Out Congresspeople, Republicans Pose for No H8 Campaign

By Sunnivie Brydum

Originally published on Advocate.com June 24 2013 12:19 PM ET

Nearly 100 members of the U.S. Congress have now taken a stand for equality by participating in the No H8 campaign by photographer Adam Bouska. No H8's third installment of "No H8 on the Hill," which released photos of 67 members of Congress today, includes several out gay and bisexual congresspeople, the campaign's first senators, and the first Republican to call for LGBT equality.

"The growth of No H8 on the Hill in so short a time — from ten participating members of Congress to 98 members of Congress and two U.S. senators — proves that hearts and minds are changing across the country," said No H8 Cofounders Bouska and Jeff Parshley. "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." 

New Mexico's Martin Heinrich formally became the first U.S. senator to participate in the campaign, which now also includes Florida representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the first Republican member of Congress to come out in support of marriage equality, also making her the first Republican to pose for the No H8 campaign. 

The latest batch of "No H8 on the Hill" photos also features a striking image from Arizona representative Kyrsten Sinema, the first openly bisexual person elected to Congress, as well as California representative Mark Takano, the first openly gay person of color elected to Congress. 

Keep reading to see a collection of the latest photos, in addition to each member's statement about why they chose to participate in the campaign. 

“Our nation is based on the principle of equality. That is what this is all about," said Florida representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Republican.

"I am proud to be the first U.S. senator to participate in the No H8 campaign," said New Mexico senator Martin Heinrich. "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."


Arizona Democratic representative Kyrsten Sinema is the first openly bisexual person elected to the U.S. Congress. 

"Get over it," said California representative Grace Napolitano. "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."

"As the only openly gay member of Congress from California, I am proud to support the No H8 campaign," said Rep. Mark Takano. "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."

"The LGBT community is entitled to the same rights afforded to everyone else," said Illinois representative Tammy Duckworth. "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."

"I am proud to join my colleagues in supporting and participating in the No H8 on the Hill campaign," said Rep. Donna Edwards. "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."

"Equal protection under the law means exactly that…and that includes the right to marry," said Missouri representative William Lacy Clay. "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.”

"As civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, 'A right delayed is a right denied,'" said Nevada representative Steven Horsford. "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 No H8 campaign and my brothers and sisters in the LGBT community in their fight for true equality under the law."

"I strongly support the No H8 Campaign and the important work it is doing to fight bigotry and intolerance across our country," said gay Rhode Island representative David Cicilline. "With the Supreme Court set to rule soon on DOMA and Prop. 8, I look forward to continue working with No H8 and other LGBT advocates until all Americans are truly equal in the eyes of the law."

"As a congressman and a proudly married gay man, I stand with the No H8 campaign and will continue to fight for a country that adheres to our fundamental tenets of justice and equality for all,” said Wisconsin representative Mark Pocan, who filled the seat vacated by Sen. Tammy Baldwin when she became the first openly gay person elected to the U.S. Senate last November.