From athletes to actors and musicians to TV personalities, the Human Rights Campaign is grateful to include celebrities among its more than one million members and supporters. They have been vocal advocates for equality at every opportunity, whether it’s in a media interview, at a concert, in casual conversations or at an HRC event. The celebrities featured below are among those who have used their place in the public eye to advance the movement for full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.
"If I had known that there were such a great support structure embracing our community, I would have found the courage to come out a long time ago."
"We’ve made tremendous progress on the legal, political and cultural fronts, but we should not mistake progress for success, because we have a lot more work to do."
"It’s been tough and uncomfortable at times, but it has given me the confidence to be myself, to follow my own path, and to rise above adversity and bigotry."
“For too long, gay Americans have suffered discrimination. As long as our sons and daughters are excluded from the basic protection of law, we must share that burden as a family.”
"All this movement forward right now really confirms for me that marriage equality is the defining civil rights movement of our time."
“She was overjoyed,” Field’s son Sam said about when he came out to her. “Being gay was just one more thing she loved about me. She couldn’t be more supportive of me.”
“The younger generation, my generation, we are the ones coming up in the world. And we must continue to push this movement forward and close the gap. We must demand full equality for all.”
"I’m thrilled to be on this ride with you," Whoopi Goldberg said about the fight for LGBT equality. "The community is like a beacon of light, and and we are all better for it.”
"In my household, being gay was, and is, no big deal. When my brother came out, we hugged him, said we loved him, and that was that."
"This is America ... No one should be discriminated against simply because of who they are or who they love."
"I am sick and tired of being told that I am less than because I am a gay person. The dominoes are falling. We are winning, and we have a long way to go, but we are winning and we will win."
"It's always wrong to discriminate. I grew up in the civil rights movement. It was wrong then, and it is wrong now."
“There are children who do grow up in these families [with married, same-sex parents] … You want them to know that as long as they are surrounded by love -- that’s the most important thing."
"Whether you're LGBT or straight, your love is valid ... Let’s protect love and strengthen the institution of marriage by allowing loving, caring and committed same-sex couples to legally marry.”
"That each individual be allowed the basic human right to love whomever their heart wants to love without fear...that to me is seemingly the most simplistic concept that I could possibly think of."
“I don’t want there to be gay marriage, I just want there to be happy marriage, and lasting marriage, and healthy marriage. And I look forward to a day when we don’t have to talk about it anymore.”
"Loving other people starts with loving ourselves and accepting ourselves...and I draw upon your strength and your support in ways that you will never know."
“I would like for [same-sex marriage] to be legalized. I can’t imagine any real, legitimate reason not to.”
"It's unbelievable to me that people's lives and relationships are literally being voted on...I'm not going to back down from the fight for loving and committed couples to have the ability to marry."
"Lives are at stake. The conversation needs to go forward and there needs to be freedom. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is part of our constitutional rights and it belongs to everybody."
"I do have a problem with the fact that our government has not stepped up enough to make [marriage equality] federal.... I just feel that we should all have equal rights."
“Why shouldn’t gay and lesbian couples have the right to get married? Marriage is about love and commitment.”
"It felt like my dreams were foreclosed simply because my gender was less typical than others. If I can be that person for someone else, then the sacrifice of my private civic life may have value."