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NOM tour bus FAIL: Get a load of this

NOM Tour Tracker Right-wing

By Eden James


Well, actually quite believable. But get a load of this iStock photo scandal.

Good As You (cross-posted with permission) breaks the news:

You’re in luck, fans of NOM’s traveling stock photo collection on wheels. For we have pinpointed all of the model families who are featured on this hetero-only dog and pony show’s tour bus (whether they like it or not), so that now every common Joe and Jane can go off and manufacture their own replica vehicle:


Happy Family in Studio

Portrait of a smiling family over white background

Family of three on white

Cute family

We can hear those wheels a spinning, General Motors execs. Why it could save the entire industry, this campy heterosexist jalopy.

Hmmm… you think that maybe, just maybe, one of those “families” in these iStock photos might not agree with NOM’s take on same-sex marriage?

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  • 1. Lightning Baltimore  |  July 16, 2010 at 8:09 am

    What's pathetic to me is they had to go to stock photos in the first place. No members willing to have their photos associated with bigotry, perhaps?

    Not even Maggs or Bubba!

  • 2. cc  |  July 16, 2010 at 8:10 am

    Sorry but I really don’t see why this is an issue or such a scandal. This is how advertising works. Do you really think that guy pushing fat free mayonnaise that says it taste like the real thing is actually eating that stuff on a regular basis? Nope he’s not he is just a paid actor. Same goes here. It doesn’t matter if the models endorse their slogan or not, the models entered into a contract that paid them for their time and in doing so they relinquished all rights to their photos. Basically they have no legal say what happens to them.

  • 3. Doug Bearden  |  July 16, 2010 at 8:17 am

    Precious!!! ooo give me a baby and a woman cause I want to be in one of them thar iStockphoto's!

  • 4. Josh (SF)  |  July 16, 2010 at 8:22 am

    There's a big difference between a model being paid to go in for a mayonaisse ad and this. That model (having been an actor myself) knows exactly what they are being photographed for. Here these models posed for photos for a small company to be used as say a frame filler or some small domestic use, not to be driven across country in support of something they may not know anything about. As well, I'm quite sure NOM paid the bare minimum for these photos to get a high quality image, and now is using there likeness as "model families" in the name of bigotry. If any of these people are same-sex marriage supports i'm sure they might be EXTREMELY insulted and pissed. As well as legal infractions per the list of Possible misuse infractions in the small print as neil brought up!

  • 5. Alan E.  |  July 16, 2010 at 8:26 am

    That's a good point Josh (/wave from SF to SF). There is a major difference between a person endorsing something willfully and a company presenting a person who willfully endorses a product or message. It's a tough one to argue though and can go both ways.

  • 6. Michelle Evans  |  July 16, 2010 at 8:27 am

    This brings us back to examples such as the Gathering Storm ad. It is my understanding that each of those supposedly "real" stories they portrayed, were in fact done by actors. When the lady says she was a doctor, or whatever, she actually was not. And I don't recall them saying that these were actors, which is supposedly also a violation. It's called truth in advertising, and people and firms are supposed to be held legally accountable. It's like the guy who said he's not a doctor, but just plays one on TV. That sort of statement is fine because it tells the truth about who is sending the message. NOM and all the other marriage haters hide their facts and their faces.

  • 7. Alan E.  |  July 16, 2010 at 8:27 am

    NOM could follow up and say that they weren't saying that those people endorse their message, only that they are an example of the message that NOM is pushing.

  • 8. Bolt  |  July 16, 2010 at 8:38 am

    Looking forward to the annihilation of proposition 8. Our greatest revenge will be living equally protected under the law.

  • 9. Ray in MA  |  July 16, 2010 at 8:40 am

    You know what comforts me the most? I’m a Pastafarian and believe with all my heart that they will some day be on their knees BEGGING for forgiveness from the same Flying Spaghetti Monster that will judge them just as they are judging others.

  • 10. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  July 16, 2010 at 8:49 am

    I hope you all realize that when you use hurtful terms such as 'Flying Spahetti Monster' to refer to the God that many of us actually believe in, you are no better than those we are fighting against.
    Just because it may be something you yourself do not believe in doesn't really make it necessary to poke fun and insult those of us that do.
    Remember it is not GOD doing these hurtful things to us but rather some of his misguided followers.
    I understand why you say what you do but please understand that your words are in fact hurtful.

  • 11. Ray in MA  |  July 16, 2010 at 8:54 am

    Sorry, I couldn't resist… and you are missing the point completely… the FSM is MY GOD. The belief is that we can have our 'god', just as anyone else can have theirs! No one should say that someone else's god is false. (and the absurdity goes on and on)

  • 12. gayathomemom  |  July 16, 2010 at 8:56 am

    I've got to agree with cc. It's a cheap, fast way to get their 'traditional' family bus adorned with the only families that should exist! They need to save up for the butt-kicking they are going to get at the hands of all those 'activist' judges!

    Now if WE went out for a marriage tour, I think we'd have families in the thousands volunteering to not only get their photos taken, but decorate the bus with them as well!

  • 13. cc  |  July 16, 2010 at 8:57 am

    Don't get me wrong I do understand that but as a former small time model myself I knew I had to sign these waivers every time I entered a shoot. It is a part of the contract and it was quite common that while I was modeling for one company they would turn around and sell my pics to another company. Really it’s part of modeling and you have to know what you are getting into. Once you relinquish rights you really have no say.

