To celebrate the 25th National Coming Out Day, the NOH8 campaign, founded by Adam Bouska and Jeff Parshley, has today released NOH8 photos for 26 members of Congress who took part in the campaign's second "NOH8 on the Hill" event, held Sept. 13. These representatives join the 10 members of Congress who participated in the first "NOH8 on the Hill" event back in February, and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who reached out to the campaign afterwards, which means that 37 sitting members of the House of Representatives have now added their names and faces to the NOH8 campaign.
The congressmen and congresswomen who took part in September's sitting are Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.), Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.), Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.), Rep Michael Capuano (D-Mass.), Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Rep. Jim McGovern (D- Mass.), Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.), Rep. Joe Baca (D-Calif.), Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.), Rep. Sam Farr (D-Calif.), Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.), Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.), Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-Pa.), Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.), Rep. Rush D. Holt (D-N.J.), Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Rep. Janice Hahn (D-Calif.), Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.), Rep. Al Green (D-Texas), Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-Ill.), and Rep. Susan A. Davis (D-Calif.). To date, all 37 members of Congress who have posed for NOH8 photos have been Democrats, in spite of the fact that Republicans were invited to take part in both "NOH8 on the Hill" events.
"Projects like NOH8 are ensuring that marriage equality continues to be in the forefront of our fight for equality," said Rep. Roybal-Allard of California. "I am proud to participate in the NOH8 campaign to help draw attention to this ongoing civil-rights battle in our state."
Underlining how the NOH8 campaign has grown from a local California effort to oppose Proposition 8 to a national campaign, the members of Congress who took part in the recent D.C. shoot represent districts in some 13 different states: Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvannia, Texas, Wisconsin, and Vermont.
Rep. Gwen Moore from Wisconsin commented, "Love is love. Whether heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, or transgender, no one should be denied the opportunity to express this love through marriage. I stand strong in my support of the LGBT community and marriage equality."
In a statement regarding his NOH8 photo, Florida Rep. Ted Deutch said, "I'm excited to participate in the NOH8 campaign and to stand up against hatred and bigotry of all kinds."
Although a session was made available to senators as part of the recent shoot, no senator has yet posed for a NOH8 photo. There was hope earlier in the year that Sen. John Kerry might become the first senator to do so, but due to committee work he was unable to do so. For similar reasons Sen. Bernie Sanders was unable to take part in the most recent shoot, despite expressing interest in doing so. Plans are in place to organize a third shoot, focussing on U.S. senators, after the upcoming election.
While a number of the representatives who took part in the recent Capitol Hill shoot were unable to do so back in February due to scheduling issues, the large number participating this time, just weeks before a presidential election, is doubtless at least partly due to President Obama's and Vice President Biden's May statements affirming their support for the right of same-sex couples to marry. Hundreds of Capitol Hill staff were also able to get NOH8 photos taken as part of the recent shoot.
Commenting on the shoot, NOH8 co-founder Jeff Parshley said:
We would like to thank every member of Congress who had a NOH8 photo taken as part of "NOH8 on the Hill II." We're still very keen to photograph our first senator and so would ask any that are contemplating supporting our campaign to reach out to us.
Although Proposition 8 was the original inspiration for the NOH8 Campaign, there will still be a lot of work for us to do when it's finally and permanently struck down, as we hope it will be soon. The NOH8 campaign is now a way for people everywhere to demonstrate their support for equality, not just in California and not even just in America, but the world over.
"Love is love. Whether heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, or transgender, no one should be denied the opportunity to express this love through marriage. I stand strong in my support of the LGBT community and marriage equality."
"Projects like NOH8 are ensuring that marriage equality continues to be in the forefront of our fight for equality. I am proud to participate in the NOH8 campaign to help draw attention to this ongoing civil-rights battle in our state."
"There is no place on Capitol Hill or in our society for hate or discrimination. I'm proud to be part of NOH8's campaign for equality."
"I have long believed in marriage equality and am proud to participate in the NOH8 campaign. Discrimination has no place in our society, and I hope the U.S. Supreme Court will soon recognize that Proposition 8, and other attempts like it, are contrary to the freedoms granted in the Constitution."
