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Gay couple suing Va. group for using engagement photo in attack mailer

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DENVER, Colorado  (KCNC) - A gay couple from New Jersey filed a lawsuit in Colorado Wednesday against an anti-gay group that used the couple's engagement photo in an attack mailer for a legislative primary.

The Southern Poverty Law Center filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Brian Edwards and Tom Privitere against Virginia-based Public Advocate.

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

The couple said the ad was an attack on the LGBT community and that they were filing suit to take back their personal image, which was used without their permission, and to "take a stand against such vile and disgusting actions."

"That red slash demonstrates the hate that some have towards our community – and it speaks volumes," said the couple in a statement. 

The couple's photo was used in mailers in a June primary election against Senator Jean White, who supported a civil union bill that was blocked in the state House.

Photo used with permission by photographer, Kristina Hill.