    As for Neil’s post it’s unlikely any legal repercussions will occur. But for a PR probably, it will be bad for NOM (teehee I’m giddy about that) but then again it will be a great boost for any of the models’ careers if they speak out publically and fight it.

  • 14. Josh (SF)  |  July 16, 2010 at 9:08 am

    I haven't researched ALL of the photographers, but two are from over seas. I actually contacted one by email and forwarded him the story. He's located in Denmark, so if this stays true for all, I'm quite sure none of the models would ever even know their likenesses had been used.

  • 15. Josh (SF)  |  July 16, 2010 at 9:11 am

    As I said above, I've at least sent out a notice and a link to the story to one of the photographers. But seeing as how he's European and uses European models…

  • 16. Ғĕłỹҳ  |  July 16, 2010 at 9:14 am

    Maggie was not allowed to pose for the bus for two reasons:

    1) Her husband refuses to be seen in public with her. (Seriously, this is the truth!)

    2) The purpose of the photos is to represent real families that will attract people to the cause. (The families may not be real but at least they are still attractive.)


  • 17. Ķĭŗîļĺę&  |  July 16, 2010 at 9:14 am

    I missed all the fun, but I saw those pictures before, on GoodAsYou.

    I always suspected they are getting those pictures somewhere, I actually think I saw some other site that had the same picture of the same family, and I was it was weird. Well, now it all makes sense.

    You can buy a family to make everyone see how much you hate the alternative family.

    I hope those people who are depicted in those pictures are furious that their faces are being used like that and plastered all over the internet and whatnot.

  • 18. nightshayde  |  July 16, 2010 at 9:21 am

    They're not equating the FSM with the God worshipped by other religions (either the benevolent version embraced by Christians and other who support marriage equaltiy, or the vengeful nasty version quoted by the rabid heterosexists). They're saying the FSM is the God of their own religion.

    So it's not really mocking your version of God — it's mocking the idea that any one religious institution has all the answers and should be held in higher esteem than any other religious institution.

    Their website is actually quite funny. The "religion" (eeep – scarequotes!) was founded in order to protest right-wing "Christians" (scarequotes really on purpose) who were insisting that creation Intelligent Design be taught in schools.

  • 19. Ғĕłỹҳ  |  July 16, 2010 at 9:22 am

    Let us know when AFER or any other organization would like to sue NOM on behalf of iStockphoto's!

    They are losing lawsuits left and right….why not one more!!!

  • 20. fiona64  |  July 16, 2010 at 9:22 am

    Quote: Created in 2005 by Oregon State physics graduate Bobby Henderson, it was originally intended as a satirical protest against the decision by the Kansas State Board of Education to permit the teaching of intelligent design as an alternative to evolution in public schools.


  • 21. Ronnie  |  July 16, 2010 at 9:22 am

    AHHHHHHHHH!!!…The Chupacabra!!!!!!!!….<3…Ronnie

  • 22. Ғĕłỹҳ  |  July 16, 2010 at 9:24 am

    The contract states that a statement of actor representation must be posted with the photo I believe…I don't see a statement on the bus!

    you can say whatever you want (which they do) but that will not prevent a legitimate lawsuit!

  • 23. Dalow  |  July 16, 2010 at 9:25 am

    Here is the content of an e-mail that I just posted to the attention of Legal Department at

    The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) is using images from istockphoto for, at minimum, decorating a bus they are using for a promotional tour. Their adventures are being tracked by a Marriage Equality Website and one of the contributors questions the permitted use of some of your images as described in your online License Agreement under "Prohibited Use," Item 7. Many of us believe that the people depicted in your images may object to appear be endorsing or agreeing with the purpose of NOM.

    We thought you would like to know.

  • 24. nightshayde  |  July 16, 2010 at 9:28 am

    According to their restrictions, though, if they're using a photo for a social issue, they need to include a disclaimer with the pictures saying that the images are for illustrative purposes only and that the people in the photo are models.

    Posting the pictures without a disclaimer would lead a "reasonable person" to believe that the people in the photo actually endorse the message their photos are being used to endorse.

  • 25. Sagesse  |  July 16, 2010 at 9:29 am

    Visit the Ruth Institute website and listen to the podcast on DOMA and the Maine rally. "Dr." Jennifer refers to daily podcasts to come.

    Priceless comment on the DOMA decision (paraphrasing): They went judge shopping. What do expect from a Boston judge?"


  • 26. Bob  |  July 16, 2010 at 9:51 am

    Mark M. apology on my part to you,

    I don't see it that way, I'm a Christian, but I do not see the term "Flying Spaghetti Monster", as hurtful in any way to myself or my spirituality,

    My connection spiritually with GOD, can in no way be affected by or belittled by anyone else or their behavior, or their own beliefs.

    Nor do I beleive GOD is dependent on my defending her or my relationship to him.

    In that sense I would be no different and in fact the very same as those NOM supporters who believe so sincerely that they need to change me and any other LGBT person , to conform to their perception of what is acceptable behavior as a christian.

    In my relationship with the divine goodness in life, we celebrate, indeed even see the humouir, and joy in the diversity, of the menu from which we choose to come to the same place.

    This dance of life, and joy, and celebration, is fed by and never deminished by the diversity of steps, sounds, rituals, even the very basic need for humour, to make sense of this great unkown. from which I derive so much pleasure.

