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Civil rights group serves Delgaudio cease and desist letter

The Southern Poverty Law Center has sent Loudoun Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling) a cease and desist letter for the unauthorized and doctored use a gay couple’s engagement photo.

photoSupervisor Eugene Delgaudio’s nonprofit group altered a gay couple’s engagement photo for a political flyer in a Colorado senate Republican primary. The original photo, top, was taken by photographer Kristina Hill. Hill holds the copyright. Photo Courtesy/LGBT Magazine, Brian Edwards, Tom Privitere

Last month Delgaudio’s nonprofit organization, Public Advocate of the United States, sent out political mailers in Colorado for a state Senate race there that used a picture of the couple kissing with the added verbiage “State Senator Jean White’s idea of family values?”

White was squaring off against an incumbent in a Republican primary.

The original image’s copyright belongs to photographer Kristina Hill, who shot the celebratory photos of the New Jersey couple, Tom Privitere and Brian Edwards. Hill, Privitere and Edwards enlisted the SPLC assistance in the matter.

When reached by phone last week, Delgaudio said he couldn’t verify he sent out the mailer, but he’s “checking on it.”

Said the Sterling supervisor, “I don’t have time to respond to every allegation groups bring against me.”

In March, the Times-Mirror was among the first to report Delgaudio’s organization’s listing as an active anti-gay hate group by the SPLC, an internationally recognized civil rights non-profit . The designation was based on research compiled through hate group publications and websites, citizen and law enforcement reports, field sources and news reports.

According to the SPLC, “all hate groups have beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics.”

Delgaudio (R-Sterling) founded Public Advocate in 1981.

The Times-Mirror obtained a copy of the cease and desist letter from the SPLC. It can be read below:


Dear Mr. Delgaudio,

We write on behalf of Tom Privitere and Brian Edwards, and Kristina Hill. Brian and Tom are the gay couple in the photo that “Public Advocate of the United States” (“Public Advocate”) misappropriated for use in anti-gay political attack mailers in Colorado, and Kristina is the photographer who took the photo and owns the copyright of that image. The purposes of this letter are to: 1) inform you that Tom, Brian, and Kristina have retained us to investigate their legal claims against you and Public Advocate; and 2) demand that you, “Public Advocate,” or anyone acting on your or Public Advocate’s behalf immediately cease and desist any further unauthorized use of Brian and Tom’s images and likenesses, and any further unauthorized use of Kristina’s copyrighted photos or other intellectual property.

It appears from your public statements that you knowingly and willfully misappropriated Tom and Brian’s images and Kristina’s copyrighted photo for use in your homophobic mailers against Colorado state senators. As you are certainly aware, Brian and Tom are not public figures. That photo was a deeply personal representation of their love and commitment to one another and the obstacles they overcame to share their lives together. The use of that photo of their wedding engagement and their images to attack gay couples and their relationships as not promoting “family values” was unfair, unjustifiable, and demeaning of Tom and Brian’s human dignity.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time that “Public Advocate” has unfairly attacked and grossly demeaned the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. For years, “Public Advocate” has spread lies and vitriol about LGBT people to raise funds, impede progress toward greater equality, and to deny LGBT people basic dignity and respect. From the many regrettable examples that could be listed, “Public Advocate” has throughout the years:

• blamed “the homosexual agenda” for enhanced-passenger-search procedures at airports so that
gay people can feel others up;

• compared marriage equality to bestiality through production of a “Man-Donkey Mock Wedding Ceremony”;

• defamed gay people as pedophiles and rapists to be feared, in reference, for example, to permitting gay scout masters, which is “the same as being an accessory to the rape of hundreds of boys”;

• demonized gay people and those suffering from AIDS as “prey[ing] on children to replenish the ‘Homosexual Community’”;

• provoked readers through a fundraising letter to “imagine a world where the police allow homosexual adults to rape young boys in the streets”;

• promoted harmful, discredited conversion therapy as necessary and effective to rescue gay people from their orientation; and

• mischaracterized national legislation to address an epidemic of anti-LGBT harassment at schools as “requir[ing] schools to teach appalling homosexual acts…force private and even religious schools to teach a pro-homosexual agenda…ram through their entire perverted vision for a homosexual America….create a new America based on sexual promiscuity.”

Because of these misrepresentations and numerous others, the Southern Poverty Law Center has previously designated “Public Advocate” as a hate group.

Please confirm by Monday, July 23, 2012 that you have ceased the unauthorized use of Tom and Brian’s images and likenesses and of Kristina’s photos and other intellectual property.

Very truly yours,

Christine P. Sun
Deputy Legal Director



“Time to retract Delgaudio’s endorsment yet, Times-Mirror?”

Seems unlikely given that the Loudoun Times Mirror is currently running advertising for Public Advocate.

