To celebrate National Coming Out Day, the "NOH8 Campaign" on Thursday released photos of 26 members of Congress posing with duct tape over their mouths and the "NOH8" logo on their cheeks.
Among the Congress-folk featured? Vermont's own Peter Welch. And his photo is real goofy.
Let's just get that disclosure thing right out of the way: I used to be Welch's communications director and one of my main jobs was keeping goofy photos of him to a minimum. Let's just say I wasn't always successful at that.
Anyway, if you weren't aware, the NOH8 Campaign was founded in reaction to California's passage in November 2008 of Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in the state. In response, celebrity photographer Adam Bouska and his partner, Jeff Parshley, began taking some 20,000 photos of duct-taped people, symbolizing, their web site says, "their voices being silenced by Prop 8 and similar legislation around the world."
In a statement released with the photos, Welch said, "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."
Regardless of how they feel about marriage equality, we suspect most of America can get behind the notion of affixing duct tape to the mouths of members of Congress. I mean, it couldn't hurt!
Also, in fairness to Welch, his photo is far from the goofiest. Here's looking at you, Reps. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and, obvs, Dennis Kucinich (D-OH). Be sure to check out BuzzFeed's photo gallery.