    We are all the same, more than we are different, that is the reality the FSM brings to my awareness.

  • 27. Ғĕłỹҳ  |  July 16, 2010 at 10:07 am

    I have always favored Bob's Church myself.

    Faithful follower since infinity,


  • 28. Marlene  |  July 16, 2010 at 10:11 am

    Since when does NOM and the religious reicht care about the Constitution and the law except for where they claim their interpretation of the Free Expression Clause of the First Amendment trumps every law in the book?

  • 29. nightshayde  |  July 16, 2010 at 10:34 am

    I absolutely LOVED that Star Trek TNG episode. Watching that episode was a pivotal moment for me — really making it *click* that the shell doesn't (or at least shouldn't) matter if you find your soulmate.

    It aired when I was in college. I had always been pro-gay rights, but more passively than actively so — and more based on general principle than on empathy. That episode made me realize how silly and shallow our society's view of love and commitment can be.

  • 30. Ray in MA  |  July 16, 2010 at 10:35 am

    Ruth's BOOB Tube Videos are full of stock photos, too.

    They are also having a Conference in SD CA titled "It takes a Family to Raise a Village" (apparently she means "It takes Straight Families to Raise a Village")

    Talk about originality!

    It appears that she feels that LGBT people who raise children in loving relationships are NOT families! (WTF!) Who does she think she is!!!

  • 31. eDee  |  July 16, 2010 at 11:05 am

    I don't see the issue, I could have told you this 2 days ago. I use stock photos like that all the time on websites I build. Walmart and I both use the same iStock photo of a baby on our websites.

    I assumed the photo you guys used here as your header image was a stock photo.
    The people in those images are just models, they know their image could be used in anyway, shape or form. They sign on the dotted line.

    Sorry guys, this is only a big deal to people who aren't in the business. This is a mole hill.

  • 32. Ray in MA  |  July 16, 2010 at 11:05 am

    What's going on for us in Providence this Sunday?

    I signed up for notices, but haven't received anything.

  • 33. Ray in MA  |  July 16, 2010 at 11:07 am

    What about Neil's post above (#14) ???

  • 34. eDee  |  July 16, 2010 at 11:24 am

    @John (SF) Honestly, this isn't a big deal in the advertising/design/programming world. These are stock photos, not models who are paid for a specific purpose.
    I've been to stock photo shoots, I know the photographers and some of the models, they are aware their image can be purchase by anyone and used in anyway. This may not have crossed their minds, but they sign the forms and get their check.

    I have used iStock photos when creating Gay and Lesbian family type websites. I have photos of beautiful Gay and Lesbian couples with what looks like their children who probably never met until the photo shoot – all from istock and a dozen other photo stock companies.

    The models are basically actors, no different from what you see on TV.

  • 35. eDee  |  July 16, 2010 at 11:39 am

    @nightshayde & Ғĕłỹҳ
    Oh good grief we're talking about Star Trek TNG now?
    I thought I was their only fan! lololol

    There are gay couples in the background of several TNG episodes. My mother almost banned me from watching it because of that. lol

  • 36. PamC  |  July 16, 2010 at 11:49 am

    Plus, both TNG and DS9 had episodes involving romances with the symbiotic race, wherein their "hosts" died and the symbiant was implanted in a different gender. However, I was very disappointed that Beverly couldn't continue her romance once her lover became female. *sigh*

  • 37. PamC  |  July 16, 2010 at 11:50 am

    They went judge shopping? What, and chose one from the Republican Nixon-appointee aisle????

  • 38. JonT  |  July 16, 2010 at 11:52 am

    @eDee: 'I thought I was their only fan! lololol'

    Are you kidding? I've loved all of the star treks (yes, even ds9, voyager, and (gulp) enterprise :)

    Star trek defined a future where color, sex, race, creed, whatever simply did not matter. A worthy goal for the human race. Though, I must agree with Felyx, they did avoid 'teh gay' somewhat.

    Reading these prop 8 and DADT transcripts, I keep thinking of Picard in the episode 'The Measure of a Man': "Your Honor, the courtroom is a crucible. In it we burn away irrelevancies until we are left with a pure product, the truth, for all time."

    Pure poetry :)

  • 39. eDee  |  July 16, 2010 at 11:53 am

    1) All they would have to do is put it in teeny tiny writing on the bottom of the bus.

    2) BUT they could, like myself, have a special contract with iStock where I don't go by that rule.

    3) PLUS, those photos may not be sold exclusively through iStock. I have purchased the same photo for different websites from different stock photo companies (I am require to purchase the photo each time I use it for a different client.)

    4) I've created 100's of websites with stock photos, I've never put "The dog is this image may have never played with any of the toys sold on this site." or anything of the sort.
    I am not require to put "The lovely gay couple in this image may have never met until the day of the shoot and the children pictured in this image may or may not be their children."

    Making a big deal out of this makes us look like we are grasping at straws.

  • 40. PamC  |  July 16, 2010 at 11:58 am

    I read the following post on Joe.My.God.:

    Join us in Providence RI this Sunday as we protest this NOM anti-gay tour. Queer Action of RI meets at 1:30 pm on the north side of the State House (Smith Street side). Please wear red if possible. Bring signs and water to drink. We aim to have many more protesters than NOM participants. Please join us!!

