Posted tagged ‘Del Martin’

Del Martin

August 27, 2008

One of our city’s living legends passed away earlier today. Del Martin (along with her partner Phyllis Lyon) lived a truly remarkable life. I mean really– what a life. From being a pioneering, “out” lesbian in the 1950s to witnessing marriage equality (firsthand–– Phyllis and Del were the first legally married queer couple in California). Hats off to Del. My in-box has been flooded with remembrances and tributes all day long. I’ll post a short portion of her Wikipedia entry below.

Del Martin (May 5, 1921August 27, 2008)[1] and Phyllis Lyon (born November 10, 1924) were an American lesbian couple known as feminist and gay-rights activists.

Martin and Lyon met in 1950, became lovers in 1952, and moved in together on Valentines Day 1953 in an apartment on Castro Street in San Francisco. They had been together for three years when they founded the Daughters of Bilitis (DOB) in San Francisco in 1955, that became the first social and political organization for lesbians in the United States. They both acted as president and editor of The Ladder until 1963, and remained involved in the DOB until joining the National Organization for Women (NOW) as the first lesbian couple to do so.

Both women worked to form the Council of Religion and Homosexuality (CRH) in northern California to persuade ministers to accept homosexuals into churches, and use their influence to decriminalize homosexuality in the late 1960s and early 1970s. They became politically active in San Francisco’s first gay political organization, the Alice B. Toklas Democratic Club, influence Dianne Feinstein to sponsor a citywide bill to outlaw employment discrimination for gays and lesbians. Both served in the White House Conference on Aging in 1995.

They were married on June 16, 2008 in the first same-sex wedding to take place in San Francisco after the California Supreme Court‘s decision in In re Marriage Cases legalized same-sex marriage in California.[2] Martin died on August 27, 2008 at the age of 87.

Civil rights heros

Civil rights heroes

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