This online exhibit is based on the original material exhibit “Speaking Out for Equality: The Constitution, Gay Rights, and the Supreme Court” held at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, PA. The site was created through the generous support of the Arcus Foundation by John Anderies, Director, John J. Wilcox, Jr. Archives, William Way LGBT Community Center in cooperation with the web design firm The Tactile Group.

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John J. Wilcox, Jr. Archives
William Way LGBT Community Center
1315 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

(215) 732-2220

The National Constitution Center Exhibit

“Speaking Out for Equality: The Constitution, Gay Rights, and the Supreme Court” was produced by the William Way LGBT Community Center for the 50th anniversary of the first Annual Reminder Day demonstration at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, PA. Its setting at the National Constitution Center inspired the exhibit’s focus on LGBT civil rights court challenges of national significance. Originally scheduled for a four-month run, beginning June 3, 2015, the exhibit was extended to January 3, 2016, and was visited by over 25,000 people. It was the first exhibit of its kind at a national museum.

The exhibit's creative team included:

Chris Bartlett, Director, William Way LGBT Community Center
Bob Skiba, Exhibition Curator, William Way LGBT Community Center
Keith Ragone, Keith Ragone Studios, Exhibition Development and Design
Ellen M. Snyder-Grenier, REW & Co., Exhibition Developer & Writer
Aaron Igler and Matt Suib, Greenhouse Media, Media Design
R.H. Guest, Inc., Exhibition Fabrication & Installation
Staff of the National Constitution Center

Tour the NCC Exhibit

If you missed the exhibit at the National Constitution Center, you can watch a video tour given by Chris Bartlett, Executive Director of the William Way LGBT Community Center.

Tour of the exhibit “Speaking Out for Equality” with Chris Bartlett. Peter Lien Productions, June 2015

The Liberty Bell Pavilion Exhibit

Beginning in June 2018, a second version of the exhibit will open at the Liberty Bell Pavilion in Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, PA. This new exhibit is timed to lead up to the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York City in June 2019, and will focus on the importance of the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall as sites for 1st Amendment speech in the continuing march for full equality for America’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender citizens. The exhibit in the Liberty Bell Pavilion is made possible through a generous grant from the US Department of the Interior, and is a joint effort of William Way LGBT Community Center and the Independence National Historical Park.

The Exhibit in the Press

The exhibit “Speaking Out for Equality” at the National Constitution Center was well received by both visitors and the press. Included here are links to some of the reviews—both favorable as well as critical—that appeared during its run.

Cei Bell, “In celebrating Philly LGBT history, the ‘T’ is silent — and that’s not all,” WHYY.org, July 15, 2015.

Gary L. Day, “Speaking Out for Equality at the National Constitution Center: The quiet beginning of the gay rights movement,” BroadStreetReview.com, June 4, 2015.

Ali Gorman, “Marking 50th anniversary of historic LGBT protest in Philadelphia,” 6abc.com, July 3, 2015.

Christopher Harrity, “Speaking Out for Equality: The Constitution, Gay Rights, and the Supreme Court; As we head into June, this exhibit could not be more timely,” The Advocate (www.advocate.com), June 1, 2015. 

Alex Kacala, “New Constitution Center exhibit chronicles LGBT-rights movement,” Philly.com, June 3, 2015.

Xander Karkruff, “Exhibit Critique – Speaking Out and Legendary,” Queering the Museum Project (queeringthemuseum.org), August 27, 2015.

Ryan Kasley, “William Way archives take center stage in ‘Speaking Out’,” Philadelphia Gay News (EPGN.com), June 11, 2015

Josh Middleton, “PHOTOS: Sneak Peek at National Constitution Center’s First LGBT Exhibit,” PhillyMag.com, June 1, 2015.

Aubrey Nagle, “OurNightOut commemorates Annual Reminders anniversary: LGBT social group heads to the Constitution Center,” PhillyVoice.com, June 23, 2015.

Steve Trader, “Constitution Center explores long, complicated struggle for gay rights,” WHYY.org, June 3, 2015