  • 41. Dave  |  July 16, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    I suppose many of you have already seen this, so my apologies if this is a repeat. But if you haven't, it's brilliant and should be shared with your friends.

    "Peter" explains the Prop 8 trial in two minutes.

  • 42. Sagesse  |  July 16, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    Just the irony. If she'd read the case, she'd understand it has to be brought in one of the five God-denying librul states that actually permit marriage… like, I don't know… Massachusetts? Kinda limits the opportunities for judge shopping.

  • 43. Lesbians Love Boies  |  July 16, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    Anyone with an iStock photo account can grab those images and put them up here. You can do quite a bit with stock photos. You don't have to use them 'as is'…just adjust each image — add man with man, woman with woman) and you have changed the meaning of the image…which I believe is actually okay to do with stock images that you 'purchase'.

  • 44. Bryan  |  July 16, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    In San Diego? When? I'm gonna be down there mid-August for the APA Convention. I'd love to stop in there and raise hell.

  • 45. Ғĕłỹҳ  |  July 16, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    Right on JonT!!!

  • 46. Bryan  |  July 16, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    Comment not showing up um… When are they gonna be in San Diego? I'm gonna be down there mid-August for the APA Convention and I'd love to show up to raise hell

  • 47. eDee  |  July 16, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    @JonT, many of the reasons I support equality come from the lessons I learned from ST TNG and DS9.
    If it were not for Star Trek I would probably be on the NOM bus tour.

    Yes, they did avoid the "gay" subject, but it wasn't time for that yet. What they did was get us thinking about equality without coming right out and saying it. What is the saying about 'those who cannot hearing a shout but straining to hear a pin drop'. If they were to say “Gay is OK” the message would have been lost, but allowing us to see everyone equal no matter what the race, gender or species allowed may of us (‘us’ meaning the brainwashed) to become comfortable with equality and become supporters.

    Everything I need to know about life I learned from Star Trek – live long and prosper my friend.

  • 48. Ғĕłỹҳ  |  July 16, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    BTW The original Star Trek series was noted for being the first TV show to air an interracial kiss. Admittedly Kirk and Ahura were portrayed as being reluctant as they were being forced against their wills and also admittedly it depended on which state you lived in as to what camera angle you saw (full on kiss vs implied kiss) but still…the original had the 'balls' to put it out there!

    STTNG and the rest of the franchise never really got nearly so far.

    Still, I am a dedicated fan!


    @nightshayde For the record I cried when I saw the episode and finally figured out what it meant. (I was rather young so it was a bit over my head at the time.)

  • 49. Kathleen  |  July 16, 2010 at 12:23 pm


  • 50. PamC  |  July 16, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    lol, even the republicans are not to be trusted in librul Mass.

  • 51. PamC  |  July 16, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    That's funny; my spouse just suggested that we show up with photoshopped signs doing just that with their own stock images–change them all to gay families…

  • 52. Ғĕłỹҳ  |  July 16, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    It may be a molehill but it is a good one. The real core irony here is that NOM has reduced 'Sacred Marriage' to a commodity that needs to be advertised with shiny pictures of attractive models…not real people in real families.

    With the vast number of hetero married individuals out there NOM is just lazy to use stock photos. It shows what a scam their uninspiring cause is and how few are the individuals who care.

    Marriage is about people loving each other and creating family…it is not about being in 'the business'.

    I believe there is a comment above that really hits the nail on the head…we don't need stock photos…we have real people in real marriages with real families that would be honored to put their image out there.


  • 53. PamC  |  July 16, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    @Felyx–what really hits home to me is the difference between their cause & ours–theirs is ideological (or pretending to be, for the money), while ours is rubber-hits-the-road REAL. Our lives, our families, our earnings, our love, our health–everything!!

    Their values & scare tactics & propaganda are as real as their stock photos.

  • 54. Ғĕłỹҳ  |  July 16, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    Huge banners with gay photoshopped couples! Hilarious!

    Still, totally awesome irony aside…I would still rather see real images of real couples with real families with subtitles that say something to the effect of,"These are real people who really sponsor our cause! We are not so desperate that we have to buy them off iStockphoto like NOM?!!!"


  • 55. Lesbians Love Boies  |  July 16, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    Yes, I agree. Not to be a complete stinker, but my company sometimes has to use stock photos for images (where we have quite a bit of great images with people using our product) but they fall short when we need to use them in larger formats. IE posters, 'a bus', trade show images, etc. It's actually cheaper to use a family/couple/person in a stock image – where the resolution is much higher – than get the person (who uses our product) in a photo shoot. Mind you, our company is quite different from NOM, but the practice and use of these images is the same.

    This argument is wishy washy to me. I can understand why they would use stock images.

  • 56. Ғĕłỹҳ  |  July 16, 2010 at 12:58 pm


    What with divorces, second, third etc. marriages, open marriages and the like, you would think they had better things to focus on. I maintain that Maggie's husband refuses to be seen with her in public!!!

    Their stock photos of couples and families are as real as the marriages they are 'protecting'!


  • 57. Ronnie  |  July 16, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    OMG…This was posted on Joe.My.God…creepy…but must see…..<3…Ronnie:…!

  • 58. Ғĕłỹҳ  |  July 16, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    @Lesbians Love Boies

    "Mind you, our company is quite different from NOM, but the practice and use of these images is the same."

