"On July 4, 1965, in front of Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, 40 courageous activists demonstrated for gay and lesbian civil rights. These pioneers cracked the cocoon of invisibility and started a national and international civil rights movement," stated Sally Susman, national cochair of the 40th anniversary celebration of the gay rights movement.
On Sunday, May 1, 2005, the Equality Forum will be honoring those heroes, who over the past four decades have made a defining difference in the attainment of rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered people. The celebration will also include entertainers, speakers, programs on Independence Mall, a large street festival, continuos screenings of Gay Pioneers, and a closing concert.
"Our role model for this celebration is Bayard Rustin, a colleague of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. Bayard was a gay African-American who organized the National Demonstration at the Lincoln Memorial in 1963. That demonstration helped define the African-American civil rights movement. At the 40th anniversary celebration, Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell will symbolize our quest for full equality," stated Malcolm Lazin, executive director of Equality Forum.
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Journey through the year’s influential Out100 – the most iconic and long-standing celebration of LGBTQ+ icons and allies – in a 1-hour television special spotlighting the LGBTQ+ people shaping the world today.