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File #: 171094    Version: 0 Name:
Type: Resolution Status: ADOPTED
File created: 12/7/2017 In control: CITY COUNCIL
On agenda: Final action: 12/14/2017
Title: Calling for the installation of a City historical marker, on the 17th Street side of the southeast corner of 17th and Chancellor Streets, to commemorate the nation's first sit-in for LGBT equality, held April 25, 1965, at the former Dewey's Restaurant.
Sponsors: Councilmember Johnson, Councilmember Green, Councilmember Parker, Councilmember Gym, Councilmember Henon, Councilmember Squilla
Attachments: 1. Resolution No. 17109400.pdf, 2. Signature17109400.pdf
Title
Calling for the installation of a City historical marker, on the 17th Street side of the southeast corner of 17th and Chancellor Streets, to commemorate the nation's first sit-in for LGBT equality, held April 25, 1965, at the former Dewey's Restaurant.

Body
WHEREAS, Philadelphia has played a seminal role in the birth of the LGBT Civil Rights Movement; and

WHEREAS, The LGBT Civil Rights Movement was informed and inspired by the African-American Civil Rights Movement; and

WHEREAS, In the early 1960s, the African-American Civil Rights Movement utilized lunch counter sit-ins to protest discrimination in public accommodations; and

WHEREAS, In early 1965, Dewey's Restaurant at 17th & Chancellor Streets was a popular location for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender patrons; and

WHEREAS, In April 1965, Dewey's adopted a policy to deny service to gays, lesbians, masculine women, feminine men, and those wearing non-conforming clothing; and

WHEREAS, The Janus Society was among the first gay and lesbian civil rights organizations in Philadelphia; and

WHEREAS, On April 25, 1965, about 150 people including Clark Polak, president of the Janus Society, took seats at Dewey's and refused to move when ordered to leave by Dewey's staff; and

WHEREAS, The police were called and Clark Polak was arrested along with three teenagers and found guilty of disorderly conduct; and

WHEREAS, In response to the arrests, activists handed out leaflets in front of Dewey's and otherwise demonstrated against the discriminatory policy; and

WHEREAS, On May 2, 1965, another sit-in occurred and no one was arrested by police; and

WHEREAS, By mid-May 1965, Dewey's rescinded its discriminatory policy; and

WHEREAS, This was the nation's first sit-in for LGBT equality in public accommodations; and

WHEREAS, In April to June 1965, early gay civil rights demonstrations also occurred in New York and Washington, D.C.; and

WHEREAS, Those protests and ...

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