    I think you answered your own question. Companies are selling legitimate products; NOM is harassing others by claiming to promote a lifestyle choice!

    If their cause is that strong then they would seem more legit if they had real people. But it isn't. And they don't.


    NOM – Your lifestyle choice need not interfere with my core being!

  • 59. JonT  |  July 16, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    @Felyx: I maintain that Maggie’s husband refuses to be seen with her in public!!!

    I wonder how Mags reconciles her 'activism' with "1 Timothy 2:12":

    'I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.'

    Maybe that's why she had to take a back seat at n0m…

  • 60. Ғĕłỹҳ  |  July 16, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    @ JonT

    I wonder how any of them reconcile any of this with Matthew 19:10-11

    10The disciples said to him, "If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry."

    11Jesus replied, "Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 12For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage[c]because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it."

    Guess NOMmers just can't accept it!


    (Who at one time had the entire bible memorized!)

  • 61. JonT  |  July 16, 2010 at 1:45 pm


    Yep, cherry picking. What else is new with these guys :)

    Either the bible is Absolute Truth (TM) in it's entirety, or it's not.

    As Spock once said: "Logic is a wreath of flowers, that smell bad."


  • 62. Ronnie  |  July 16, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    wow…the words escape me…<3…Ronnie

  • 63. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  July 16, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    There are more of those families who disagree with NOM than Brainless Brown and MagPie Gagonher want to admit.

  • 64. Josh (SF)  |  July 16, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    Someone should print out those actual pages from the web, make signs of them and caption it below “How Much did you pay for these Photos? Do the models know about it?”

  • 65. Neil  |  July 16, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    The following is a comment copied from the Good As You article linked above. He says he is in touch with all but one of the photographers, and he also says:

    [This user is an administrator] Jeremy H/Good As You

    This is the part of istockphoto’s service agreement that might — *might* — come into play. It’s #7 on the prohibited use list:

    “use or display any Content that features a model or person in a manner (a) that would lead a reasonable person to think that such person uses or personally endorses any business, product, service, cause, association or other endeavour; or (b) except where accompanied by a statement that indicates that the Content is being used for illustrative purposes only and any person depicted in the Content is a model, that depicts such person in a potentially sensitive subject matter, including, but not limited to mental and physical health issues, social issues, sexual or implied sexual activity or preferences, substance abuse, crime, physical or mental abuse or ailments, or any other subject matter that would be reasonably likely to be offensive or unflattering to any person reflected in the Content, unless the Content itself clearly and undisputedly reflects the model or person in such potentially sensitive subject matter in which case the Content may be used or displayed in a manner that portrays the model or person in the same context and to the same degree depicted in the Content itself;”

  • 66. Neil  |  July 16, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    So to answer cc’s point above:

    1/ It might be against the terms of use (implied sexual preference)
    2/ Even if it’s OK legally – if any of the models disagree with the message for any reason, that becomes (at the very least) a distracting PR problem for NOM

    Cheers, Neil.

  • 67. Alan E.  |  July 16, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    I love iStockphoto for that reason though. You can find just what you want for almost any project. I don’t want to prevent people from using the images, or anything, but you could at least shell out a few extra bucks to take a photo of someone who actually supports your cause.

  • 68. Neil  |  July 16, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    If one of the models would be willing, I can just imagine a big banner with their picture on it and the caption “The Truth Is – We Support Gay Marriage”.

    I know that’s just wishful thinking at this stage, but if we all pray hard enough to the Flying Spaghetti Monster ….

    Cheers, Neil.

  • 69. Tim  |  July 16, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    There has got to be a way to find these families and inform them of the use of their images.
    I find NOM motives just as insulting as hurtful.
    To think that they believe they are better than me (as a person), or us as a people. I’m insulted
    They really feel we are less than human and truly believe we deserve second class status.

    You know what comforts me the most? I’m a christian and believe with all my heart that they will some day be on their knees BEGGING for forgiveness from the same God that will judge them just as they are judging others.

    I’m better than no one! But I’m damn sure I have impecible family values! I would NEVER spend so much time and money to insure another family will never enjoy the same happiness as mine!

    Brian and Maggie and others, shame on you! Just wait, it will come back to you!

  • 70. Bob  |  July 16, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    yeah for the FSM,

  • 71. JonT  |  July 16, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    I remember that. The ‘teacher’ as well. Someone even dug up the auditions for the ad:

    Of course, there are several funny parodies of that as well. :)

  • 72. Alan E.  |  July 16, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    The “Proposition Infinity” episode of Futurama was great, though. I’m so glad that show still makes me laugh right from the get-go.

  • 73. Dalow  |  July 16, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    It seems to me that NOM would be required to post a disclaimer with the photos stating that the depicted persons are actors or models who do not necessarily endorse the philosophy or position of NOM. And since the section of the service agreement that Neil has found is very explicit, istockphoto should be notified, which I intend to do, post haste!

    I’m not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV, but I have been on jury duty eight times and have a slight understanding of nuances of LAW.

  • 74. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  July 16, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    No I don’t believe I’ve missed the point at all……

  • 75. BradK  |  July 16, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    That was a bit disturbing, but hilarious nonetheless.

    "Wake up you tools!" should be the NOM tagline.

