A touching photo of new parents BJ Barone and Frankie Nelson meeting their son for the first time has been used by Kerry candidate Mary Fitzgibbon to protest surrogacy.
The beautiful image of the Canadian parents welcoming their newborn into the world in 2014, was shared countless times across the web and seen as a beautiful display of love by millions of social media users.
GE candidate and nursing lecturer at IT Tralee, Mary Fitzgibbon had a different reaction. She has now used the image and used it to illustrate her opposition to same-sex couples using surrogates.
Over the past year, she has posted the image multiple times across her social media accounts.
During last years marriage referendum campaign, she tweeted the image with the caption: “A motherless child is the prize – the buying of children” and another saying, “We must reaffirm the right of a child to grow up and be loved where possible by their own mother and father.”
Most recently, she posted the image AGAIN on her Facebook page, this time referencing the General Election 2016.
Several weeks ago, the posts were brought to the attention of the couple and the original photographer Lindsay Foster, by an Irish Twitter user.
Speaking to TheJournal.ie, copyright holder, Foster, is outraged that her images were used without permission and for them being “misrepresented for something [she doesn’t] believe in”.
“It’s so sad to know that this image that shouts ‘love’ from the rooftops is being used so negatively by a political candidate,” she said.
One of the fathers of the now two-year-old child, Barone, added that he was “saddened that Mary is using the most beautiful moment in our lives as something negative for her own political gains”.
Fitzgibbon is running as an independent in the Kerry North-West Limerick constituency. She was heavily involved with the Mothers and Fathers Matter campaign in Kerry last year, and previously ran in the General Election in 2012.
She has yet to address the couple’s comments.
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