Photo of Toronto dads used in anti-surrogacy campaign

A photograph of an emotional first meeting between two Toronto fathers and their newborn son is being used as a political tool as part of an anti-surrogacy campaign in Europe.

See Full Article

The photo of BJ Barone and his partner Frank Nelson holding their baby Milo was captured just minutes after he was born to a surrogate during World Pride Week in Toronto on June 27, 2014. The image went viral and sparked thousands of messages of support from around the world.

The photo re-surfaced on social media earlier this month when Irish independent candidate Mary Fitzgibbon shared the image on her Facebook page with the hashtag #no2surrogacy.

Where does your #GE16 candidate stand in respect of #surrogacy4men? #no2surrogacy

Posted by Mary Fitzgibbon on Friday, February 12, 2016

Barone and Nelson learned of the social media posts and decided to fight back on social media by sending Fitzgibbon tweets denouncing her stance and use of the photo.

Thank you!! We are the modern family. It's 2016, not 1816. Time to get with the times! #wearefamily#gayswithkids

— BJ Barone (@bjbarone) February 25, 2016

Fitzgibbon ended up losing in her riding during Ireland’s general election on Friday, something Nelson is hoping they had a hand in.

But it appears the photo may have been used in another political campaign.

Barone and Nelson said they also came across the photo on a poster on social media that bears the logo of the right-wing Italian political party Fratelli D'Italia.

Help stop this! R pic is used for hate! #wearefamily#gaydads [email protected]

— BJ Barone (@bjbarone) February 25, 2016

The part of the poster's caption roughly translates to the rights of children have to be defended.

Italy has been embroiled in a bitter debate about LBGT rights. Earlier this week, the country's Senate voted to grant legal recognition to civil unions, but stopped short of authorizing gay marriage.

In an interview with CTV News on Saturday, Nelson called social media posts upsetting.

"(The photo) became famous because of the beauty in the image and then somehow that beauty and that intimate moment for us is being taken and being used against us and the gay community," he said.

While their son Milo is too young to understand what is going on, his parents hope to eventually use the experience to teach him a lesson about acceptance.

"(We would) tell him that's it's alright to be different … to tolerate other people and to accept other people regardless of their age, gender or sexuality," said Barone.

"Everyone is different in their own way, and that's fine."


Latest Canada & World News

  • 'I couldn't believe it's real': Residents of Woodstock, Ont., nursing home stunned by murder charges

    Canada News CBC News
    They are rattled and scared, but mostly the Woodstock, Ont., residents of Caressant Care Nursing and Retirement Home are in disbelief that a former nurse has been accused of murdering eight patients — seven of them in their very own facility. Source
  • 5 questions about British Airways Flight 286 emergency landing in Vancouver

    Canada News CBC News
    Hundreds of passengers were stranded at Vancouver International Airport today, scrambling for flights after their British Airways plane to London made an emergency landing late Monday night. We know that 22 cabin crew and three pilots from the plane went to hospitals in the Vancouver area and were released shortly after. Source
  • Three Canadians to appear in Australian court on drug-smuggling charges

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    MONTREAL — The three Canadian cruise ship passengers charged in Australia with drug smuggling are scheduled to appear in a Sydney courtroom Wednesday. Andre Tamine, 64, Isabelle Lagace, 28, and Melina Roberge, 23, were arrested in late August after the MS Sea Princess, operated by California-based Princess Cruises, berthed in the Australian metropolis. Source
  • Two kids were lucky to survive accident at Australia theme park, police say

    World News CTV News
    SYDNEY, Australia - Two young children are fortunate to be alive, police said Wednesday, after they were thrown clear and survived an accident that killed four people on a river rapids ride at a popular theme park in Australia. Source
  • U.S. says alleged Bali bombing figure to stay at Guantanamo

    World News CTV News
    MIAMI -- A U.S. government review board has rejected the release of the alleged Southeastern Asian terrorist leader known as Hambali from the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The Periodic Review Board said in a short statement released Tuesday that Hambali continues to be a "significant threat to the security of the United States. Source
  • Family, friends of alleged victims of Woodstock, Ont., nurse remember loved ones

    Canada News CBC News
    Kind, gentle and caring. That's how Susan Robinson remembers her old friend James Silcox, one of the alleged victims of a Woodstock, Ont., nurse who is facing murder charges in the deaths of eight elderly people in nursing homes. Source
  • U.S. mom hosted teen sex parties

    World News Toronto Sun
    A Louisiana mother of five has been tossed in jail for a year after she was convicted of hosting -- and participating in -- booze and dope-fuelled teen sex parties. Brunette Rachel Carrier, 35, was even a frequent flier in the hormone-charged hijinks regularly pairing off with a 15-year-old boy. Source
  • Oregon standoff juror questions impartiality of fellow juror

    World News CTV News
    PORTLAND, Ore. - Federal prosecutors' case against the armed occupiers of an Oregon wildlife refuge hit a bump Tuesday when a juror raised questions about the impartiality of another person on the panel. Jurors sent two notes to the judge that indicated they were having difficulty reaching a consensus after three days of deliberations. Source
  • Official: Tire treads worn on bus in fatal California crash

    World News Toronto Sun
    PALM SPRINGS, Calif. — Ana Car didn’t remember the sudden impact, only that she woke up among dead and injured passengers in a dark bus filled with screams of terror and agony. The retired factory worker had spent an evening gambling at a desert casino and was sound asleep when the bus heading to Los Angeles smashed into the rear of a slow-moving tractor-trailer. Source
  • RCMP to face new class-action harassment lawsuit, this time on behalf of male employees

    Canada News CBC News
    The RCMP will soon face another class-action harassment lawsuit — this time on behalf of male Mounties and civilian employees of the force. Earlier this month, the federal government and the RCMP set aside $100 million to settle an estimated 1,000 cases of female employees being harassed and bullied at work. Source