This morning, the National Constitution Center, William Way Community Center, and the DMH Fund hosted a very touching private tour of their exhibit “Speaking Out for Equality” for several of the original “gay pioneers,” John James, Paul Kuntzler, Randy Wicker, and Ada Bello. William Way’s Executive Director Chris Bartlett provided a curated walk through of the moving collection at the Constitution Center, while James, Kuntzler, and Wicker gave insightful comments about the exhibit. We were there to capture some of the really wonderful moments of the event.
The rain came down in sheets yesterday starting around 5 pm, but, as if Glinda the Good Witch was overlooking the National Constitution Center, the storm ceased at the start of last evening’s Our Night Out and held off until, ironically, the end of the event. The break in the weather certainly helped produce a robust crowd to support the William Way Community Center and Delaware Valley Legacy Fund. Guests were treated to lots of tasty nibbles, plus free admission to Speaking Out for Equality. We were on hand to capture some of the evening’s festivities.
The tentative agenda is as follows:
Approximately 10 am: Decision handed down
12 pm to 1 pm: Light snacks, review of opinion, media coverage, large screen Twitter feed
12 pm to 5 pm: Free admission to Speaking OUT for Equality
5 pm to 7 pm: Decision Day Rally on National Constitution Center lawn and (possibly) the lawn between Arch and Market Streets
Those who wish to follow and/or Tweet about the verdict and the rally are encouraged to use hashtag #DecisionDay.
Saw this coming:
The conservative group ForAmerica released this ad today, claiming that former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is “unelectable” because he was onstage when Hillary Clinton received the 2013 Liberty Medal from the National Constitution Center here in Philadelphia. (Bush was chairman of the center’s Board of Trustees at the time.) Read more »
The Dalai Lama will be the recipient of the 2015 Liberty Medal, officials announced today.
The medal is presented annually by the National Constitution Center to individuals “who strive to secure the blessings of liberty to people around the globe.” The Dalai Lama has long been an outspoken advocate of Tibetan independence from China, which is likely to frown on a high-profile American award being given to him: China has branded him a “separatist” and protested high-profile contacts between the Dalai Lama and American leaders.
A spokesman for the National Constitution Center could not immediately say if the center had consulted with the State Department or other government officials before deciding to give the award to Dalai Lama. Read more »
Yesterday evening, the National Constitution Center held a grand opening celebration for the opening of its first LGBT exhibit, “Speaking Out for Equality.” The event drew a crowd of about 600—everyone from State Representative Brian Sims, who looked dashing in his rainbow suspenders; Philly Pride’s Franny Price with purple hair a blazin’; and even the out owner of Geno’s Steaks Geno Vento.
This Friday, the National Constitution Center (NCC) will debut its very first LGBT-focused exhibition: “Speaking Out for Equality: The Constitution, Gay Rights, and the Supreme Court.” The exhibit is running in conjunction with Pride Month and hat-tipping the 50th anniversary of the Annual Reminders, also known as the nation’s first LGBT protests, which happened in Philly outside Independence Hall.
Working in partnership with the archives at the William Way Community Center and a handful of other community leaders and organizations across the city, NCC has put together an exhibit that “chronicles the gay rights movement and the ongoing debate over how much the Constitution protects gay rights.” The exhibit will be filled with everything from historic garments and photos to picket signs from various demonstrations and memorabilia that bring to life Philadelphia’s role in the fight for LGBT equality.
NCC was kind enough to send us some sneak peeks of curators putting together the exhibit before it gets its grand opening this Friday:
The exhibit gets an official ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, June 5th, at 10 am. NCC has also planned a host of other panels, debates and discussions taking place throughout the next few months in conjunction with the exhibition. Learn more about that here. For a look at all the other ways Philadelphia is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Annual Reminders, check out our extensive roundup here. Happy Pride Month!