PHILADELPHIA -- March 23 -- The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) has approved a Historical Marker recognizing the area around Independence Hall as the site of the first organized and annual gay and lesbian civil rights demonstration.
"We are thrilled that this important landmark has been approved unanimously by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission," said Malcolm Lazin, executive director of Equality Forum.
Equality Forum prepared the application with advice from Gay Pioneers Frank Kameny and Barbara Gittings, who helped organize the first demonstration. The demonstration was held at Independence Hall on July 4, 1965. Governor Rendell is expected to unveil the Historical Marker at the National Celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the GLBT Civil Rights Movement on Sunday, May 1 at Independence Hall.
"We commend Equality Forum for a well presented historical marker nomination form," said Wayne Spilove, chairman of PHMC. "Pennsylvania is proud to be both the birthplace of our nation and the birthplace of so many historic events that have advanced civil rights in America", Spilove added.
The 16-hour National Celebration on Sunday, May 1 includes a Gay Pioneers & 40 Heroes Tribute, the National Celebration Concert with Cyndi Lauper, an Interfaith Service at historic Christ Church with Bishop Gene Robinson, Conversations with Gay Leaders at the National Constitution Center, screenings of Gay Pioneers, a Gay Icons Pavilion at Independence Visitors Center, celebrities, the SundayOUT street festival, and parties. There is no registration fee for Equality Forum 2005 and all substantive events including the National Celebration are free.
The National Celebration is part of Equality Forum 2005, which features over 100 programs including 14 parties and 40 special events. More than 105 local and national non-profit organizations and 29 national and international GLBT Executive Directors will be participating. Thirty-two (32) states and the District of Columbia will hold State Receptions on Saturday, April 30.
For more information, visit http://www.equalityforum.com or contact Dan Wagner, Communications Associate at email@example.com or 215-732-3378 ext. 10.