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The Yes on 8 campaign (California) has constantly been airing despicable television ads full of lies (click here to find out the truth about Prop 8), but to now find out that they have used images of children whose parents have NOT given their permission for their use in the Yes on 8 ad, shows just how disgusting the depths Yes on 8 will go to get their hateful proposition passed. I have worked in the California school system and know full well the privacy issues involved with allowing the image of ANY child to be published without a parent’s consent. Putting even that aside, common sense would dictate that anyone the least bit interested in children and families, as the Yes on 8 folks “claim” they are in their ads, would realize that you do NOT place a child’s image in the public eye WITHOUT consent! It will be interesting to see how this plays out and what legal action, if any, the parents can/will take. I will let the following press release and video tell you the details.
Outraged Parents of Children Featured in Latest Prop 8 TV Ad Demand that Commercial be Taken off the Air ImmediatelyLatest Campaign Gimmick Termed Exploitative and Shameless by Parents
SACRAMENTO – The parents of the two children most prominently featured in the latest multi-million dollar Prop 8 political spot today termed those ads “distasteful and exploitative” and demanded that the ads be taken off the air immediately.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 26, 2008
Contact: Julia Spiess
Outraged Parents of Children Featured in Latest Prop 8 TV Ad Demand that Commercial be Taken off the Air Immediately
Latest Campaign Gimmick Termed Exploitative and Shameless by Parents
SACRAMENTO – The parents of the two children most prominently featured in the latest multi-million dollar Prop 8 political spot today termed those ads “distasteful and exploitative” and demanded that the ads be taken off the air immediately. Both sets of parents – Laura Hodder and Matt Alexander and Jen Press and James Moore, sent two hand-delivered letters this morning. The first letter is to the Prop 8 Campaign demanding the ad be removed from its television and its Web site where it is being used as a fund raising tool. The second letter to the San Francisco Chronicle asks them to intervene on their behalf. The Prop 8 campaign manipulated video that the Chronicle has posted on its Web site.
In their letter to the Prop 8 campaign, the parents wrote: “We are absolutely outraged that you have chosen, without permission, to shamelessly hijack the images of our innocent children to promote a cause that we in no way, shape or form support. It is even more maddening that you have willfully and calculatingly edited the images of our children, with menacing music in the background, in a way that is completely contrary to their nature and harmful to them.”
The footage manipulated by the Yes campaign, without authorization from either the parents or the Chronicle, was originally captured on Oct. 10 when the children took a field trip with their classmates and several parents to share the moment of their teacher’s wedding to her longtime partner. All parents were notified well in advance of the trip which was organized by some parents, and, in fact, two families chose to have their children not participate under California’s broad opt out law.
“I’m a school principal so I know something about education and parents’ rights,” said Matt Alexander whose son, Ben, is featured in the ad. “And the opt out law is something we readily apply all the time. So, let me join every other educator in the state and ask Prop 8 to also stop lying about the opt out law.”
“This field trip was about sharing a special moment with a teacher these kids love,” said Jen Press whose daughter, Lucy, is prominently featured in the political ad. “To turn around and distort images of our children is outrageous. We’re opposed to Prop 8, but irrespective of our position, it’s wrong to use any image of children without their parents’ permission. And we think every parent in California would agree with us.”
In the letter to the San Francisco Chronicle, the parents wrote, in part:
“Our children are being exploited and used as pawns to further a political cause…We ask that you intervene immediately on our behalf and issue a cease and desist letter to the Yes on 8 campaign. If the campaign does not remove the ad, we ask that you pursue legal action against them.”
Added Jen Press: “Prop 8 claims to be about families, but we’re here to say you can’t be for families by attacking our families. You can’t be for families and take these children’s innocent images and flash them not only on television statewide, but on your fund raising page. This must stop right now.”