  • 76. ĶĭŗîļĺęΧҲΪ  |  July 16, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    Look at this picture of Maggie and tell me how many people would like what they see (imagine her Hindu husband standing there, just for the fun of it, and don’t forget to squeeze there her daughter born out of wedlock).

  • 77. Ray in MA  |  July 16, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    And this is how the FSM is currently worshiped…

    No need to continue this here… not really on topic.

  • 78. Kathleen  |  July 16, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    You know that's a stock photo on this site?

  • 79. Ғĕłỹҳ  |  July 16, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    I love Futurama but I have to be a bit critical. It is like the Star Trek TNG social issue episode with the non-gendered alien race…if they wanted to do something for gays they could have had a quiet gay couple in the background holding hands. That would have been far more potent. Why not have Fry give up on Leila and have a Bromance with Bender that led them to fight for Robosexual Domestic Partnerships or Unions or even Marriages?! Why? Because it is all great fun to parody the Prop 8 campaign but the writers are still a bit misogynistic not unlike all the Disney movies so revered by the NOMish kind. (I am sure Fiona can back me on this one.) The only gay couple presented had high pitched voices and a dog as their ‘child’. Not what I envision for the 31st century. All the more suspect when they show a ghost and a horse in the same sequence (allusions to bestiality ya think?!)

    That being said, I still get a kick out of watching Futurama, Family Guy and South Park. (The last of which has actually gotten pretty good at being ‘real’ what with their religious and social policy commentaries.)


  • 80. Mike M  |  July 16, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    Maybe they should have to put that note under the pictures like food companies have to do, “Serving Suggestion Only, Your Results May Vary.”

  • 81. ĶĭŗîļĺęΧҲΪ  |  July 16, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    BTW, I loved Colbert’s Report on Gathering Storm!
    It was so funny and so right on!
    I know it’s old, but it’s classic: maybe somebody didn’t see it!

  • 82. Straight Ally #3008  |  July 16, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    Reminds me of…


    (not safe for work!)


  • 83. Ķĭŗîļĺę&  |  July 16, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    @Felyx, @JonT, @eDee, @PamC, @nightshayde

    Star trek defined a future where color, sex, race, creed, whatever simply did not matter. A worthy goal for the human race.

    Funny thing…  I remember watching Star Trek (I think it was TOS and TNG) in 90s (when I was between 10 and 15), and I always thought that this is the future I'm gonna live in.  And I'm not talking about stellar travels, but rather about the world where color of your skin, your ethnicity, your gender, your sexuality do not matter and are not a reason to discriminate against you.  All that matters are your personal qualities and skills, and you are respected nonetheless and evaluated and valued only based on your knowledge and skills, not your personal features, especially the inherent ones.  Imagine my disappointment when I realized what the real world really is and how slowly it moves towards that Star Trek dream!

    As for avoiding gay issues.  Well, I didn't even know what gay meant back then (just like I didn't know I was gay myself), and I'm sure as hell Russian television would not have permitted the TV series with gay scenes.  So, I'm kind of grateful there were none — I got to see the underlying message which was still about equality for all, including gays.  Oh, and eDee is saying the same thing, I see…  Well, I'm repeating, but I'm just having exactly the same feelings!  Although, I still would have never joined NOM bus tour on their side.   😛

  • 84. Ķĭŗîļĺę&  |  July 16, 2010 at 9:42 pm


    There it is, I found it, you're right!

    This site's design is repeating NOM's blog design (remember their lawsuit against Courage Campaign?).  I'm pretty sure they used a stock image to show some “one man, one woman” family from iStock, so it is only logical to do the same thing with this site which design mocks their blog's design.  :)

    At least, our picture depicts two guys and a child, there is no misreading here — that's a gay family (look at the picture title — Unconventional family — which means they were fine with anyone using this picture to imply they are gay and they do not object gay unions).  Good enough for me.  We're not using it to imply that this is the only family structure we see normal and acceptable, which is exactly what NOM does!  This is why they are wrong!  But that's not the only thing they are wrong about, so no wonder…

  • 85. Ray in MA  |  July 16, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    Thanx Pamzee! I'm fairy sure I'll be there … gonna be a HOT & HUMID day… not much shade around that building… umbrellas may ba a good idea … my friend and I may have ours with us!

  • 86. Ray in MA  |  July 16, 2010 at 11:17 pm

    @Bryan, Aug 12, 2010 at the Renaissance Airport Hotel, in Los Angeles (near LAX). Reception at 6:30 p.m.; dinner at 7:00 p.m

    You can even register here:


  • 87. Luis A. Ramos  |  July 16, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    I Wish I Could Draw A Caheck Mark on this post.

    Since I Can Not I will grade it then:


  • 88. Ғĕłỹҳ  |  July 16, 2010 at 11:31 pm

    Wow, painful to be sure! With that I have to defer to PamC and LLB.

    To the moderators…if we send in photos of real members with real families and sign the appropriate forms would you switch out the image?

    I am sure there are some members out there who want to represent! (If I have to I will gladly submit to having any photo taken of me in a deeply passionate kiss with any hot male lead actor….Neil Patrick Harris comes to mind…)


  • 89. fiona64  |  July 16, 2010 at 11:53 pm

    I was just going to post something to the effect of what Nightshayde wrote. There is a concept in journalism and advertising known as "implied endorsement." Unless there is a disclaimer stating that the people shown are models, the implication is that they do indeed approve of the message for which their image is being used.

