An image of two men holding their newborn baby just after his birth is being used by an Irish politician as part of a campaign against same-sex surrogacy without the permission of the two fathers or the photographer.
Right-wing Irish independent candidate Mary Fitzgibbon, who ran in Kerry in February’s Irish general election, shared the image three times on social media.
The photo was shared on Ms Fitzgibbon’s official Facebook page on 12 February, two weeks before the Irish general election, along with the hashtag #no2surrogacy.
She also shared the photo on Twitter in the run-up to the election on 15 February with the caption: “We must reaffirm the right of the child to grow up and be loved where possible by their own mother and father”.
Irish newspaper The Journal reports that Ms Fitzgibbon had also shared the photo on Twitter during the run-up to the Irish same-sex marriage referendum in May, along with the caption: “a motherless child is the prize – the buying of children”.
The image, taken by Lindsay Foster, depicts Canadian couple Frank Nelson and BJ Barone.
Ms Foster told The Journal that she objected to the image being “misrepresented for something I don’t believe in.”
She said that she was saddened to know that “an image that shouts ‘love’ from the rooftops is being used so negatively by a political candidate”.
Mr Barone responded to Ms Fitzgibbon on social media, encouraging other same-sex couples to tweet the Irish politician photos of their families along with the hashtag #WeAreFamily.
He has encouraged others to share Ms Foster’s photo to “show the world that love has no boundaries.”
Ms Fitzgibbon has been approached for comment.
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