HRC Blog

Former Marine Celebrates the Repeal of DADT by being an Athlete for Equality

Athletes for Equality This post is by Christine Mutch. 

Erica Northrop was honorably discharged from the United States Marine Corps after more than a decade of service. During that time, she fought in conflicts like Operation Iraqi Freedom and provided support for many troops stationed overseas. Erica’s steadfastness in military service has no doubt been influenced by her experience with athletic discipline. On her Athlete for Equality fundraising page, Northrop says “Running has always been a part of my life well before the Marine Corp. I was first introduced to long distance running at an early age by a friend and have been hooked on the sport ever since that day.” Erica’s love of competitive running has her training for races every year, training for great causes like the Special Olympics and Vets for Pets.

When Erica saw that HRC’s new Athlete for Equality program offered equality-minded runners a chance to participate in the Marine Corps Marathon, she jumped at the chance: “It brings me great honor to be running in the Marine Corp Marathon, a race that I have wanted to run in for many years. And for the first time ever this year I am being given that opportunity to run the Marine Corp Marathon along with supporting another great cause, the Human Rights Campaign.”  The Marine Corps Marathon is this Sunday, Oct. 30th and HRC has 80 runners as a part of the HRC’s Athlete for Equality Team.

The Marine Corps Marathon’s high profile isn’t scaring this seasoned athlete in the least.  “I am training to give 110% to this event with the mindset of winning,” she says.  As part of her commitment, Erica has agreed to raise a minimum of $1,000 from family, friends and supporters. These funds will go towards the efforts of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. However, Erica’s competitive nature isn’t letting her stop at the bare minimum: “For those of you that know me well, I will not stop at the minimum goal.”

If you would like to support Erica’s participation in the race or learn more about HRC’s Athlete for Equality program, please visit  

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