Two straight men were stunned when they read the morning paper this week and saw an announcement of their pending marriage -- to each other.

The Nova Scotia men were featured in an ad in Halifax's The Chronicle Herald.

The ad features a photo of two young men, one with his arm wrapped around the other, under a heading reading "Cooper - Rogers Engagement."

The ad is set alongside numerous other photos of legitimate couples announcing their upcoming nuptials, or anniversaries, and describes them as "committed partners of over five years."

It also lists the schools they attended as well as their parents’ names.

But as it turns out, the announcement was meant as a joke by someone poking fun at the men.

Bobby Cooper, one of the men featured in the announcement, issued a statement lashing out at the "prank."

"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,” Cooper said in the 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."

Cooper was not the only one to take offense at the ad. Leaders of the Halifax gay community were also unimpressed.

“I think it’s stupid. I think it’s childish. I think it’s lame,” said Halifax Pride spokesperson Neville MacKay.

Kevin Kindred of the Nova Scotia Rainbow Action Project agreed.

“It sort of trivializes the important work that’s been done for same-sex couples and makes a joke out of it,” Kindred told CTV Atlantic. “I don’t think the community really takes very kindly to that.”

Kindred said the LGBT community "is not humourless," but the pranksters simply didn't think through the consequences of their actions.

“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,” he said.

The newspaper did not respond to calls from CTV Atlantic about how submissions are checked for accuracy or authenticity.

With a report from CTV Atlantic’s Kayla Hounsell