Philly marks anniversary of historic gay rights rallies held in ’65

    Philadelphia hosted some of the first gay and lesbian rallies in 1965. The man and woman who organized those demonstrations 44 years ago are returning to Independence Mall today for the National Equality Rally, which is expected to draw thousands.

    Philadelphia hosted some of the first gay and lesbian rallies in 1965. The man and woman who organized those demonstrations 44 years ago are returning to Independence Mall today for the National Equality Rally, which is expected to draw thousands.

    Listen:
    [audio: 090501pcequality.mp3]

    The rally caps a week of forums that have been taking place in Philadelphia, discussing the state of gays in the military, job discrimination, gay rights abroad, and health policies. But Equality Forum director Malcolm Lazin says the issue that is forefront on everyone’s mind now is gay marriage.

    Lazin: Forget the brass ring – it’s the platinum or gold ring. You have New Hampshire – the senate voting in favor the bill will go to their governor. It just came out of joint judiciary in Maine. 2009 is likely the tipping point, the seminal year for this movement.

    A bill that would add sexual orientation to hate crimes protections has garnered significant support in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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