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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, July 3, 2015 - Volume 43 Issue 27
Jim Obergefell lays a wreath at Gay Pioneers historic marker to launch National LGBT 50th Anniversary Celebration
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Jim Obergefell lays a wreath at Gay Pioneers historic marker to launch National LGBT 50th Anniversary Celebration

Philadelphia, PA - Organizers of the National LGBT 50th Anniversary Celebration, from July 2 to 5, announced that Jim Obergefell has launched the National LGBT 50th Anniversary Celebration by laying a wreath at the Gay Pioneers historic marker on Thursday July 2nd, at 2:15 p.m. He was surrounded by LGBT leaders and Gay Pioneers. The Gay Pioneers historic marker is directly across the street from Independence Hall and Liberty Bell Center.

Said Malcolm Lazin, Chair, National LGBT 50th Anniversary Celebration: 'With the Supreme Court's marriage equality decision, Jim Obergefell [plaintiff in the Obergefell v. Hodges case that lead to the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in support of marriage equality] is a historic civil rights hero. By laying the wreath at the Gay Pioneers historic marker, Jim connects the marriage equality decision to the groundwork laid by the Gay Pioneers.'

The organized LGBT civil rights movement was galvanized when activists from New York, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia staged demonstrations at Independence Hall for equality each Fourth of July from 1965 to 1969. When 40 activists picketed in front of Independence Hall in 1965, it was the largest demonstration for Gay equality in world history.

Organized by Frank Kameny and Barbara Gittings, the father and mother of the LGBT civil rights movement, these 'Annual Reminders' laid the groundwork for the Stonewall Riot in 1969. After Stonewall, the Gay Pioneers suspended the Annual Reminders and turned their energies to help organize the 1970 march from Greenwich Village to Central Park marking the first anniversary of Stonewall.

For more information, visit www.lgbt50th.org and www.gaypioneers.com.

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