"I'm so proud to be part of the NOH8 effort. I think this education campaign is really going to help raise awareness and stop hate."
"I'm Congressman Jim McGovern, and I'm happy to be a part of this campaign. I believe we need to work together to create a more tolerant, equal society."
"Our commitment to equality is a reflection our nation's character and its strength. That is why I am proud to join the tens of thousands of participants in the NOH8 campaign and the millions of Americans across the country who are standing up for marriage equality and fairness for all our citizens."
"We've got to make sure that we vote 'no' because we believe in equality and we believe that everybody should have a choice. That's what our Constitution requires and what we the people of the United States affirmed when we aimed to form a more perfect union, establish justice, and promote equality."
"This is a great campaign. I'm from California, and the tragic fight we had over Prop. 8 is still fresh in my mind, so this just comes full circle. NOH8 is a huge statement, and I'm honored to be a part of it."
"I'm Congressman Sam Far, a Democrat representing California's Central Coast. I'm very excited about this campaign, because it's sad that a vocal minority has been able to deny a group of citizens their rights. We've got to fight for justice for everyone in this country."
"This is a very important issue for America and is a collaboration that is conducive to make our nation a more perfect union. It is a great day when there are efforts to promote peace, togetherness, and respect and dignity for all human beings."
"I'm excited to participate in the NOH8 campaign and to stand up against hatred and bigotry of all kinds."
"I'm proud to support the NOH8 Campaign. I support equal rights for everyone in America, and I've been active in the support for equal rights and marriage in California."
"We're all the same. This campaign reminds us that we have much more in common and that we ought to embrace diversity and love one another."
"The world needs more NOH8. NOH8 speaks about love, tolerance, and respect for human dignity. I'm delighted not to have to be here because people are treated differently, but I'm delighted to be here to be a part of the world humanity who stands in the majority against hate, and the recognition that the LGBT community deserves all the human dignity of every other person in this wonderful family called the world."
"Hatred of any kind has no place in America. Period."
"I support the NOH8 campaign, and what we need is to have everyone step up and speak out and support the NOH8 campaign."
"I'm so proud to support the NOH8 campaign. Marriage equality and equal opportunity are one of the most important issues of our time, and this campaign is an important step toward this goal."
"I've always been a strong supporter of marriage equality for all, so I consider it an honor and a responsibility to draw attention to this cause through unique opportunities like the NOH8 campaign."
"The NOH8 campaign is great because you've taken it beyond just opposition to some legislation to a much more positive and inclusive message that should appeal to everyone."
"We've seen too much policy driven by hate in this country. Laws made by hate never expand liberties or protect rights. This NOH8 campaign is about the fact that civil rights and basic liberty extend to all human beings in our nation regardless of any factor in their life, including who they love. This is why this campaign's important."
"I believe marriage equality is a civil-rights issue. Love deserves celebrating, not shaming, and no one should feel harassed or unsafe because of who they are. I am proud to stand with NOH8 on the side of love."
"The passage of Proposition 8 was a very sad moment for not only the LGBT community but allies as well. We're supposed to be a country of equality that honors and celebrates the love of all committed couples. My wedding day was among the happiest in my life, and these beloved memories are experiences I wish for all couples, regardless of sexual orientation. The NOH8 photographs are all about keeping the conversation going, so that no voice is silenced and our country can have a vibrant and meaningful discussion about the values we all share."
"I believe that Dr. King was right when he indicated life is an inescapable network of mutuality tied to a single garment of destiny; what impacts one directly impacts all indirectly. Hate indirectly affects every person. We have to eradicate hate in all its forms, and I am proud to be associated with this campaign."
"I think that people in America as well as across the world should have the opportunity to love, to care, to be with, to marry whoever it is they feel comfortable with. I think this campaign is a good one, and it's a decision whose time has come."
"Inequality has no place in the United States. The NOH8 campaign depicts the importance of never being silent in the face of discrimination."
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