PHILADELPHIA -- April 14 -- A National Celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) civil rights movement is planned for Sunday, May 1st on Independence Mall in Philadelphia. The centerpiece of the 16-hour National Celebration will be the two- hour "Gay Pioneers & 40 Heroes Tribute" on a large stage in front of Independence Hall and near the Liberty Bell Center.
Also that day, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission will unveil a historical marker designating the area around Independence Hall as the site of the first organized and annual gay and lesbian civil rights demonstration. This Historical Marker is believed to be only the second official marker to designate a site significant to the GLBT Civil Rights movement.
The day's programming will also feature: "SundayOUT!" street festival; screenings of the documentary Gay Pioneers; an Interfaith service with Bishop Gene Robinson at historic Christ Church; a "Gay Icons Pavilion" at the Independence Visitor Center; "Conversations with Gay Leaders" at the National Constitution Center; the "National Celebration Concert with Cyndi Lauper" at Penn's Landing; plus, celebrities and parties.
Gay Pioneers Frank Kameny and Barbara Gittings, the father and mother of the GLBT civil rights movement will attend. The Gay Pioneers launched the movement by staging the first annual and organized gay and lesbian civil rights demonstration at Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell on July 4, 1965. Forty Heroes who have helped to lead the movement over the past 40 years will be honored. The 40 Heroes appearing include Rep. Barney Frank, Judy Shepard, Bishop Gene Robinson, MTV, Germany's Volker Beck, Grethe Cammermeyer, Kate Kendell, Evan Wolfson, Olga Orraca Paredes, Kevin Jennings, Matt Foreman, Ambassador Jim Hormel, writer Andrew Sullivan and others
Equality Forum 2005 & National Celebration (April 25 to May 1) features over 100 programs, including 14 parties and 40 special events. There is no registration fee for Equality Forum 2005 and all substantive events including the National Celebration are free. Book special Equality Forum hotel packages at participating hotels. Visit http://www.equalityforum.com .