PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (Observer Update) - Three major programs were announced for the National Equality Rally at Independence Hall, with its March for Equality on Independence Mall.
In the National Constitution Center’s Kirby Auditorium, where then-Senator Obama gave his speech on race, there will be a Conversation with Volker Beck, a member of Germany’s Bundestag (parliament) and a leader of the European GLBT community, and a Conversation with San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.
After the National Equality Rally, there will be a National Interfaith Service at historic Christ Church with a sermon by Rev. Susan Russell, national president of Integrity.
Conversation with Volker Beck
Volker Beck is the leading European GLBT activist and since 1994 has been a member of Germany's parliament, the Bundestag. Beck is the father of the German Registered Partnership Act. In 2007, he was attacked at Moscow's Gay Pride Parade. This Conversation is facilitated by John R. Taylor, Managing Partner of Wellspring Advisors, and an expert on international GLBT civil rights and human rights violations.
Conversation with San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom garnered worldwide attention in 2004 when he authorized granting marriage licenses to same-sex couples – making San Francisco the first city in the U.S. to authorize same-sex marriages. His decision brought same-sex marriage to national attention. This Conversation is facilitated by Marcus Mabry, Enterprise Editor, Business Day, The New York Times, and the former Senior Editor of Newsweek International.
5th Annual National Interfaith Service
The Rev. Susan Russell, national president of Integrity, will deliver the sermon and be joined by representatives of major faiths for a spiritual celebration at historic Christ Church Philadelphia, the sanctuary where George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and Betsy Ross worshiped.
National Equality Rally at Independence Hall
The National Park Service (NPS) has issued a First Amendment permit to Equality Forum for the National Equality Rally at Independence Hall on Sunday afternoon, May 3, 2009 at Independence National Historical Park
Gay Pioneers Frank Kameny and Lilli Vincenz will lead grassroots activists, organizations and straight allies in the March for Equality on Independence Mall from the National Constitution Center to Independence Hall.
Regional, state and national organizations, people of color, progressive religious institutions, high school and college GSAs and straight ally organizations are invited to be Co-Organizers without cost or legal obligation.
Organization representatives will carry their organization’s name on pole-mounted placards. Movement leaders will carry Equality messages. Activists and straight allies will be offered American and rainbow flags and encouraged to carry Equality signs. After completion of the March for Equality, activists, demonstrators and straight allies will assemble on Independence Mall for a high-impact one-hour Rally.
For information about the National Equality Rally at Independence Hall and how to participate, visit www.nationalequalityrally.org. For information about Equality Forum, visit www.equalityforum.com.
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