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Gay equality rally to be held at birthplace of American independence

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The United States National Park Service has issued a permit for a National Equality Rally at Independence Hall in Philadelphia on Sunday May 3rd.

Originally the Pennsylvania State House, the hall was the meeting place of the Second Continental Congress from 1775 to 1783.

The United States Declaration of Independence and United States Constitution were both signed at Independence Hall.

Equality Forum said that other LGBT groups and “people of colour, progressive religious institutions, high school and college gay/straight alliances and straight ally organisations” are invited to be co-organisers without cost or legal obligation.

The March for Equality on Independence Mall will pass by Benjamin Franklin’s burial site, the US Mint, National Constitution Centre, Federal Reserve Bank, Federal Office Building, the Gay Pioneers Historic Marker, Liberty Bell Centre and Independence Hall.

Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell are where the Gay Pioneers held the first organised gay and lesbian civil rights demonstrations, called Annual Reminders, each Fourth of July from 1965 to 1969.

The Annual Reminders laid the groundwork for the Stonewall Riots in 1969 and the first New York Pride Parade in 1970.

“Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell are where the movement was launched,” said Malcolm Lazin, Executive Director of Equality Forum.

“With a new Congress and a President who describes himself as a “fierce advocate” of our civil rights, it is the right moment for us to join hands at an iconic location to demand equality.”

Information about the National Equality Rally and how to participate can be found at www.nationalequalityrally.org.

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