Ireland gay marriage referendum: Model couple 'appalled' their faces are used on 'Vote No' posters
A couple who feature on a poster encouraging a 'no' vote in the Republic of Ireland's marriage equality referendum are said to be 'appalled' that their image is being used for the campaign.
The man and woman, who have yet to be identified, feature on a poster that reads 'Children deserve a mother and a father'.
Australian comedian Adam Hills shared an image of the poster on his Facebook page, where he claimed the models are friends of his wife and are in favour of marriage equality.
"As it turns out, the people in this photo are friends of my wife, and are appalled that their faces are being used," he wrote.
"And yet there is nothing they can do about it.
"Regardless of how you feel about the vote - what a weird, horrible, ridiculous world we live in, in which a loving, caring, open-minded family unit can be used to advertise the very opposite of what that particular family unit believes."
The poster was designed and erected by campaign group Mothers & Fathers Matter, who have been actively campaigning for a no vote.
Speaking on a stock photography forum, the photographer who took the stock image said the man and woman are 'real parents with a real baby'.
"My attention has been drawn to the use of one of my stock images in a somewhat controversial context," he wrote in a post which has since been deleted.
"Obviously, the ‘models’ signed model releases, but they are real parents with a real baby. I’m sure these parents will be quite upset to see the image used in this manner."
In response to Mr Hills, a spokesman for Mothers & Fathers Matter said if the couple are concerned, the group would like to hear from them directly.
"Like many campaigns, Mothers And Fathers Matter has used a stock photo to give a human face to our message, in this case that children deserve a mother and father wherever possible," he said.
"We don’t respond to third parties, suggesting that they speak for the family who received payment for this photo, but if the couple involved care to contact us directly, we will be pleased to demonstrate how our use of this photo will help ensure that no child will be deliberately denied of the love of a mother or father."
Stock images of the couple and baby have also been used by an Australian website on Legal Parentage and an Irish fertility company.
The most recent Sunday Independent/Millward Brown poll showed 66pc of people are in favour of same-sex marriage, 21pc against and the remainder undecided.
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