Gay couple sues over Republican theft of their engagement photo

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A gay couple from New Jersey is suing a group that used their engagement photo in an attack mailer against a Republican Colorado state lawmaker who supported civil unions this year.

The couple and their attorneys are filing the suit in Denver today (Sept. 26).

The Southern Poverty Law Center is representing the couple against the Virginia-based Public Advocate of the United States. SPLC said in a statement on Sept. 25, that the PA "used the couple’s personal engagement photo without permission and altered the image to include anti-gay propaganda."

The photo shows the couple holding hands and kissing with a New York City skyline as a backdrop.

The photo was used in mailers in a June primary election against Sen. Jean White, one of a handful of Republicans who supported a civil union bill that was blocked in the state House. The mailer, which replaced the Manhattan skyline with a snowy background, read: "State Senator Jean White’s Idea of 'Family Values?'"

White lost the primary.