March 1, 2016 7:58 pm

Toronto couple who shared viral birth photo shocked to find it used for anti-gay message

WATCH ABOVE: A photo of two shirtless Toronto dads embracing their newborn son went viral in 2014, but the photo is now being used by European politicians to spread an anti-gay marriage message. BJ Barone speaks to Global News about why the couple was shocked to discover the photo had been misappropriated and what they intend to do to put a stop to it.


TORONTO — Two Toronto fathers who shared a viral photo of a touching moment during the birth of their newborn son two years ago were surprised to find that same photo was is being used by European politicians to spread an anti-gay message.

Frankie Nelson and BJ Barone spoke to Global News last June on the one-year anniversary of the photo that showed a special moment between two men becoming parents for the first time, after the birth of their son Milo through a surrogate mother.

The photographer, Lindsay Foster, posted the picture on her website and it went viral, getting well over 40,000 hits.

The photo of two Toronto fathers celebrating the birth of their son was used by European politicians to spread a hateful message against gay parenting.

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But Nelson and Barone were not happy to discover the iconic photo had been misappropriated by Italian politicians to spread a message against same-sex parenting.

“When we first saw that the photos were being used for anti-gay purposes we were a little upset,” said Barone.

“It really bothered us that our photo that’s all about love, acceptance and joy is now being used for anti-gay purposes and anti-surrogacy purposes.”

READ MORE: Pride baby turns 1 ahead of upcoming Toronto parade

All of the attention only motivated the couple to further spread the message on social media that you don’t need a mother and a father to create a family.

Although the couple doesn’t own the photo, the photographer who took it said she had contacted the European politicians using the photo and is waiting to hear back. She’s also reported them through the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.



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