Marshall - the SPLC admitted this themselves and it was reported on…they do not go after left wing hate groups like the OWS…their own words, not mine…I do not consider a group that opposes homosexuality a hate group, it’s their opinion.  Your logic leads to censorship and trying to quiet the other side of the argument, now that is illogical in a free democracy and has serious ramifications…the use of someone’s personal photo is wrong and I think all would agree on that point. Just because a group opposes someone elses beliefs does not make it a hate group—nice try, now go eat a few rainbow oreos the gay commuity is pushing on our kids, talk about serious social ramifications…

@ Ashburner:

I disagree with your statement about SPLC’s credibility, but a debate would be taxing and endless.  However, you calling SPLC a hate group because they don’t actively disparage left wing groups is ridiculous.  Is the Republican Party of Virginia, the LCRC, and even the Loudoun Times a hate group too because all three have yet to renounce Eugene’s ridiculous and childish antics along with his bigotry.

Your use of logic is astounding and has serious implications.

Title of article should read hate group sends hate group cease and desist order…the SPLC is a complete joke, wouldn’t even go after the OWS movement who tried to blow up a bridge in Cleveland…they had to admit they don;t look into leftist hate groups, just the other ones…the SPLC has zero credibility…

Hilariously, Delgaudio is now claiming that “someone else” may be responsible for his theft and doctoring of a copyrighted photo for use by his hate “group”:


This is every bit as laughable as his claim to this paper last year that “someone else” must have doctored his original image of a rainbow colored bloody horror scene to make it “look like blood,” when a simple Google images search demonstrated that to be a lie.

It’s now abundantly clear that Mr. Delgaudio believes he can lie with impunity.

Having difficulty seeing what the (dis)Honorable Supervisor Delgadio’s public statement has to do with anything related to this subject.

Yawn, more deflection and distractions away from the real issue of Eugene being unfit for public office due to his bigotry.  And the LTM still hasn’t revoked it’s endorsement of him.

Editor’s Note: Mr. Delgaudio contacted the Loudoun Times-Mirror and asked that the following comment be added to the discussion manually since he was having trouble adding it himself. Our manual add of this comment is not an indication of agreement or disagreement with him or his organization.

Frankly that is prehistoric ladies and gentlemen.

That production was way before youtube,the internet and before twitter.
There’s the Barney Frank House-sitting Squad, Ted Kennedy Swim Team, the Unknown Congressmen,and dozens of other productions.

Then came youtube: The Kennedy Sobriety Checkpoint, The Moses and Tellitubbie video, President Obama “stay away from our children” (3,000 visits), and President “Obama has betrayed his supporters” (15,000 visits).

We posted five more videos on youtube last week—all have approximately 5,000 visits.
Most of the videos are posted here: http://publicadvocateusa.org/media_library/

Warning: A majority of our videos are serious and not political theater. We pray most can tell the difference.

Eugene Delgaudio
Public Advocate

How is two men posing for an engagement picture “wielding their sexuality like some half-assed sword?” It’s an engagement picture. They never wanted to do anything with it other than remember their engagement. Just like millions of heterosexual couples.

That’s the thing that many who are against gay marriage are either incapable of or refusing to understand. All that LGBT people want to do is live a normal life like anyone else, without having to deal with this sort of crap.

If it’s a copyrighted photo have a judge award damages but please quit weilding your sexuality like some half-assed sword. Don’t care about ir one way or the other, live and let live if Eugene gets you all hisseyed up don’t read his rag.

This isn’t a cease and desist order, it’s a plea for publicity from the LPLC of their grievances against Mr. Delguadio. Most of the letter has absolutley nothing to do with the advertisement in question, and is instead rehashed old news.

The LTM played right into their hands by republishing the letter in its entirety.

I find it interesting that Mr. Weintraub dismisses Delguadio supporters as “tiresome.” Some would say that what’s tiresome is Weintraub’s need to chime in against Delgaudio EVERY time his name is mentioned on this forum. Eugene Delguadio is not even your district supervisor. Stop renting him so much headspace.

When you lie down with dogs…you wake up with fleas.

When you endorse a hate-mongering idiot like Mr. Delgaudio…

Come on, LTM, admit you made a mistake and now see him for what he’s always been.

Now will the Loudoun Times Mirror pull their infamous endorsement of Eugene “hate-bigot-monger” Delgaudio?  I can’t wait for the Washington Post story or for the day the FBI walks Delgaudio out of the County building in handcuffs.

Time to retract Delgaudio’s endorsment yet, Times-Mirror?

Good. It’s time that this vicious charlatan was brought to heel. He seems to believe he is above the law. He isn’t.

We can expect those tiresome few individuals who continue trying to defend Mr. Delgaudio’s indefensible behavior to show up here with the pretense that the SPLC’s designation of “Public Advocate” as a hate group is meaningless or somehow founded on bias. One such individual likes to incessantly repeat the falsehood that the designation is based on mere “disagreement” about marriage equality. In fact, the SPLC, a highly respected and non-partisan civil rights organization, is very clear about its criteria for such a designation: “The SPLC’s listings of these groups is based on their propagation of known falsehoods — claims about LGBT people that have been thoroughly discredited by scientific authorities — and repeated, groundless name-calling. Viewing homosexuality as unbiblical does not qualify organizations for listing as hate groups.”

The charlatan’s words speak for themselves. There is no defense.

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