Akhil Amar On America’s Constitutional Landscape

Speaking Out for Equality: the Constitution, Gay Rights, and the Supreme Court

Fifty years ago, on July 4, 1965, LGBT activists staged the first Annual Reminder demonstration. They gathered in front of Philadelphia’s Independence Hall, the site of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the drafting of the U.S. Constitution. The march was intended to demonstrate that LGBT people were entitled to constitutional protection, and in their view, the demonstrators felt they were not being treated equally under the law. 

During the 50 years since the demonstration, the LGBT movement has gained significant traction in America’s constitutional dialogue, winning victories in several Supreme Court cases that struck down laws limiting the rights of LGBT people as a violation of the U.S. Constitution. This summer, the Supreme Court will decide whether or not the Constitution requires states to recognize same-sex marriages.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first Annual Reminder march, the National Constitution Center is proud to host Speaking Out for Equality: The Constitution, Gay Rights, and the Supreme Court, an exhibition created in partnership with the William Way LGBT Community Center. Speaking Out for Equality will chronicle the gay rights movement and the ongoing debate over how much the Constitution protects gay rights. Come hear the story, see articles and photos, and tell us what you think about the Supreme Court’s upcoming decision about whether the Constitution protects the right to same-sex marriage.

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Freedom Day Celebration

Every Freedom Day the National Constitution Center brings together the top liberal, libertarian and conservative thought leaders in America for a national conversation about the future of freedom.

This symposium is a series of bipartisan discussions examining the role of free speech, freedom of religion, equality and other individual rights. This event helps launch  a nationwide conversation — called Freedom Day —  held every year and hosted by the National Constitution Center.

For more information, please contact Bianca Cavacini at 215-409-6715 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

EVENTS ON FREEDOM DAY 2015

4:00 - 4:05 p.m.        Welcoming Remarks
•    Jeffrey Rosen, President and CEO, National Constitution Center

4:05 - 5:00 p.m.        On the Front Lines of Religious Liberty
Sponsored by the Aspen Institute
•    Kristina Arriaga: Executive Director, Becket Fund for Religious Liberty
•    Michael Gerson: Op-ed Columnist, The Washington Post
•    Gregory M. Lipper: Senior Litigation Counsel, Americans United for Separation of Church and State
•    Moderator: Meryl Chertoff: Executive Director, Justice and Society Program, The Aspen Institute

5:00 - 6:00 p.m.        The Fight for Freedom in the 21st Century
•    Arthur Brooks: President, American Enterprise Institute
•    Peter Goettler: President and CEO, Cato Institute
•    Walter Isaacson: President and CEO, The Aspen Institute
•    Anthony Romero: Executive Director, American Civil Liberties Union
•    Neera Tanden: President, Center for American Progress
•    Moderator: Jeffrey Rosen, President and CEO, National Constitution Center

6:15 - 6:45 p.m.        Keynote
Mike Bezos, Vice President and Co-Founder, Bezos Family Foundation, in conversation with Walter Isaacson

6:45 – 7:30 p.m.        Free Speech: Where the Left and the Right Agree and Disagree
Co-sponsored by the American Constitution Society and The Federalist Society
•    Mark Holden: Vice President and General Counsel, Koch Industries
•    Greg Lukianoff: President and CEO, Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
•    William Marshall: William Rand Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Law, University of North Carolina School of Law
•    Bradley A. Smith: Visiting Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr. Chair of Law, West Virginia University College of Law
•    Moderator: Jeffrey Rosen, President and CEO, National Constitution Center

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