This Photo Of Two Dads Meeting Their Baby Is Being Used In An Anti-Gay Campaign

“We love our children unconditionally and want only what is best for them. Isn’t that all that matters?”

1. In 2014, Canadian photographer Lindsay Foster captured this heartwarming image of new dads B.J. Barone and Frankie Nelson meeting their son Milo for the first time, and it quickly went viral.

Lindsay Foster

“This picture represents everything pride is about. Love has no colour nor gender nor sexual preference. Love is unconditional,” the couple said at the time.

2. But now the photo is being shared for very different reasons, with anti-same-sex parenting and surrogacy campaigners appropriating it.

Independent politician Mary E. Fitzgibbon from Ireland has repeatedly posted the image on social media.

3. Extreme right-wing party Fratelli d’Italia has used the image in posters in Italy.

The accompanying text translates to: “He will never be able to say ‘mom’. We should be defending the rights of the children.”

4. Barone told BuzzFeed that he and his partner were shocked and upset when a cousin in Italy told them their photo was being used, without permission, to undermine the rights of LGBT families.

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“They are campaigning that every child NEEDS a mother,” he said, “and they are using our picture to support their political agenda that we are denying our son Milo the right to a mother. Obviously this is a something we do not support or agree with!”

5. Foster, the original photographer, told BuzzFeed she was frustrated with her photo being used without her permission and without any credit, especially in such a negative way.

Lindsay Foster

“I’m pretty easygoing about people using this picture as long as it is for a positive and uplifting reason … and, as long as I get proper credit,” she said. “It’s against the law [to use the photo in this way].”

6. “I love Frankie and B.J. so much and I am fighting right along with them and they are doing the same for me,” Foster said. “We are considering taking action [against] those in Italy who are using my/their image.”

Lindsay Foster

7. Barone said they are using the renewed interest in their photo to educate people, writing a children’s book about surrogacy called Milo’s Adventures and asking LGBT parents to share photos of their families using the hashtag #WeAreFamily.

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8. “Families are not about moms and dads, they are about love. Milo has so much love in his life that if everyone had as much love as him, this world would be a much better place.”

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Check out more articles on BuzzFeed.com!

Jenna Guillaume is a senior editor for BuzzFeed and is based in Sydney.
 
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