I am very pleased to have the privilege of welcoming you to the City of Philadelphia for the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the first Annual Reminder Day protest that marked the beginning of the national LGBT Civil Rights movement here in Philadelphia on July 4, 1965. Philadelphia, the city where America's freedom and liberty was born, proudly celebrates equality. The City's founding tenets—welcoming acceptance, tolerance, and appreciation of diversity—set forth by Founding Father William Penn, are integral to the City's fabric today. Philadelphia has enacted the strongest civil rights law and protections for LGBT citizens of any city in the country and was recognized by the Human Rights Campaign in 2014 as the number one city for LGBT equality.
Today, we honor the activists from New York and Washington, DC who joined Philadelphians at Independence Hall to hold the earliest planned demonstrations for gay rights in America. As we salute their boundless courage, we must remember that the equality that they claimed as the right of all people must be protected and preserved with the same dedication and conviction. We must be ever vigilant to ensure that all people are accorded the same rights, privileges, and opportunities regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression. Then, the right to "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness," declared for all citizens in America's historic Declaration of Independence 239 years ago, is a promise kept for one and all.
The City of Philadelphia, in all of its events, embraces and celebrates the LGBT community and thus is particularly proud to host this special commemoration. On behalf of the City of Philadelphia, I welcome you to our City of Brotherly Love—and Sisterly Affection—and invite you to experience all that our City's unrivalled hospitality establishments, vibrant neighborhoods, and unique retail corridors hold for you in the company of our greatest asset, Philadelphia's proudly diverse citizens.
Michael A. Nutter