Stefany Hoyer Hemmer, the daughter of House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, has come out lesbian.

Hemmer told gay weekly the Washington Blade: “My father, as you know, just came out in support of gay marriage. I'm 43 years of age, and I've been gay my whole life and I just figured this is a good time to lend my name to the cause.”

Maryland voters in November will decide whether to uphold or reject a gay marriage law approved by lawmakers in March.

“The momentum in Maryland right now for the adoption of the gay marriage law is fast-paced,” Hemmer said.

In announcing his support for equal marriage rights, Hoyer compared gay marriage bans to now defunct anti-miscegenation laws.

“One of the first votes I cast as a member of the Maryland State Senate in 1967 was to repeal the anti-miscegenation statute that remained Maryland law,” Hoyer said in a statement. “It was my feeling then and now that individuals have a right to choose their partners, and society must accord them that freedom.”

Hemmer added that her father's endorsement inspired her to come out: “I was not the impetus for him; he was the impetus for me.”