50 years ago today, John F. Kennedy announced a truce between the police and government of Birmingham, Alabama, and civil rights protesters who had been demonstrating and boycotting for 35 days. Within 14 months, President Johnson had signed the Civil Rights act, followed shortly thereafter by the Voting Rights Act. The Gay Rights Movement is currently undergoing a similar surge in momentum. "You can't say what's happening in the gay rights movement is happening in a vacuum. All these movements for human rights in the last 50 years have benefited from the civil rights movement," says Ahmad Ward, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute's head of education and exhibitions. Despite its Civil Rights history, Alabama is second only to Mississippi in its lack of support for marriage equality. But still, even if it's slow, change it happening all over the country.
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