Southern Poverty Law Center Plans Federal Lawsuit Against Public Advocate of the United States
MONTGOMERY, AL -- The Southern Poverty Law Center plans to file a lawsuit Wednesday, September 26, in the U.S. District Court for Colorado in Denver, against a Falls Church, Virginia based anti-gay group over a direct-mail campaign that used a photoshopped version of a New York gay couple's engagement photo without their knowledge or permission.
Public Advocate of the United States- a group identified as a hate group by the SPLC- whose president is Eugene Delgaudio, used Brian Edwards and husband Tom Privitere's personal engagement photo altering the image to include anti-gay propaganda to attack several Colorado state lawmakers including Republican State Senator Jean White, who supported Colorado’s civil union legislation.
White lost her party's primary election in June, three weeks after voters in her district were bombarded with direct mail from Public Advocate that featured the image of Edwards and Privitere kissing against a snowy, Rocky Mountain backdrop. White said she believed the mailers were "solely responsible for my defeat."
In July, the SPLC announced it had taken up the case for Edwards and Privitere, along with their photographer, Kristina Hill. The SPLC sent Public Advocate a cease and desist letter on July 23. In press release today, the SPLC said: "Public Advocate, a group identified as a hate group by the SPLC, used the couple’s personal engagement photo without permission and altered the image to include anti-gay propaganda to attack Colorado state lawmakers including Sen. Jean White, who supported Colorado’s civil union legislation."
SPLC deputy legal director Christine P. Sun will brief reporters Wednesday on a conference call regarding the full specifics of the lawsuit.
Another Embattled Republican Senator Who Voted For Same-Sex Marriage In NY Wins Primary Race
|NY State Senator Stephen Saland, (R)|
Saland was one of four GOP senators to cast votes in favor of legalising gay marriage when the State Senate approved the measure last year and his primary battle was watched closely by LGBTQ equality rights advocates as well as opponents of same-sex marriage, particularly the National Organisation For Marriage who had run a concerted campaign against Saland's reelection claiming that he had betrayed his party's principles and had also voted against the majority interests of his constituents in the same-sex marriage vote.
“I congratulate Senator Saland - - a steady, effective and fiscally conservative voice for Hudson Valley taxpayers and their families - - on achieving a hard-fought victory in the Republican primary for the 41st Senate District race,” Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos said in a statement.
Two other Republican senators, who voted in favor of same-sex marriage - Senators Roy McDonald and Mark Grisanti, also faced primary challenges this month. Grisanti handily won his primary but the battle between McDonald and Kathy Marchione is still being contested. With most of the absentee and affidavit ballots counted, McDonald still trailed by 113 votes. McDonald campaign spokesman Mike Veitch issuing the following statement:
“The McDonald campaign is considering all available options at this time. Senator McDonald is very proud of his career along with the accomplishments he’s achieved during his time in office and he is honored to participate in the democratic process. We plan to have a decision about the campaign’s future by the end of this week or the beginning of next week.”