A suit seeking monetary damages on behalf of Brian Edwards and Tom Privitere, and photographer Kristina Hill, was filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Denver against Virginia's Public Advocate of the United States, publishers of the mailers, The Denver Post reported Wednesday.
The doctored photo of Edwards and Privitere kissing was part of political material opposing the campaign of state Sen. Jean White, R-Hayden, a supporter of civil union legislation, the newspaper said.
"Tom and Brian were completely unnecessary to the message, which was to provoke disgust against gay people," said Christine Sun, deputy legal director of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which initiated the suit.
Privitere, who married his partner in Connecticut in 2010, said Tuesday use of the copyrighted photograph was "completely wrong and vile" and against the gay community "as a whole," adding "The movement for equality is something that we personally feel we have a moral obligation" to support.
'SNL': 'Anchorman 2' cast, One Direction sing 'Afternoon Delight' [VIDEO]
Trader Joe's: Car crashes into Long Island store, injuring 11