Segal, Mark*

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NAME: Mark Segal*

Biography: A native Philadelphian, Mark Segal moved to New York at 18 and joined the fledgling human rights struggle, founding the Nation's first

Gay Youth Group in 1969 which still exists today. Returning to Philadelphia in 1971, he launched a

campaign to change the image portrayed in the media of the gay community, resulting in national network

exposure and ultimately, to agreements by all three major television networks to stop stereotyping gays and

lesbians in programming, and changing the almost total blackout policy on network news broadcasts.

From that first media success, Segal has continued to set precedents, create landmark policy and break down

barriers to gay rights both locally and nationally:

• He spearheaded the effort to create Pennsylvania’s first Governor's Council for Sexual Minorities -- the

first official governmental body of its type in the world.

• Together with Harry Langhorne he wrote the basic legislation that is now Philadelphia's Gay Rights

Ordinance which has become a role model for much of the legislation passed throughout the U.S. in the

last 20 years.

• He lobbied successfully for Pennsylvania’s first executive order outlawing discrimination against gays

and lesbians, the first such non-discrimination statewide law in the nation.

• He created the first gay concerns office for a presidential candidate.

• In 1976, he founded the Philadelphia Gay News which has become the Nation’s most award winning gay

and lesbian news publication.

• He is a founder and former president of the National Gay and Lesbian Press Association.

From hosting a commercial talk-radio show to organizing the first AIDS Awareness Day in Philadelphia in

1987, helping to initiate Philadelphia’s first AIDS Activity Coordinating Office, founding The William Way

Community Center and persuading Congress to fund it, assisting area organizations with education and

funding, founding the Pride of Philadelphia Election Committee (POPEC), in 1987 to focus the political arm

of the gay and lesbian community in Philadelphia, Segal has been pioneer, activist, and motivating force for

the gay and lesbian community and the community at large, helping to effect change and positive growth,

both in Philadelphia, and across the country.

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