    Fiona (who once had to confiscate b-roll from a filmmaker who violated the rules of his permit that precluded implied endorsement)

  • 90. PamC  |  July 17, 2010 at 12:23 am

    Umbrellas are a great idea! We have a big red & white golf umbrella (which will match our red shirts) so look for us!

    Still debating as to our signs–Cathy (spouse o' mine) watched 8: The Mormon Proposition with me last night, which devotes a fair amount of time to NOM and how the Mormons initiated its founding, using 1st Maggie and then BB (who is, I'm ashamed to say, from CT). We thought one sign should read:

    NOM: Mormon $$ Launderers since 2007

  • 91. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 17, 2010 at 12:27 am

    @ PamC–That is GREAT!! Is it okay with you if I use that for our sign here in Raleigh?
    ENC has stated that they are not going to participate in the anti-NOM tour, so I guess we will have to organize a counter-protest without them.

  • 92. PamC  |  July 17, 2010 at 12:41 am

    @Richard–but of course! :)

  • 93. Ķĭŗîļĺę&  |  July 17, 2010 at 1:38 am

    Huh!  Of course, my dear, you just HAVE to be the first in line to kiss some cute actors and pose in front of the camera…  :-(  😛

  • 94. Ғĕłỹҳ  |  July 17, 2010 at 2:39 am

    I would only be doing it for the greater good!!!

    Felyx 😛

  • 95. Josh Travierso (SF)  |  July 17, 2010 at 3:34 am

    Alright, I need help and am not sure what to do. I contacted one of the photographers that had their photos used. He is NOT in agreement with this usage and DOES feel a lawsuit should be filed. I'm quite sure right are owned by the website now, but I haven't asked. Who should I put this photographer in touch with? Any assistance would be valuable… Email me please at

  • 96. Ray in MA  |  July 17, 2010 at 3:51 am

    Go for it! Worth a try!

  • 97. Ғĕłỹҳ  |  July 17, 2010 at 4:06 am

    Just a thought to your question…

    Most likely you need to direct the photographer (and models) to the contract(s) that they signed. In it there can likely be a section regarding disputes, violations and mediations. The contract will also answer as to whom the dispute should be addressed. Typically there are very good ways to resolve issued without resorting to lawsuits. A mere complaint by the photographer or models to the company will spur the company on to addressing the issue and taking action (if warranted) with NOM and P8TT regarding their lack of proper handling of their respective agreements. (Yes, it seems our site is not so squeaky clean itself!)

    So again, direct the photographer and whoever else to read the contract first to identify the exact complaint then encourage them to enter into dialog with the other party represented in the contract.

    Hope this helps, Not a lawyer, don't care to be one, personally against lawsuits if at all possible, let us all know how it works out…still willing to make out with NPH…for the good of the community…(if I am absolutely forced to, of course).


  • 98. Scott Anderson  |  July 17, 2010 at 4:31 am

    I'm more disturbed that they wrapped the bus with OUR American flag than the fake families they posted on the side of it. The irony of using our national symbol of freedom in their campaign to limit the freedoms of others.

  • 99. Vaati  |  July 17, 2010 at 5:10 am

    Mega fail.

  • 100. Kathleen  |  July 17, 2010 at 5:19 am

    Yes, have the photographer look to the legal agreeements that he and the models signed. If there's any chance that this is a violation of the agreement, then I would recommend a "cease and desist" type letter from an attorney addressed to NOM. The reason I suggest an attorney is that it usually gets more attention than a letter from the photographer.

    Without looking at the agreement, I don't know if there's been a violation. Even then, there may be associated statutes or case law that trump the agreement. But just looking at the section that was posted above, this seems to clearly fall into the category of using the image in association with a "cause" which appears, at minimum, to trigger a requirement for a disclaimer.

    Even if there is no legal violation in the use of these photographs, I think it would be a PR negative for NOM if any of the models in these images or the photographer who took the pictures would be willing to make a statement for marriage equality. Something like… 'Our images were used because they were purchased from a company selling stock images, but we want to make it perfectly clear that we DO not endorse NOM's goals of denying marriage to gay & lesbian couples. We are MODELS – these pictures are not those of a real family — and we support marriage equality.'

    Just hitting the press with that would be great. I'm sure our community would be willing to get the word out if the photographer or models would be willing to issue an official statement.

    I also agree that the use of the stock image on this website is different than NOM's, for exactly the reasons Kirille (or was it Felyx?) pointed out. (1) This site was set up as a parody of NOM's; its use is in keeping with that parody ('see, we can find a stock photo of one of our families, too), and (2) the very nature of the photo itself – a family w/two men and a child – suggests all involved understand the kind of context in which it would likely be used.

    All the same, I mentioned it so that before we start pointing fingers, we recognize the counter-pointing that could occur.

    And if none of the above makes any sense, chalk it up to the third day in a row of 100+ degree weather having turned my brain to mush.

  • 101. Lesbians Love Boies  |  July 17, 2010 at 5:22 am

    Here is the iStock photographer agreement

  • 102. Roger  |  July 17, 2010 at 7:26 am

    It's par for the course – as Dr Johnson put it, patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.

  • 103. Ғĕłỹҳ  |  July 17, 2010 at 7:37 am


    It was our dear Kirill who made that astute observation regarding clarity of context regarding our photo.

