— by Chip Alfred
The twentieth annual Equality Forum is being held in Philadelphia. This year this global LGBT summit is highlighting the achievements of the State of Israel in giving equal opportunities to all sexual orientations.
According to the Equality Forum‘s Executive Director Malcolm Lazin:
Our 20th anniversary celebrates the transformation from a groundbreaking conference that focused on an emerging civil rights movement into the annual Equality Forum recognized as the premier annual national and international LGBT summit.
Israel as the featured nation will be represented by the Ambassador to the U.S., major Israeli LGBT leaders, and Tel Aviv DJs and entertainers.”
The annual Equality Forum includes 25 panels, International Equality Dinner, SundayOUT! at The Piazza, six parties, 13th Annual Gay and Lesbian Art Exhibit, theater, and special events. There is no registration fee and all panels are free.
Details of the Featured Nation Israel Programs follow the jump.
Equality Forum Featured Nation Israel Programs
- Ambassador of Israel to the U.S. Dr. Michael B. Oren as Keynote Speaker at International Equality Dinner
- Israeli photographer David Adika featured at 13th annual Gay and Lesbian Art Exhibit
- Israeli delegation including elected officials, leaders, drag queen, and entertainers
- Tel Aviv Drag Queen Osher Sabag performs at Drag Party
- Israeli Pop Star Shorty performs at SundayOUT! at The Piazza
- Tel Aviv DJs spin at Equality Forum parties
International Equality Dinner
At the National Museum of American Jewish History – Saturday, May 5th, 7 to 10 p.m.
- Houston Mayor Annise Parker – Recipient of the 17th annual International Role Model Award
- NBCUniversal – Recipient of the 10th annual International Business Leadership Award
- Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren – Keynote Speaker
- MSNBC Anchor Thomas Roberts – Master of Ceremonies
25 Major Panels including:
- Featured Nation: Israel – Moderated by Israel native Nurit Shein, Executive Director, Mazzoni LGBT Health Center, with four leading Israeli panelists, including openly gay Tel Aviv City Council Member Yaniv Weizman, Thursday, May 3rd at 8:30 p.m.
- National Military Panel – Members of OutServe, a network of out service members, on obstacles LGBT military personnel face after “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” Saturday, May 5th at 1:00 p.m.
- National Sports Panel – A panel of sports experts discusses the challenges facing openly LGBT amateur, college and professional athletes, Saturday, May 5th at 1:00 p.m.
- National Religious Colloquy – Moderated by Rabbi Rebecca Alpert, Professor of Religion, Temple University, a panel of Catholics discusses LGBT inclusion in the Roman Catholic Church, Thursday, May 3rd at 7:00 p.m.
- National Youth Panel – Facilitated by Katherine Miller, discharged West Point cadet under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” is a discussion with gay former University of Michigan Student Body President Chris Armstrong, and Iowa activist and son of lesbian parents Zach Wahls, Saturday, May 5th at 2:30 p.m.
- National Same-Sex Marriage Panel – Moderated by Rebecca Isaacs, Executive Director, Equality Federation, the panel surveys the status of marriage equality, Saturday, May 5th at 2:30 p.m.
At The Piazza – Sunday, May 6th, Noon to 7 p.m.
Over 150 vendors, artisans, galleries, bars, boutiques, cafés and restaurants in an Italian inspired open-air plaza. SundayOUT! includes music, recording artists, drag queens, and Israeli DJs and performers.
Special Theatre Performance
The Twentieth-Century Way – Set in L.A. in 1914, two actors are hired by police to entrap homosexuals in public restrooms for social vagrancy, at Play and Players, Thursday, May 3rd to Saturday, May 5th
Six Parties including:
- NBCUniversal Welcome Party at Vedge – Thursday, May 3rd
- Drag Show & Party at Tabu – Friday, May 4th
- Stimulus Party – Friday, May 4th
- Girl Fever at Sisters – Saturday, May 5th
- Men’s Party at Voyeur – Saturday, May 5th
- SundayOUT! Tea Dance at Tendenza – Sunday, May 6th
For a complete schedule of events, visit The Equality Forum Website.
Equality Forum is a national and international LGBT civil rights organization with an educational focus. Equality Forum coordinates LGBT History Month, produces documentary films, undertakes high-impact initiatives and presents the premier annual national and international LGBT civil rights summit.