May 092015

The U.K. family say they were ‘surprised and upset’ to see their image used to oppose marriage equality in Ireland.

May 22, 2015 is the day that Ireland votes for marriage equality.  However,  an anti-equality group called Mothers & Fathers Matter rolled out a new poster featuring an opposite-sex couple kissing their newborn child, with the words “Children Deserve a Mother and a Father. Vote No.”  The couple involved in the ad live in the United Kingdom and were NOT  consulted about its use — and now they’re speaking out because they support marriage equality.
The Family Speaks Out for Equality

“We were surprised and upset to see that the photo was being used as part of a campaign with which we do not agree,” said the family.

 “No one can convince us that lifelong 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. Discrimination on the grounds of sexuality has no place in the 21st century. If we were residents of Ireland, not the UK, we would vote Yes for marriage equality.”

Amnesty International Contacted.

The family issued the statement through Amnesty International after Irish comedian Adam Hills posted a  photo of the anti-gay poster on Facebook, noting that he knew the family pictured and that they were “appalled that their faces are being used … to promote something they wholeheartedly disagree with.”

The family, which has not been identified by name, acknowledged that the photo used in the poster was taken by a family friend last year to build the photographer’s portfolio. Part of the agreement — in which no money was exchanged — was that the photographer would be allowed to upload the images to a stock photo service, where images can be purchased for general use.

Stock Images Misused

In Virginia, (USA) an anti-LGBT organization in 2014 used a stock photo of a man, portrayed as twins, to proclaim that “nobody is born gay.”

As it turns out, the model for the stock photo is not a twin, but is also an openly gay man from South Africa.

  After he reached out to local media to state his views, he partnered with U.S.-based nonprofit Planting Peace to create a counter-ad that mimicked the – billboard’s format but sent a message of pride and acceptance.

Family Wants to Be Known as Pro-Equality

So for the record, here is what we think: This family believes that every child deserves to be loved and cherished. 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.”

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