Focus turns to NOH8 — Photo shoot gives exposure to same-sex marriage supporters

Award-winning celebrity and fashion photographer Adam Bouska , of Los Angeles, is headed to Rochester, and you could be the focus of his latest shoot.

Since starting the NOH8 Campaign in 2009 as a silent protest to the passage of Proposition 8, an amendment to California's constitution banning same-sex marriage, Bouska has photographed more than 20,000 people wearing white shirts, duct tape over their mouths and the NOH8 logo on their cheeks.

Senator John McCain's wife, Cindy, and daughter Meghan did it. Guitarist Slash and Red Hot Chili Pepper's Dave Navarro did it, too. So did the Kardashian sisters. And so did many well-known athletes, actors and tens of thousands of everyday people.

Now it's your chance.

Gay Lesbian Community Services of Southeast Minnesota is co-hosting an open photo shoot with the NOH8 Campaign on Wednesday.


"This is a great opportunity to bring exposure to Rochester and what we're doing," said Vangie Castro, GLCS chairwoman.

The local photo shoot is one of three happening in Minnesota in advance of the November election, in which Minnesotans will vote on a proposed constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and woman.

"This is a bipartisan campaign that people of all races, religions and political parties are getting involved in to show that this is important to everyone and all families are equal," Castro said.

The NOH8 Campaign is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote marriage, gender equality and human equality through education, advocacy, social media and visual protest. Wearing duct tape over their mouths, for example, symbolizes the participants' voices being silenced by Prop 8 and similar legislation around the world.

More than 200 people have already indicated on a Facebook invitation for the event that they plan to have their photos taken.

"We are hoping that people will post their photos on Facebook, and we can put them on our GLCS website and Facebook page, to let people know where you stand on the whole idea of marriage equality," Castro said.

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