudio’s use of Brian and Tom’s personal photo is morally reprehensible,” said Christine P. Sun, deputy legal director for the SPLC. “For years, Delgaudio and Public Advocate have led a crusade against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. This latest attack is the most vicious yet and should serve as a warning that your personal photos are not safe from anyone willing to stoop to the vilest level of harassment.”
Hill, the photographer, said the doctored image twists the original meaning of the image.
“When I took this photo, I was capturing the love that Brian and Tom share,” she said. “When I saw how my image was used, I was sad for Brian and Tom. I was angry that someone would take my work, distort it and use it to reflect the opposite of what it was meant to express.”
Public Advocate has a history of attacking the LGBT community. The letter notes that Public Advocate “has spread lies and vitriol about LGBT people to raise funds, impede progress toward greater equality and to deny LGBT people basic dignity and respect.” It also describes other anti-gay activities by the group, including:
•Provoking readers through a fundraising letter to “imagine a world where the police allow homosexual adults to rape young boys in the streets”;
•Comparing marriage equality to bestiality through production of a “Man-Donkey Mock Wedding Ceremony”;
•Defamation of gay people as pedophiles and rapists to be feared. For instance, permitting gay men to be Boy Scout leaders, Public Advocate said, is “the same as being an accessory to the rape of hundreds of boys”; and
•Mischaracterizing national legislation to address an epidemic of anti-LGBT harassment at schools as “requir[ing] schools to teach appalling homosexual acts… force private and even religious schools to teach a pro-homosexual agenda… ram through their entire perverted vision for a homosexual America…. create a new America based on sexual promiscuity.” The thought that Public Advocate has used a symbol of the couple’s love and commitment for an attack cuts deep for the men.
“Knowing our image had been used to spread lies, hate and fear, contradicts the original meaning of the picture,” Privitere said. “It was used to attack what Brian and I hold dear – our lives together, our family, and marriage equality.”
The SPLC is dedicated to defending the rights of the LGBT community. It has worked to ensure a safe and respectful learning environment for all students – including LGBT students – through educational campaigns and legal action. And it has taken action to protect the rights of LGBT adults.
* Brian & Tom on ABC Local News *
This blog post has been a bit difficult for me to write. I sat on it over night, because I didn’t want to write anything too reactionary and I also wanted to thoughtfully explain how I feel.
Brian, a client and good friend, called me last night to share his discovery that one of the images I had taken during their engagement session had been stolen, digitally manipulated and reproduced in a campaign targeting a senator for her vote in support of a bill allowing same-sex couples to form civil unions. When I heard this, a range of emotions flooded through me. When I actually saw the image, my heart dropped. Below is a side by side of the two images that I created in photoshop for Brian to use on his blog post:
It’s my hope that my readers and clients know that what I do is incredibly important to me. I love love, I adore my clients and when I make images for them, it’s my goal to document their love with creativity and honesty. It fuels me as a photographer to know that these images will be cherished. That they will hang on walls, be passed around at gatherings, put in albums, and that someday maybe children and grandchildren will display these moments in their own homes.
To see an image, taken with that intent being used in the way it was used is heart-breaking for me. Brian’s reaction is so perfectly stated, I highly recommend you read it: “Public Advocate of the United States” Steal a Kiss – And it’s Gay. I agree with every word written.
The Denver Post article written by reporter Lynn Bartels can be read here.
Update: The Atlantic Wire covers the story. Read Alexander AbadD-Santos’ coverage here.
UPDATE! As many people are coming directly to this post, please visit the following post for an update on the situation. And, again, thank you for your support!
What an exciting blog day!!! Today I woke up to see one of my favorite engagement sessions featured on one of my favorite wedding blogs, Brooklyn Bride! Check out Stacy & Kenny’s Governor’s Island shoot feature here: Stacy & Kenny on Brooklyn Bride.
Also today, Brooklyn Betrothed celebrated a giant milestone: Our 100th blog post! We are so thrilled that we have so many fabulous readers. Many, many thanks to our readers!
It’s been some time since I reminded my readers about the awesomeness that is Brooklyn Betrothed! Words can’t express how honored I am to be a co-founder of such an amazing wedding collective. Don’t forget to check in with the blog every now and again, for honest tips and inside information on wedding planning from a group of talented, Brooklyn-based wedding professionals. This month we’ve been focusing on destination weddings, in hopes of warming our readers up a bit during these frigid winter days! Today on the blog, I wrote a bit about choosing a wedding photographer for your destination wedding. Check it out here: Choosing A Destination Wedding Photographer.
Come meet me at this year’s Lovesick Expo in Williamsburg, Brooklyn!
“Finally… a wedding expo that doesn’t make you want to die!” – offbeat bride
The Lovesick Expo will feature an elite array of local wedding professionals, and hand-crafted and eco-friendly goods, appealing to more independent-minded couples. This will allow those getting hitched to experience the full-spectrum of options available to them, especially those “beyond the mainstream.” Unlike more traditional expos, Lovesick is proud to be an earth-friendly, guy-friendly, same-sex-couple-friendly, and with options for every budget.
In addition to live music, thousands of dollars worth of giveaways, and other stage entertainment, The Music Hall of Williamsburg will be providing a cash bar for all participants. Don’t miss out as we exhibit the best talent in New York with a laid-back, party vibe.
I’m very excited to have Nancy and Doug’s NYC Fire Museum wedding featured on Lovely today! Check it out here.
Hi Blog readers!
I know I haven’t updated like I should be, but I’ve been sick with a summer cold and it hasn’t been much fun… I’ve also been making sure our first week with Brooklyn Betrothed (do you ‘like’ us on Facebook yet?) is going smoothly. In case you haven’t visited the site, I’m going to post a little snippet of it below. But I definitely encourage you to check it out – we will be updating it filled with lots and lots of wedding planning advice and inspiration.
It is such an exciting day to be announcing the launch of Brooklyn Betrothed.
I hope that you will take the time to check it out! For several months we ladies have been working hard, so it’s exciting to see it all come to life! I hope that you will check in with us over at Brooklyn Betrothed where we will be posting lots of expert advice on planning a wedding. You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter!