Dozens in Congress join N0H8 campaign for equality

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NOH8 on the Hill. - PHOTO: http://www.noh8campaign.com

The NOH8 Campaign this week released the NOH8 photos and "Be Heard" statements of 67 Members of Congress taking a stand for marriage equality.

The #NOH8onTheHill photo session included the first and second U.S. Senators to pose for the campaign, Sen. Martin Heinrich of New Mexico and Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, as well as the campaign’s first and only Republican participation, Florida Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

“Our nation is based on the principle of equality. That is what this is all about,” said Rep. Ros-Lehtinen.

The photo shoot also included participation from Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland, as well as Rep. Xavier Becerra of California, the Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus.

“By giving our thumbs-down to hatred, intolerance, and injustice, we reaffirm the principles that make our nation great. The march toward full equality for all Americans, including same-sex couples who wish to marry, continues. I fully support the NOH8 Campaign and will keep working to advance the goals of equality and non-discrimination in Congress,” promised Hoyer said.

“NOH8 on the Hill, NOH8 anywhere. No American, regardless of who they love, should be denied equal protection under the law,” said Becerra. “History is on our side and our march towards justice will prevail.”

The most recent photos were taken during NOH8’s third NOH8 On The Hill photo session, organized by the office of California Congressman  Alan Lowenthal.

“As a freshman member of the 113th Congress, I was humbled by the amount of support for the LGBT community shown by my colleagues here on the Hill. Equality and freedom appear to be highly contagious,” Lowenthal said. “It was an honor, at such a critical time in this civil rights struggle, to organize this year’s NOH8 On The Hill event.”

“The growth of NOH8 On The Hill in so short a time –from ten participating Members of Congress to 98 Members of Congress and two US Senators – proves that hearts and minds are changing across the country. We’re on the cusp of marriage equality, and we’re proud to have these elected officials sending a strong, clear message of support: No Hate,” said NOH8 co-founders Adam Bouska and Jeff Parshley in a joint statement.

A total of 98 members of Congress have posed for the NOH8 Campaign.

The most recent “models” for equality:

U.S. Senators

Sen. Martin Heinrich of New Mexico: “I am proud to be the first U.S. Senator to participate in the NOH8 campaign.  Gay and lesbian couples who accept the responsibility of marriage should have all the rights that come with that responsibility. The time for marriage equality is now.”

Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut: “Marriage equality is a human right, and I am committed to ensuring that it becomes a reality. I am proud to stand with NOH8 in their tireless campaign against prejudice and injustice. Government should never disadvantage people on the basis of whom they love.”

U.S. Representatives

Rep. Gwen Moore of Wisconsin: “I am proud to join the NOH8 campaign for the second year, because love sees no sexual orientation or gender identity. My support of the LGBT community and marriage equality is strong and resolute. We must stand up for marriage equality, today and always.”

Rep. Mark Pocan of Wisconsin: “As a Congressman and a proudly married gay man, I stand with the NOH8 campaign and will continue to fight for a country that adheres to our fundamental tenets of justice and equality for all.”

Rep. Julia Brownley of California: “Our commitment to equality is a reflection of our nation’s character and its strength. I support equal rights for everyone in California and across the nation and am proud to be part of the NOH8 campaign.”

Rep. Tony Cardenas of California: “Marriage equality is a critical step our nation must take to create a ‘truly perfect union. No government has the right to tell consenting adults that their love is inadequate or unacceptable. Marriage is not a political issue, it is a sacred contract between two people who love each other and commit themselves to that love for the rest of their lives. That is a promise that makes politics and hatred irrelevant.”

Rep. Jared Huffman of California: “Hatred has no place in America, and I’m happy to stand up for marriage equality and against Proposition 8.  We won’t rest until all Americans can marry who they love, and I’m glad to join NOH8 in working toward that goal.”

Rep. Doris Matsui of California: “The freedom to marry is a fundamental right.  I participated in this year’s NOH8 on the Hill campaign because I believe every American deserves respect and equal treatment under the law.  It is time we take a stand for equality, promote compassion and prevent discrimination.”

Rep. George Miller of California: “I support marriage equality because the fundamental right to love and marry whomever one chooses belongs to all Americans. To disparage committed gay and lesbian couples as unequal or second-class is unconstitutional, immoral, and wrong. Until all laws like Prop 8 in California find their way to the dustbins of history, I will continue to fight for full equality under the law, regardless of who one loves.”

Rep. Grace Napolitano of California: “Get over it. We are all human beings, entitled to live our lives without fear of discrimination or violence. Times have changed; we need to move forward, and we must replace hatred with love and acceptance. I am proud to support marriage equality and equal rights for all Americans.”

