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CONTACT: Cathy Renna, cathy@targetcue.com, 917-757-6123

Kate Kendell, Director Of NCLR, Will Pay Tribute To Gay Pioneer Barbara Gittings At LGBT 50th Anniversary Ceremony

April 7, 2015, Philadelphia, PA - The organizers of the National LGBT 50th Anniversary Celebration (July 2 to 5) today announced that Kate Kendell, Executive Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights will pay tribute to Gay Pioneer Barbara Gittings at the LGBT 50th Anniversary Ceremony on July 4th at Independence Hall.

"There is no one more deserving than Kate Kendell to honor the work of Barbara Gittings, the mother of the LGBT civil rights movement," said Malcolm Lazin, Chair, National LGBT 50th Anniversary Celebration. "Kate's impressive leadership and activism has changed the legal, policy and legislative landscapes across the nation and globe."

"The great gains we have seen as a LGBT movement would not be possible without the visionary genius of Barbara Gittings," said Kendell. "I am so moved to be asked to honor her. She was a mentor to me and an inspiration to multiple generations."

Kendell will pay tribute to Gittings at the one-hour LGBT 50th Anniversary Ceremony on a large stage at Independence Hall on July 4th. The Ceremony will commemorate the Gay Pioneers, celebrate 50 years of LGBT civil rights progress, and address future challenge.

The organized LGBT civil rights movement was launched when activists from New York, Washington D.C., and Philadelphia staged demonstrations 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 pioneering gay activists Frank Kameny and Barbara Gittings, these “Annual Reminders” laid the groundwork for the Stonewall riot in 1969. After Stonewall, Kameny and Gittings suspended the Annual Reminders and turned their energies to the 1970 march from Greenwich Village to Central Park marking the first anniversary of Stonewall.

From July 2 to 5, in Philadelphia, the National LGBT 50th Anniversary Celebration includes panels, Gay Pioneers screening, fireworks, daily parties, LGBT history exhibits, concerts, National Interfaith Service, wreath laying at the Gay Pioneers historic marker, and street festival in the gayborhood with the highlight the one-hour LGBT 50th Anniversary Ceremony on a large stage in front of Independence Hall on July 4th.

There is no registration fee and most programs are fee and held on or near Independence Mall.

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

The National Center for Lesbian Rights is a national legal organization committed to advancing the human and civil rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education. www.NCLRights.org.


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