Men angry over fake engagement announcement prank
Published Tuesday, July 17, 2012 6:09PM ADT
Last Updated Tuesday, July 17, 2012 7:06PM ADT
Imagine opening your morning newspaper and seeing a piece announcing your engagement; only, you aren’t getting married.
That happened to two men this week after someone submitted their photo to a Nova Scotia newspaper as a prank. But the pair doesn’t find it funny.
The men featured in the engagement announcement are portrayed as a same-sex couple. However, not only are the men not gay, they didn’t know anything about the announcement being put in the paper.
Bobby Cooper is one of the men featured in the announcement and he says he wasn’t involved in putting the announcement in the paper, and neither was his friend – the second man in the photo.
"The announcement was placed as a poorly thought out prank from a friend that I feel should not have been approved by the staff at The Chronicle Herald without checking with one of us first,” says Cooper in a statement. “I am a strong proponent of equal marriage rights for the LGBT community, and hate having my name involved in a prank that could possibly be perceived as making a mockery of something that the community had to fight towards for so long in Canada."
The announcement is very detailed, saying the “couple” has been together for five years and even lists their parents and where they went to school.
Cooper isn’t the only one upset by the prank.
“I think it’s stupid. I think it’s childish. I think it’s lame,” says Halifax Pride spokesperson Neville MacKay.
“It sort of trivializes the important work that’s been done for same-sex couples and makes a joke out of it,” says Kevin Kindred of the Nova Scotia Rainbow Action Project. “I don’t think the community really takes very kindly to that.”
CTV News called The Chronicle Herald to ask how it checks the accuracy of such announcements, but phone calls were not returned.
“The LGBT community is not humourless but when people want to play pranks and stuff, if they can just think through what the implications are,” says Kindred. “This clearly is not good for the guys involved. It’s not good for the gay community. It’s not good for anyone and it’s just really juvenile and unfortunate.”
With files from CTV Atlantic's Kayla Hounsell