Wednesday, March 09, 2005

USA Next - In Crosshairs of Its Own

Via Salon's War Room, the couple whose image adorned USA Next's anti-AARP blog ad are suing the group for misappropriating the photo.

USA Next quickly pulled the ad after its homophobic tone generated much more negative publicity than the group must have expected.

According to Salon,

Rick Raymen and Steve Hansen haven't forgotten. They're the Oregon couple shown kissing in the USANext ad. Today in Washington, they filed a $25 million lawsuit against USANext.

"Our privacy and personal integrity were violated when our wedding photo was stolen and used to portray us as treasonous, unpatriotic, and a threat to American troops," Raymen said in a statement released to the press today. "We have been harassed and humiliated by this hateful ad campaign and by the bigotry and anger it has generated against us nationwide."

In their lawsuit, Raymen and Hansen allege that USANext's use of their photograph -- which was copied without permission from the Portland Tribune -- amounted to an invasion of privacy, a violation of their right to control their own images, libel and the intention infliction of emotional distress. The suit names as defendants both USANext and the political consulting firm Mark Montini International, which apparently created the ad.