(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) today took a stand for marriage equality and equal rights as a participant in the third annual NOH8 On The Hill photo event. Blumenthal and U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) became the first two U.S. Senators to pose in a photo with NOH8’s iconic ‘NOH8’ tattoo. The photo was released today by NOH8.
“Marriage equality is a human right, and I am committed to ensuring that it becomes a reality,” Blumenthal said. “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.”
Blumenthal has been a leader on marriage equality and other LGBT issues. He joined the amicus brief filed in regard to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) case under review by the Supreme Court arguing that the law should be struck down. He also co-sponsored the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). UAFA would allow gay and lesbian Americans to sponsor their permanent partners for legal residency in the United States – a right currently enjoyed only by married heterosexuals under immigration law – and ENDA would prohibit discrimination in hiring and employment on the bases of sexual orientation and gender identity. As the nation prepares for the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the constitutionality of the DOMA and California's Proposition 8, Blumenthal posed for the photo to send a message that the fight for marriage equality and equal rights is not over.
“LGBT Americans should have the same marriage rights and privileges that heterosexual Americans have, and federal law should not discriminate against LGBT citizens of Connecticut who lawfully exercise their right to marry under the Connecticut Constitution,” Blumenthal said. “That is why I am a cosponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act, which would repeal DOMA.”
This year, the NOH8 On The Hill photo event attracted 64 Members of Congress – more than double the number who participated last year. In 2012, 26 Members participated and, in 2010, 10 Members participated.
“This year’s event really showed how far we have come in so short a time,” NOH8 co-founder and photographer Adam Bouska said. “Equality and freedom appears to be highly contagious.”
The NOH8 On The Hill photos feature members of Congress wearing either duct tape over their mouths to symbolize the voices of equality being silenced by laws like DOMA and California’s Proposition 8, or the NOH8 tattoo symbolizing solidarity with others standing up for equality.