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Judge bans online ad attacking AARP

Associated Press

WASHINGTON – A federal judge on Thursday prohibited a conservative group supporting President Bush’s Social Security plan from using a photo of a gay couple in its online ads attacking AARP.

USA Next had posted the ad for a week in mid-February on the Web site of the American Spectator. The ad portrayed AARP, the seniors lobby leading the opposition to Bush’s plan, as opposed to U.S. soldiers and supportive of gay marriage.

U.S. District Court Judge Reggie Walton issued a temporary restraining order forbidding use of the photograph by USA Next.

The Portland couple, Richard Raymen and Steven Hansen, filed suit against USA Next on Wednesday, saying they hadn’t consented “to serve as models for a homophobic and mean-spirited campaign for a political group with whose views they strongly disagree.”

The Internet ad showed a photo of a soldier with a red X over him and, next to it, a photo of two tuxedoed men kissing, with a green check mark over them. The photo was taken by the Portland Tribune on March 3, 2004, the day Multnomah County began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

“We took the banner ad down before we even learned that these gentlemen claimed that their picture had been misused. We have not used their picture since then. We do not intend to do so,” USA Next Chairman Charlie Jarvis said after the judge’s ruling.

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