PHOTOS: City Announces Plans to Celebrate 50th Anniversary of Nation’s First LGBT Protests

Barbara Gittings at an Annual Reminder in 1966.

Barbara Gittings at an Annual Reminder in 1966.

A lot of folks may not know this, but the nation’s first LGBT protests happened right here in our City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection. The occasion is considered by many to be the birth of the LGBT civil rights movement.

It all started on the Fourth of July in 1965 when LGBT leaders Barbara Gittings and Washington’s Frank Kameny marched in front of Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell shouting calls of equality for LGBT people. The protests, nicknamed “Annual Reminders,” continued every Fourth of July until 1969.

Pretty cool, huh?

City leaders certainly think so. They think it’s so cool, in fact, that Mayor Nutter and Equality Forum are teaming up to put together a four-day celebration to mark the 50th anniversary of the first Reminder, which will kickoff on July 2, 2015 and continue through the 5th. Plans for the festivities were unveiled at a press conference yesterday, attended by Mayor Nutter, Equality Forum Executive Director Malcolm Lazin, members of the Philadelphia and Los Angeles Gay Men’s Choruses, among others.

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U.S. District Judge to Hear Gay Marriage Case in Philly Tomorrow

Tomorrow, at the U.S. Courthouse on Market Street, United States District Judge Mary McLaughlin will hear oral arguments in the case of Palladino v. Corbett. The federal suit, filed in September 2013, declares that the Pennsylvania statute banning the recognition of out-of-state same-sex marriages is unconstitutional.

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PHOTOS: Equality Forum’s SundayOUT at the Piazza

Whether you’re a fan of the Equality Forum or not (and some people really aren’t), yesterday’s closing party, SundayOUT at the Piazza, brought out lots of shining LGBT faces for an afternoon of performance by DJ Cassidy and the Fuego Dance Company, and, of course, lots of gay revelry. HughE Dillon shares some shots from the NoLibs bash below.

PHOTOS: Equality Forum Kicks Off in a Party High Above the City

The 2014 Equality Forum got official kickoff treatment last night at a VIP reception on the 33rd floor of the Loews Philadelphia Hotel. Equality Forum Executive Director Malcolm Lazin got things started with a toast to this years featured nation, Canada, who he explained is celebrating 10 years of marriage equality this year. (Lucky Canucks!) The rest of the evening was about mingling, drinking a delicious blue cocktail (the official World Pride Cocktail from Canada, thank you), and enjoying the views of Philly. See some of the photos we snapped below.

The Equality Forum kicks into high gear today, starting with the National Politics Panel at 5:30 p.m., and an after-work [blue?] cocktail gathering at Woody’s and Rosewood from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.. See the itinerary for the rest of the weekend’s scheduled events, including the raging SundayOUT at the Piazza here.

Kathleen Kane, NHL to Be Honored at Equality Forum 2014

Equality Forum 2014 launched this week, unveiling what activities to expect during this year’s week of events (May 1st to May 4th), and who’s being honored at the ritzy International Equality Dinner on May 3rd. Here’s the deal:

Kathleen Kane

Attorney General Kathleen Kane will receive the Distinguished Equality Award during this year’s Equality Forum.

Panels: Equality Forum 2014 will include a National Politics Panel, National Religious Colloquy, International Workplace Panel, National Legal Panel, and Featured Nation Panel, which is TBD.

Featured Nation: Canada gets the prize for featured nation this year, honoring the country’s 10th year of marriage equality. “It is an opportunity to learn from same-sex marriage experience of our nation’s closest ally,” says Equality Forum Executive Director Malcolm Lazin.

Honorees: This years honorees includes PA Attorney General Kathleen Kane will receive the Distinguished Equality Award for her refusal to defend Pennsylvania’s ban on gay marriage; the National Hockey League (NHL) and the Burke family will receive the International Role Model Award for instituting the You Can Play Project, an initiative to make the NHL more inclusive for LGBT players; and TD Bank gets the International Business Leadership Award. Awards will be given out at the International Equality Dinner on May 4th at the National Museum of American Jewish History. Get tickets here.

SundayOUT: returns to the Piazza on May 4th.

The Equality Forum takes place May 1st to May 4th. More information here.

PHOTOS: Equality Ball 2014


More on the Equality Forum’s first-annual Equality Ball here.

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Equality Forum Hosts Valentine’s Ball for Marriage Recognition


The Equality Forum is taking advantage of Valentine’s Day this year to raise awareness and funds around an issue that’s particularly paramount to Executive Director Malcolm Lazin: marriage recognition.

The local LGBT civil rights organization is throwing a Valentine’s Day Ball in support of Palladino v. Corbett, a federal lawsuit initiated by the Equality Forum that asks the state of Pennsylvania to recognize same-sex marriages that were performed in marriage equality states.

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Equality Forum Seeks Nominations for 2014 LGBT History Month Icons

lgbt history month icons

LGBT History Month wrapped up yesterday, which means Equality Forum is already in the beginning stages of choosing next year’s History Month Icons. Here’s what they’re looking for:

“The 31 LGBT Icons, living or dead, are selected for their achievements in their field of endeavor; for their status as a national hero; or for their significant contribution to LGBT civil rights. Equality Forum solicits nominations from regional, state, national and international organizations, activists and the public.”

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