Couple on Vote No posters: 'We received no money for that photo and we would vote Yes for marriage equality'
The young couple who appear on posters opposing the marriage equality referendum says they fully support same sex marriage and are upset their image is used in the campaign.
The couple, who have chosen to remain anonymous, says that the photo used was taken by a photographer friend and they did not receive any money for it.
"No money was exchanged – we got nice photos for free, they got nice images for their portfolio. As part of this agreement, we agreed to let them upload them to a stock photo album," they said through a statement released through Amnesty International Ireland.
"We knew that these were available for purchase and we gave permission. Perhaps, naïvely, we imagined that on the off chance that any was ever selected, it might be for a small magazine or website."
The England-based duo, who are expecting their second child soon, say they are upset and surprised that their faces are being used on the poster, which was erected by campaign group Mothers & Fathers Matter, who have been actively campaigning for a no vote.
"We completely support same-sex marriage, and we believe that same-sex couples’ should of course be able to adopt, as we believe that they are equally able to provide children with much-needed love and care. To suggest otherwise is offensive to us, and to many others," they said.
"Discrimination on the grounds of sexuality has no place in the 21st century. If we were residents of Ireland, not the UK, we would vote Yes for marriage equality."
"Above all we hope that children in Ireland, will be guaranteed the equality that our children enjoy, and will be able to grow up in a society which guarantees them full equality before the law, no matter who they love when they eventually go on to form adult, loving, committed relationships."
The couple were initially identified by Australian comedian Adam Hills, who said they were friends of his wife. A spokesman for Mothers & Fathers Matter responded to him, saying 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.
"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."
The young couple are currently considering whether to contact the campaign group.
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.