Rep. Gloria Negrete McLeod of California: “Being an American means having the liberty to be who you are and to love who you want.”

Rep. Scott Peters of California: “As a longtime supporter of LGBT rights and marriage equality, I am proud to support the NOH8 campaign against discrimination. All Americans deserve equal treatment.”

Rep. Raul Ruiz of California: “I’m proud to join the NO H8 initiative and stand up for marriage and gender equality. In our country there should be no such thing as a second-class citizen, and I oppose all forms of discrimination. Everyone deserves the right to marry who they love.”

Rep. Loretta Sanchez of California: “I applaud NOH8 for mounting an awareness campaign that brings thousands of people across the country together to make it clear that intolerance and hatred have no place in our society. We will not rest until all Americans are treated equally under the law.”

Rep. Brad Sherman of California: “All Americans, regardless of sexual orientation, deserve to be able to marry the person they love. I’m proud to stand with NOH8 in supporting marriage equality and putting an end to discrimination.”

Rep. Eric Swalwell of California: “Hate of any kind has no place in our society.  I’m proud to join the NOH8 campaign to bring attention to the hate, bullying, and inequality still faced by LGBT people.  It is time gays and lesbians had the same right to love who they want, work where they want, and go to school where they want, without facing discrimination.”

Rep. Mark Takano of California: “As the only openly gay member of Congress from California, I am proud to support the NOH8 campaign. Proposition 8 is a stain on our nation’s character, one I believe will soon be removed. All American families deserve to be treated equally under the law.”

Rep. Juan Vargas of California: “Laws that create second-class citizens and breed discrimination have no place in our country.  I am proud to have participated in the NOH8 campaign and am optimistic that soon all people will be treated equally before the law.”

Rep. Henry A. Waxman of California: “I am proud to join the NOH8 campaign and be a part of this important message.  We all need to stand up for equal rights and marriage equality.  All Americans deserve to be treated with respect, regardless of race, religion, or sexual orientation/identity.”

Rep. Alan Lowenthal of California: In my mind, the freedom to marry—the freedom to unconditionally love whomever you choose—is a civil right, a human right, and as inalienable as any other freedom afforded to us by the Constitution. After decades of fighting for marriage equality and equal rights, I have learned that true freedom demands equal treatment under the law.”

Rep. Lois Frankel of Florida: “We live in a country where we cherish the right to pursue happiness and where equality is a fundamental American value,” Congresswoman Lois Frankel said. “I am proud to join my colleagues and millions of Americans in standing up for the right to marry the one you love.”

Rep. Joe Garcia of Florida: “I am proud to be a part of the NOH8 campaign because every man and woman should be treated equally regardless of whom they love. As a Vice Chair of the LGBT Equality Caucus, I look forward to working with my colleagues and LGBT advocates to finally put an end to discrimination against same sex couples.”

Rep. Frederica Wilson of Florida: “As a product of the civil rights movement, I believe in equality for all. As a lifelong educator, I have experienced the pain and hurt that rejection has on our gay and lesbian children. So, I always taught my students about the Golden Rule – ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ We are all children of God, and we all deserve the same freedoms, protections and peace.”

Rep. Hank Johnson of Georgia: “I am proud to be a part of the NOH8 campaign. We must fight hatred at every turn. All Americans deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, regardless of race, religion, sex or sexual orientation/identity.”

Rep. Colleen Hanabusa of Hawaii: “Our history has shown that while our nation is not perfect, we have the capacity to learn from our past. Progress grows from those who are willing to stand up and speak for themselves and others. I am proud to join the voices for change and say ‘No Hate.’ End this discrimination now.”

Tammy Duckworth of Illinois: “The LGBT community is entitled to the same rights afforded to everyone else. My view on LGBT equality is rooted in love. While I was recovering at Walter Reed after being shot down in Iraq, my husband Bryan was at my bedside every day. Not only was he offering love and support during such a difficult time, but he was also making critical decisions for me that improved the quality of my life to this day. Often, those decisions were contrary to what my mother would have decided, but as my life partner, my husband knew me better and made the correct choices for me when I could not. I support the freedom to marry because everyone deserves the same level of access, support and love.”

Rep. Luis Gutierrez of Illinois:  “I’ve been an outsider most of my life and people fought for me and fought for people like me to be where I am today.  Therefore I am a fighter who still dreams of a world with NOH8.”

Rep. Robin Kelly of Illinois: “Love can never be silenced. We’re created equally and therefore have the right to love equally and I am proud to stand up for that right.”

