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

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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 exhibit 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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