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Bishop Robinson to deliver sermon at civil rights anniversary celebration

Bishop Robinson to deliver sermon at civil rights anniversary celebration

The 40th anniversary of the first gay civil rights march in Philadelphia will be celebrated Sunday, May 1, with a sermon by openly gay bishop Gene Robinson, Equality Forum announced Monday. Other participating religious leaders include the Reverend Beth Stroud, Sister Jeannine Gramick, the Reverend Robert Wood, a gay pioneer, and the Reverend Steven Baines, senior organizer for religious affairs at People for the American Way. The Lavender Light Gospel Chorus will perform. "The interfaith service is an important part of the national celebration," said Malcolm Lazin, executive director of Equality Forum. "It reminds America of the growing number of denominations that embrace gays and lesbians as congregants and clergy. It is encouraging that congregations are increasingly offering religious blessings for same-sex unions," Lazin added. The interfaith service is set for May 1, 4-5 p.m., at historic Christ Church Philadelphia, which is located at 2nd and Market Streets; the church was established in 1695. George and Martha Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Betsy Ross are among the early American patriots who worshiped there. Equality Forum 2005 features over 70 programs, parties, and special events. More than 105 local and national nonprofit organizations and 28 national and international leaders of gay rights groups will be participating.

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