Rep. Brad Schneider of Illinois: “I’m proud to join the NOH8 campaign in calling for marriage equality. This comes down to fundamental fairness, and all couples should have the opportunity to share their love and commitment through marriage.”

Rep. Bruce Braley of Iowa: “I’m proud to represent the first state to recognize the right of same sex couples to marry under the Equal Protection Clause of our state constitution. I stand with NOH8 because we share a vision for America where everyone is treated equally in the eyes of the law, no matter your sexual orientation. After all, ‘freedom’ means freedom for everyone.”

Rep. Dave Loebsack of Iowa: “Iowa has long been a leader in the fight for equal rights.  I am proud to stand in solidarity with millions of Americans in support of marriage equality.  The time to end discrimination is now. “

Rep. William Keating of Massachusetts: “The NOH8 mission embodies all that we should strive for as Americans – equality, understanding and aid to our fellow man. The support that organizations such as NOH8 give to our LGBT community, especially LGBT youth, is invaluable.  I am proud to stand with them and the millions of others who believe that every person should have the opportunity to live the life they choose openly and proudly.  History has proven time and again that equality will prevail over inequality and acceptance overcomes prejudice.  That time is now.”

Rep. John Tierney of Massachusetts: “I’m Congressman John Tierney and I’m proud to support the NOH8 Campaign. Together we can stand up to discrimination, press for marriage equality, and build a safer and more tolerant society.”

Rep. Donna Edwards of Maryland: “I am proud to join my colleagues in supporting and participating in the NOH8 on the Hill campaign. Maryland took a great step forward by joining a small group of states and the District of Columbia to support the freedom to marry, but we cannot stop there. Marriage equality is a civil rights and social justice issue that must not be limited by state borders.  Let’s continue the fight for equality and fairness for all Americans.”

Rep. Dan Kildee of Michigan: “Every person should be afforded the opportunity to marry who they love. That’s why I support marriage equality. For me, it’s a matter of fairness. I’m proud to join the NOH8 Campaign and the majority of Michiganders and Americans speaking out against hate. I look forward to the day – hopefully very soon – where our nation’s laws that discriminate against gays and lesbians are tossed aside. Everyone’s love should be recognized and equal”

Rep. William Lacy Clay of Missouri: “Equal protection under the law means exactly that…and that includes the right to marry.   The discrimination that LGBT citizens face today mirrors the struggles of African Americans to achieve full civil rights.  Intolerance, ignorance and inequality were wrong then, and they are just as wrong today.”

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, II of Missouri: “Jesus was all about teaching and preaching love. It was the main thing and the plain thing.”

Rep. Steven Horsford of Nevada: “As civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “A right delayed is a right denied.” As a nation, we have before us an opportunity to create a precedent for ensuring economic, marital, and social equality for all individuals. There is no place for discrimination of any form in America, and I stand with the NOH8 campaign and my brothers and sisters in the LGBT community in their fight for true equality under the law.”

Rep. Dina Titus of Nevada: “Whether discussing foreign relations, school bullying, or marriage equality, “no hate” is a great universal message that should be used as the foundation for any sound policy.”

Rep. Ann McLane Kuster of New Hampshire: “As we await the Supreme Court’s decision on DOMA and Prop 8, I was thrilled to join the NOH8 campaign to show my support for equality.  Every American deserves to be treated equally under the law – period.  That is fundamental to who we are as a country, and  I was proud to join more than sixty members of Congress in supporting the NOH8 campaign and the cause of equality for all Americans.”

Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr. of New Jersey: “We are defined by the fundamental rights and liberties that we choose to protect. I am proud to support the NOH8 Campaign and all the work it does to shut down hatred, fight for equality, and advocate for the civil rights issues of our times.”

Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico: “I’m proud to join so many of my colleagues in standing for equality. NOH8 highlights how we, as leaders on Capitol Hill, cannot remain silent in the face of hatred and discrimination. Let’s continue the fight for marriage equality so that everyone has the opportunity to marry the person they love.”

Rep. Tim Bishop of New York: “All Americans should be free to love the person of their choice and marry them if they so choose. I am proud to join the NOH8 Campaign and support efforts to guarantee that all Americans are recognized equally by the federal government. In the greatest nation on Earth, there should be no second class citizens.”

Rep. Yvette D. Clarke of New York: “It is my honor and privilege to add my portrait to the tens of thousands who have posed for the NOH8 Campaign. I am compelled to stand for justice and equality for all of humanity. This Campaign is part of the forward march in recognition of all loving relationships and an embrace of all humankind. No hate, appreciate, celebrate!”

