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The Fight for Equality in 1960s Philadelphia

Fifty years ago, the first courageous activists began demonstrating for gay rights here in Philadelphia. They staged their protests in front of Independence Hall, the birthplace of America and of our Constitution. Since then, the long struggle for LGBTQ rights has led to the Supreme Court decision supporting marriage equality across the country.

“Mad Men and Defiant Women” is a 45 minute program presented by the John J. Wilcox Jr. LGBT Archives at the William Way Center and lead by Center Curator Bob Skiba. It tells the story of the early fight for gay rights and explores what our Constitution means by “equal protection under the law” for all of us.

To inquire about scheduling the program at in your classroom or bringing a group to the Center, please contact Bob Skiba at

Download the program talkback worksheet here.