Organizers of the National LGBT 50th Anniversary Celebration, July 2-5 in Philadelphia, have announced the events to honor 50 years of LGBT activism and progress. The National LGBT 50th Anniversary Celebration is being promoted as the first national event after the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality.
The organized LGBT civil-rights movement was galvanized when activists from New York, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia staged demonstrations at Independence Hall for equality each Fourth of July from 1965 to 1969. When 40 activists picketed in front of Independence Hall in 1965, it was the largest demonstration for gay equality in world history.
Organized in part by Frank Kameny and Barbara Gittings, the father and mother of the LGBT civil-rights movement, these "Annual Reminders" laid the groundwork for the Stonewall riot in 1969. After Stonewall, the gay pioneers suspended the Annual Reminders and turned their energies to help organize the 1970 march from Greenwich Village to Central Park marking the first anniversary of Stonewall.
It was recently announced that Jim Obergefellthe named plaintiff in the case that brought marriage equality nationwidewill be a featured speaker at the National LGBT 50th Anniversary Ceremony at Independence Hall on July 4.
Among the other slated events are: a wreath-laying at the Gay Pioneers Historical Marker at Independence Mall; a national interfaith service with sermon by Bishop Gene Robinson at Historic Christ Church; a Live Nation 50th-anniversary concert at Festival Pier at Penn's Landing; the "50th Anniversary VIP Lunch: Honoring Edie Windsor and Judy Shepard" at Independence Visitor Center; Windy City Times Publisher Tracy Baim signing copies of Barbara Gittings: Gay Pioneer at Giovanni's Room; LGBT history exhibits; and parties throughout the gayborhood.
There is no registration fee and most programs are free.
For more information, visit www.lgbt50th.org and www.gaypioneers.com .