Capitol Hill Speaks Out on National Coming Out Day

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Today is NATIONAL COMING OUT DAY, and to celebrate this increasingly recognized worldwide holiday in recognition of the LGBT community, we at the NOH8 Campaign are proud to debut NOH8 photos of 26 Members of Congress that participated in our second NOH8 on the Hill Photo Session.

National Coming Out Day is held on October 11th each year, celebrating the coming out of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals and raising awareness for the ongoing fight for equal rights. NCOD marks the anniversary of the historic 1987 National March on Washington for Gay and Lesbian Rights, which demanded the government's attention to equal rights - so we couldn't think of a better way to celebrate than by showing support for the LGBT community straight from Washington, D.C.! These Representatives are here to show you that they are listening, and they too are fighting.

Held this past September and organized by CA Representative Adam B. Schiff's office, this special bipartisan photo shoot was open to all Congressmen and Senators and was split between the FCNL Building and 402 Cannon House. Elected officials have now represented 15 states including Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont and Wisconsin, as well as the District of Columbia itself.

"Though both congressional photo sessions have been open to all parties in both the House and Senate, only Democratic Representatives have participated to date. We hope these photos inspire elected officials from all parties to participate in the future!" - NOH8 Co-Founders Adam Bouska & Jeff Parshley

Please take a moment to read some of the inspiring statements these Representatives have written in support of the campaign and its mission to promote equality, and share it with your friends and family today!

Click on each image to enlarge.



Rep. Gwen Moore, Rep. Rush D. Holt, and Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard

Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI): “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.”

Rep. Rush D. Holt (D-NJ): "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."

Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA): “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.”


Rep. Raúl Grijalva, Rep. Mike Quigley, Rep. Danny K. Davis

Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ): “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.”

Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL): “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.”

Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-IL): “I believe, and 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.”


Rep. Mike Honda, Rep. Ted Deutch, and Rep. Lois Capps

Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA): “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.”

Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL): “I’m excited to participate in the NOH8 Campaign and to stand up against hatred and bigotry of all kinds.”

Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA): “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.”


Rep. Charles B. Rangel, Rep. Michael Capuano, and Rep. Jim McGovern

Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-NY): "Hatred of any kind has no place in America. Period."

Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA): “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 US Supreme Court will soon recognize that Proposition 8, and other attempts like it, are contrary to the freedoms granted in the Constitution.”

Rep. Jim McGovern (D- MA): “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.”


Rep. Joe Baca, Rep. John Yarmuth, and Rep. Sam Farr

Rep. Joe Baca (D-CA): “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.”

Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY): “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.”

Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA): “I’m Congressman Sam Farr, 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.”


Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, Rep. Nydia Velázquez

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL): "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.”

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA): “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.”

Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-NY): “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.”


Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Rep. Al Green, Rep. Suzanne Bonamici

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL): “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.”

Rep. Al Green (D-TX): "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."

Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR): “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.”


Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Rep. Chaka Fattah, and Rep. Susan A. Davis

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX): “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.”

Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-PA): “I support the NOH8 Campaign and what we need is to have everyone step up and speak out and support the NOH8 campaign.”

Rep. Susan A. Davis (D-CA): “Inequality has no place in the United States.  The NOH8 Campaign depicts the importance of never being silent in the face of discrimination.”


Rep. Janice Hahn and Rep. Peter Welch

Rep. Janice Hahn (D-CA): “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.”

Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT): “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.”

These 26 Congressmen join the 10 participants from our first NOH8 On The Hill Session, held this past February and organized by Rep. Dennis Kucinich. Rep. Schiff posed earlier this year as well. All together, 37 Representatives have posed for the NOH8 Campaign. Slowly but surely, more and more elected officials have begun to speak out on behalf of equal rights - and we're honored to be able to share a piece of that history with you this National Coming Out Day.


Rep. Adam B. Schiff and Rep. Dennis Kucinich


Rep. William Keating, Rep. Judy Chu, and Rep. Earl Blumenauer


Rep. Niki Tsongas, Rep. Barbara Lee, and Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton


Rep. Lynn Woolsey, Rep. Jared Polis, and Rep. Jackie Speier


Rep. Keith Ellison

To read more about our first NOH8 on the Hill session and see statements from those Congresspeople, visit our CONGRESSIONAL SUPPORT blog here!



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