    I really like that you pointed out that the media attention would be far more powerful to our movement than any legal action. In response to Josh Travierso, clearly it would be beneficial to ask your contact if he/she or they would care to make a public statement disavowing the implied connotation of NOM's use of the stock images.

    If NOM gets an authentic legal attorney cease and desist letter, I think it would by very sporting of us to offer to repaint the bus for them….I am thinking 'Priscilla: Queen of the Desert'? Yes…no?…!


  • 104. Ғĕłỹҳ  |  July 17, 2010 at 7:49 am

    Here is my suggestion for how NOM can repaint the bus….

    Once again, I would be willing to help!


  • 105. Ray in MA  |  July 17, 2010 at 9:49 am

    What it all comes down to is this:

    If their "claims"' are as true and vaild as they think, why do they have tyo resort to marketing type stock photos to get their message across?

  • 106. Alan E.  |  July 17, 2010 at 9:55 am


    There are gay couples in the background of several TNG episodes.

    I've only watched TNG since I moved in with my now husband, but I don't remember seeing any of these couples. Do you know when they were shown?

    @ Ғĕłỹҳ

    They did mention gay marriage in the Futurama episode, but they listed it with other types of marriages that seemed to be normal in that time. It would be great if it would be so normal that it isn't worth over-emphasizing.

  • 107. Mark M  |  July 17, 2010 at 9:56 am

    Excellent point Scott!!!

  • 108. Alan E.  |  July 17, 2010 at 9:58 am

    Also, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts can only file a federal claim in…the Commonwealth of Massachusetts! Go figure!

  • 109. Bryan  |  July 17, 2010 at 10:16 am

    Pity, the 12th is the first day of the APA convention, I might not be there until the 13th… or late the 12th

  • 110. Ғĕłỹҳ  |  July 17, 2010 at 11:01 am

    One of the other types of marriage was between a ghost and a horse…I was un-impressed.


  • 111. Dpeck  |  July 17, 2010 at 11:20 am

    "When facism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the Bible".

    – Sinclaiir Lewis.

    Apparently, Mr. Lewis was right.

  • 112. Richard A. Walter (s  |  July 17, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    Actually, Kathleen, your post, as usual, makes perfect sense. And I have a photograph that P8TT is more than welcome to use, as it does portray a real family.

  • 113. isha  |  July 18, 2010 at 12:26 am

    wow. no words. i am not a religious person, but have been more eager than ever to read the bible to see exactly what this "man" in the "sky" is telling them. how can a the promote such hate? sometimes I wonder if we will ever progress in this world for better and evolve into smarter beings.

  • 114. Apricot  |  July 18, 2010 at 4:25 am

    How is this a controversy? Organizations, companies, and businesses use stock photography only all the time. I use it in most of the projects for my clients. Is it evil to use stock photos now? You'd be amazed how much material in commercials, movies, documentaries, and etc is just stock footage.

    I'm actually disappointed in this website right now. Considering what we're arguing and who we're arguing against, we're MORE than capable of using substance to argue against, not whether or not the other side uses stock footage.

  • 115. Ķĭŗîļĺę&  |  July 18, 2010 at 4:56 am

    You missed the whole point, buddy: they are not just a company selling a product (supposedly, but in reality that's exactly what they turned out to be — look at their lies they use to get money), and the fact that they are using pictures of people depicting a traditional family in the context that it is the only type of family our society has to accept is what we argue about — we don't know if those people really support that idea, but their faces are being used and depicted all over the press to promote anti-gay hate speech.  Obviously, there were different opinions here, and I wouldn't agree with some of them myself, but I'm only talking about the opinion I just presented.  And I think it's fair enough to assume they may have violated some rules and have to do something about it, especially after they tried to sue P8TT blog for using similar design back in January/February.

  • 116. Mike  |  July 18, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    More stock photos on the NOM Twitter site:

    It uses yet another stock photo:

    Can't make it up…

  • 117. Patrick  |  July 18, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    I wonder, just out of curiosity, where do sites such as, and other gay social sites, get their models? It seems like most commercial enterprises deal in deception. I spent 28+ years in the 'gay community' up until about 6 years ago when I discovered something that describes me more accurately. The gay community is full of deception – on a range of issues, from acceptance of others in the community based on race, age, creed, religion, physical condition, etc all the way to life-threatening issues on sexual health.

  • 118. Alan E.  |  July 19, 2010 at 2:18 am

    Actually reading the Bible and seeing what's written there instead of being told what's in there (of course very selectively and through a highly biased filter) is the best thing a person can do.

  • 119. New NOM tour videos: We r&hellip  |  July 20, 2010 at 7:07 am

    […] President Brian Brown has said the NOM Tour will “counteract the media blackout,” on NOM’s iStockphoto imagery and long since debunked talking points. If this was really NOM’s cause, you’d think they would […]

  • 120. The NOM tour: A celebrati&hellip  |  July 21, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    […] we’ve seen from NOM supporters on each leg of this tour, as well as the added embarrassment of “fake istockphoto families” on the side of his bus juxtaposed against hundreds of loving LGBT families who are turning out […]

  • 121. Creating the climate to d&hellip  |  August 19, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    […] parents. It’s for people who are single or in a relationship, straight or LGBT. While NOM uses fake iStockphoto people who may or may not condone their message, we’re going to have real people who support the […]

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