Rep. Joseph Crowley of New York: “Marriage equality is a fundamental right for all families and I’m proud to stand with the NOH8 Campaign in speaking out against hate. Our diversity is what makes us stronger as Americans, and that should always be celebrated.”

Rep. Grace Meng of New York: “NOH8 is an outstanding campaign and I’m happy to join the thousands of people who support it. I am proud to stand in support of equal rights for all Americans. It is essential that we do all we can to combat hatred and bigotry.“

Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York: “ I stand in solidarity with those who have faced discrimination and intolerance simply because of who they love.  I vow to never stop fighting for equality, respect, and equal protection of the law for all LGBT Americans.”

Rep. Nydia Velazquez of New York: “In recent years, we’ve made tremendous strides and it becomes clearer every day our nation is moving toward acceptance and equality for all Americans, regardless of race, religion, gender or orientation.”

Rep. Joyce Beatty of Ohio: “Whether it’s No on 08, voting against DOMA, or supporting marriage for all; this new voice in Congress will not be silenced. Let’s stop the discrimination and support marriage equality.”

Rep. Marcia Fudge of Ohio: “I am proud to support the NOH8 on the Hill campaign and advocate for the fulfillment of the American promise of equal rights for all citizens.  Civil rights belong to all Americans.”

Rep. Suzanne Bonamici of Oregon: “I’m proud to support NOH8’s campaign against discrimination. Equality will be the result of our fight against hate.”

Rep. Peter DeFazio of Oregon: “When DOMA came to the floor in 1996, I fought to stop it because it was prejudiced, unconstitutional, and sought to divide this country over basic individual rights. For too long, the federal government has discriminated against same-sex couples and it’s time for change.”

Rep. Matt Cartwright of Pennsylvania: “I feel that hatred of any kind has no place in America.  I’m honored to participate in a campaign that encourages the progress that our country has made over the past few years with regard to the rights of the LGBT community.  This is a great way to support their struggle for equality and to discourage discrimination based on who people love.”

Rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island: “I strongly support the NOH8 Campaign and the important work it is doing to fight bigotry and intolerance across our country. With the Supreme Court set to rule soon on DOMA and Prop 8, I look forward to continue working with NOH8 and other LGBT advocates until all Americans are truly equal in the eyes of the law.”

Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas: “Discrimination in any realm is still inequality.  I stand with NOH8 because we share a vision that America was founded on the promise of equality for all.  I am here to continue to fight on all fronts because I know at the end change will follow.”

Rep. Marc Veasey of Texas: “I am proud to stand in solidarity with members of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus and many of my colleagues in the NO H8 Campaign.  The campaign embodies the pursuit of equality for all Americans no matter their age, race, religion or sexual orientation.”

Rep. Gerry Connolly of Virginia: “Equality and fairness before the law is an American value that we all must fight for. I’m proud to support the NOH8 campaign so no one will have their freedom silenced.”

Rep. James Moran of Virginia: “I am proud to participate in the NOH8 project. Proposition 8 and other hateful laws like the far-reaching constitutional amendment that passed in Virginia in 2006 fly in the face of our nation’s commitment to equal treatment under the law. Discrimination has no place in the laws that govern our nation.”

Rep. Peter Welch of Vermont: “The NOH8 campaign highlights for the nation a bedrock principle long ago embraced by Vermonters:  We are all equal under the law regardless of sexual orientation. We ought to embrace diversity and love one another, regardless of who we love. No one should feel threatened because of who they are.”

Rep. Suzan DelBene of Washington: “I am very proud to support the NOH8 campaign. I strongly believe that our LGBT neighbors, friends and family members deserve full equality under the law, and I will continue to stand up for their right to marry the person they love.”

Rep. Denny Heck’s quote of Washington: “Bigotry and intolerance have no place in America. I’m proud to stand with my colleagues in support of marriage, gender and human equality.”

Rep. Jim McDermott of Washington: “I am proud that Washington State passed Referendum 74 and chose to honor the love and commitment of all our citizens. Sadly, however, there are still over a thousand federal rights my LGBTQ constituents are barred from enjoying. I’m proud to stand with my friends—in Congress and at home—in saying that I will not stay silent about discrimination and bigotry.”

Rep. Adam Smith of Washington: “I stand with the NOH8 Campaign and their thousands of supporters as they fight for equal rights and marriage equality.   No one should be denied equal rights because of who they love and I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress to make sure that equality becomes a reality.”

On the Web…

The photos.