Wedding Photographer Denounced for Using 'Disgusting' Gay Couple in Advert

Wedding Photographer Denounced for Using 'Disgusting' Gay Couple in Advert

A Kentucky wedding photographer who used an image of a gay couple in an advert has been told that her inclusive business is disgusting and that she needs to rethink her values.

Lacy Hilliard runs Wandering Elm Photography in Somerset, Kentucky and recently ran a small advert in her local Money Saver magazine featuring six photographs of couples, one of which was gay. On Saturday, Hilliard received a voicemail on her phone from someone who had seen the advert and felt compelled to get in touch.

“You really need to rethink your values,” the caller explains. “This is Kentucky. This isn’t San Francisco. It isn’t L.A. It’s not New York.” The caller also describes the advert as "disgusting" and “an abomination.”

Hilliard felt that it was important to use the call as a means of fighting prejudice and promoting inclusivity. Using the hashtag #LoveWins, Hilliard checked with the featured couple and then shared it through her Facebook business page.

Speaking to LEX18, she explained that “All people are welcomed at my studio regardless of race, color, sexual orientation.”

Thanks to the publicity, the caller’s objections seem to have inadvertently promoted both the business and inclusivity, with the message turned from one of bigotry into one of openness and positivity.

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44 Comments

Leigh Miller's picture

I thought the caller was polite/living in the dark ages (pardon the pun)...but so what?

We really don't need another PSA for this kind of stuff.

Rob Davis's picture

I’m so far removed from this type of thinking where I live I am always shocked to discover it still exists in the same country.

Robb Armstrong's picture

I used to think this way. I thought because I lived in a blue state, a fairly progressive area, I wouldn't have to worry about things like discrimination against race or sexual orientation...Until I experienced it myself. I look white, but I'm actually mixed race. On more than one occasion, a person has acted differently towards me when they found out. I think it's important for people to remember, regardless of where you live, these things still happen.

Rob Davis's picture

Absolutely. Still, no one would say, “This is Oregon. This doesn’t belong here.” It’s not compatible with the regional identity. The governor is gay. There are laws on the books protecting gay rights. The vast majority of people support gay rights. There are certainly a lot of people that do not fit that mold though. Especially the farther you get from the I-5 corridor. Still, the bigots are the ones who have to be in the closet, not the other way around.

Pierre Dasnoy's picture

I had a chat with an american woman (I'm from Europe and traveling), open minded, cultivated, visiting other places... talking about the elections and the "fly over people", refering to the people from inside the usa, never leaving their town or their state, and being racist and close minded as hell...
The less you see, the more you are affraid and selfish, and Trump gets elected.
The woman from the call must be one of these.

Why is one random persons opinion becomes headline story?

Because standing up to anonymous person on the internet makes folks feel righteous. You know how much publicity like this would have cost?

Pierre Dasnoy's picture

Yep, free advert. And helping a good cause by the way, and everyone is happy :)

Rob Davis's picture

Very good question

Agreed. A lot of stupid stuff would just go away quietly if people just ignored them.

What, you mean like the person who saw the ad and felt compelled to voice their backwards opinions? I think you're right...

You mean like the KKK, and the John Birch Society? Sticking your head in the sand has never changed anything in this world.

Tony Clark's picture

Isn't this the state that refused a marriage license to a couple? What stopped the woman from simply flipping the page and ignore a choice she didn't agree with or understand? Instead, she chose to pick up the phone to attack and insult someone.

Alex Cooke's picture

Yes, you're thinking of Kim Davis.

The person who complained, definitely shouldn't have said the things she did. I see no reason to, having read a point of view on the internet with which you happen to disagree, excoriate the author for their life choices.

Charles Clark's picture

I thought this was a photography website not a platform for social or political agendas. In no way shape or form does waving flags about lifestyles , politics or who sleeps with whom make any of us better photographers. And that is all this article is , flag waving. No need for it to exist here.

Until it's YOUR photography business they're attacking. Then it would be different. Right?

Keith Meinhold's picture

She is a photographer, she was attacked for her photography and her business. It seems germane to me.

Possibly not make us better photographers but maybe better at running a photography business. If you don't have a photo biz it really means nothing.

Herein lies the disconnect of the day. We no longer pay attention to what's happening but who it's happening to. If the person who is being treated unfairly doesn't belong to your tribe "who cares" or worse "what about the time...." Rethink what it is for us all to have life, liberty, and the persuit of happiness.

Pedro Pulido's picture

the least value you give to these people, the faster they will understand that without any attention, they might as well shut up and use their time to focus on their own lives instead of bashing on others for free.
Also, the reason why she never says her name is because she doesn't want to be singled out. She knows this is wrong, oldfashioned and completely out of line.
I wonder what goes on people's mind to actually bother to make such comments and try to put others down.
people need to respect one another way more.. Fu-ck-ed up world we are living in.

I'm not defending her or attacking you but, aren't you doing the same thing, with the exception of giving your name?

Pedro Pulido's picture

how is commenting on a post the same thing as publishing it? my comment is actually saying "this post shouldn't be made", it's not in any way giving this woman validation or anything similar. Much to the contrary actually. i don't see the similarity to be honest. but i respect your opinion if that's your view on this. all good mate

That person's world view is the predominant world view in much of the Southeast/Bible Belt. Ignoring it doesn't make it go away. I live in Tennessee and have had literally the same thing said to me about my values not belonging here.

Pedro Pulido's picture

people's political and religious believes are their own. you're right that unfortunately it's a predominant view within some locations/religions etc.
I'd rather we don't give these people more visibility. It should be dealt with the authorities and that's it.
But again, this is also my own opinion and others don't have to agree with me.

In this part of the country they aren't searching for attention. They are looking to silence anybody who doesn't agree with their beliefs and force them to conform to their world view through intimidation. Unfortunately in this part of the country, the authorities back up these people, not those they are attacking.

David Moore's picture

Heck of a possible marketing ploy haha

Nicholas Calderone's picture

Why is it always Kentucky that's so backward?

I wonder if it's things like this that give the deep south a reputation for homophobia? Nah, can't be.

My mother always said, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all".

People who feel compelled to add to the anger to the environment are not making things better. No one will change because someone told them to. They will just get angry and pass it on.

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