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#gayswithkidshttps://t.co/lNPveq0iG9

— 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] https://t.co/yjnCm0ZQpy

— 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."



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • China should allow Nobel laureate to seek treatment abroad: U.S. envoy

    World News CTV News
    BEIJING - The new U.S. ambassador to Beijing said Wednesday that Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo should be allowed to receive treatment outside China after he was diagnosed with cancer while in prison for advocating democratic reforms. Source
  • Montreal man back in U.S. court over airport stabbing

    World News CTV News
    FLINT, Mich. - A Canadian man accused of stabbing an airport police officer in Flint, Michigan, is returning to court to learn if he'll remain in custody. Amor Ftouhi is unlikely to be granted bond Wednesday because the charge is serious and he lives outside the U.S. Source
  • Review board wants another look at decision in Keith Lamont Scott killing case

    World News CTV News
    CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A review board Tuesday found "substantial evidence of error" in a North Carolina police department’s decision that the fatal shooting of a black man by an officer last year was justified and scheduled another hearing on the matter in August. Source
  • Man dies in hospital after being shot in apartment by Montreal police

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    THE CANADIAN PRESS First posted: Wednesday, June 28, 2017 12:38 AM EDT | Updated: Wednesday, June 28, 2017 12:44 AM EDT Source
  • FBI agent indicted over Oregon refuge standoff shooting

    World News CTV News
    PORTLAND, Ore. - An FBI agent has been indicted on accusations that he lied about firing at a rancher in 2016 when officers arrested leaders of an armed occupation of a federal wildlife refuge in rural Oregon. Source
  • Trump administration plans border wall models in summer

    World News Toronto Sun
    SAN DIEGO - The agency in charge of U.S. border security plans to start building prototypes for President Donald Trump’s proposed wall with Mexico later this summer. Ronald Vitiello, Customs and Border Protection’s acting deputy commissioner, said Tuesday that four to eight companies will get contracts for prototypes in San Diego that could be models for the roughly 2,000-mile (3,200-kilometre) border. Source
  • Activists take step to recall judge in Brock Turner sex assault case

    World News CTV News
    SAN FRANCISCO - Activists seeking to recall a judge who sentenced a former Stanford University swimmer to six months in jail for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman say they believe voters will still support the effort even if it appears on the ballot two years after the trial. Source
  • Iran accuses U.S. of 'brazen' plan to change its government

    World News CTV News
    Iran is accusing U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson of "a brazen interventionist plan" to change the current government that violates international law and the UN Charter. Iran's UN Ambassador Gholamali Khoshroo said in a letter to Secretary-General Antonio Guterres circulated Tuesday that Tillerson's comments are also "a flagrant violation" of the 1981 Algiers Accords in which the United States pledged "not to intervene, directly or indirectly, politically or militarily, in Iran's internal…
  • Major security measures for Ottawa's Canada 150 bash amid ISIS threat

    Canada News CTV News
    More than 500,000 revelers are expected to flock to Parliament Hill Saturday to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary, and heightened security will be in place across the capital to ensure the party goes off without a hitch. Source
  • One Hong Kong, two sentiments after 20 years of Chinese rule

    World News CTV News
    Hong Kong is planning a big party as it marks 20 years under Chinese rule. But many people in the former British colony are not in the mood to celebrate. Fireworks, a gala variety show and Chinese military displays are among the official events planned to coincide with a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping starting Thursday for the occasion. Source