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Philadelphia July 4th events to recall bold 1965 gay rights protest

On the Fourth of July 50 years ago, when homosexuality was considered a mental illness and a same-sex couple’s public declaration of love put their lives and livelihoods at risk, about 40 people took a stand by staging a peaceful protest in front of Independence Hall.

Philadelphia’s Independence Day festivities this year will include the usual concert, fireworks, parade and public reading of the Declaration of Independence, but will also mark the city’s important place in the history of America’s gay rights movement with events billed as the 50th anniversary of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights movement.

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And let’s be honest, that’s pretty darn gay.