The “families” on NOM’s Big Bus of Animus are fake,

Timothy Kincaid

July 16th, 2010

Anti-gay activists love to call same-sex relationships “artificial.” But those brightly smiling happy families beaming from the side of the National Organization for Marriage’s tour RV and van truly are fake.

As Jeremy at shows, they are stock photos of models posing as families.

Oh, but when has NOM ever cared about honest representation?

Paul in Canada

July 16th, 2010

ooh, snap! :-)

Scott P.

July 16th, 2010

I’ve posed for stock photography a few times. If they ever make the mistake of using my image they’ll find it blasted all over the web!


July 16th, 2010

The models should be tracked down and asked how they feel about being associated with this bigot crusade. A few of them should show up at one of the bus stop “rallies” to introduce themselves to the “crowd” and inform them that, not only do they NOT support the NOM hate crusade but they actually support marriage equality.

Tour would be instantly OVER until the bus could be repainted!

That would be a PR nightmare.

I wonder how we could find the models to ask their opinions?

Any ideas?

Dave Rattigan

July 16th, 2010

Not sure what’s remarkable about it, really. Unless an ad like this (for any cause) specifically claims otherwise, I’d just assume there’s a chance they’re models or actors.

Richard W. Fitch

July 16th, 2010

….so…you want Maggie and her out-of-wedlock child and her almost-never-seen husband to be painted on the side of the van?!?!????

Mark F.

July 16th, 2010

This doesn’t merit a posting. I know a gay organization that used two straight male models in a “always use a condom when having sex” ad. Big deal!


July 16th, 2010

“This doesn’t merit a posting. I know a gay organization that used two straight male models in a “always use a condom when having sex” ad. Big deal!”

Really? Where? I’ll ask the organization about it.


July 16th, 2010

Check out the “legal agreement” on the istockphoto website. Sounds like NOM may have violated their license agreement by implying that the models endorse discrimination against gays and lesbians. Anyone feel like raising this issue with istockphoto?

The legal agreement reads in part that you cannot display licensed photos (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;”


July 16th, 2010

Eh. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy mocking NOM as much as the next gay guy, but this particular dig seems kind of petty. We live in an artificial world. I would imagine political groups of all kinds use stock photos.

Dave Rattigan

July 17th, 2010

Scott, I totally disagree that this use would “lead a reasonable person to think that such person uses or personally endorses” NOM.

If merely using an image to illustrate a concept (in this case the “traditional family”) implies the models endorse the message of the group, I can’t really think of *any* way such photos could be used in an ad (even for a business or apoltiical organization) without inviting the same charge.

Dave Rattigan

July 17th, 2010

Look at this, for example:,002.pdf (or just look at the image of the cover in the right-hand column of this page).

A child is used to illustrate BTB’s publication “Are Gays a Threat to Children?”. Would I be reasonable in concluding that the child in the picture endorses BTB? That he supports BTB’s political and religious aims? If I found out that it was a posed picture, and the child was a paid model, or that the photo was taken in some context that had nothing to do with BTB or the subject of the publication, would I be justified in complaining? Of course not. It’s just there as an illustration.

Do we really need to get our knickers in a twist over this kind of thing? NOM has enough to answer for without our needing to nitpick at non-issues.

a. mcewen

July 17th, 2010

Actually I disagree. NOM’s usage of fake families should be highlighted because it illustrates the phoniness of its message, just like NOM’s decision to use actors in its “Gathering Storm” commercial.

Grouping those two things together make a convincing argument.

Regan DuCasse

July 18th, 2010

Some of the pro Prop. 8 commercials used actors as representative of either a organization, a teacher or minister and so on who were neither. The captions under their talking heads implied that they were religious and educational experts.
These models on the bus, are just that. Models. They are not captioned as anything in particular.

So I have to agree that it’s not necessary to point it out.

At the Prop. 8 trial, one of the witnesses in it’s defense, has represented himself as an expert on families and the affect of gay parenting on children.
In reality, most of the defenders of marriage bans have no peer reviewed work or legitimate medical and psychiatric bodies that agree with them.
And Prop. 8’s witness had only ONE article published and that was on cabinetry.

I don’t really care what kinds of PHYSICAL models NOM uses to try and portray families as healthy and good looking.
Gay folks have done the same thing even for HIV medication ads.

No, it’s when they misrepresent their experts and their claims that requires exposure and the political support of either that’s worthy of exposure.


July 19th, 2010

My ex-partner was a graphic designer. This is standard practice.


July 19th, 2010

Yep, current designer here. I always assume stock when looking at ads unless told otherwise, and for the most part, non-stock is proudly noted.

Also a heavy iStockphoto user. Doubt there’s really a case to be had cuz all NOM needs is a quick disclaimer. They could hurriedly write it on the side of the bus if they needed to. If the photographers themselves (iStockphoto is just a distributor/wrangler) have issues with it, they can follow up and apply cease ‘n’ desist all they want. And that I seriously doubt they can enforce it unless they had expressly written permissions on their page.


July 19th, 2010

Oh, and Good As You has already followed up, I see. That’s done.


July 19th, 2010

and isn’t it nice how all the model families are not only straight, but that none of them are interracial?

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