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New Jersey same-sex couple sues group over use of engagement photo

Same-sex couples are often presented with unique legal challenges, particularly when it comes to custody issues and family law disputes. When a same-sex couple decides to part ways, often they must obtain legal assistance for issues such as property division, working out the custody of any children involved and the like because they are not afforded all the same rights as a divorcing heterosexual couple in New Jersey. However, the debate surrounding same-sex couples and family law playing out across the nation can lead to other legal disputes as well.

It is common practice for any couple, regardless of sexual orientation, to post their engagement photos on their private blogs, or other social outlets. Couples don't expect their pictures to be misappropriated in the wake of such an activity. Unfortunately, this is exactly what happened to one New Jersey same-sex couple.

According to available information, the political group Public Advocate of the United States acquired the photo of the two men kissing during their engagement and used it on mailers attacking a Republican lawmaker for supporting a civil union bill in Colorado.

The couple does not know how the group acquired the picture. They further state that they did not approve of this action, nor did they even know the group had used, altered and distributed the picture in Colorado until a friend informed them about a New York Daily News article talking about the photo. They feel their engagement picture has now become a message of hate.

The two men and the photographer who took the picture are suing the political group for monetary damages.

Source:, "NJ gay couple suing over photo in campaign mailer," Ivan Moreno, Sept. 26, 2012

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