Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Thank You, Del Martin

The US has lost a true pioneer activist.

(l-r) Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin

Del Martin and her parter of 55 years, Phyllis Lyon, were the first gay couple to be married in San Francisco, during that city's brief but doomed proclamation of same-sex marriage rights in 2004. And again, when California finally declared same-sex marriage legal this June, they were officially the first to be married. It brought tears to my eyes to see these two beautiful, brave women get married. 55 years! Who can honestly look at such a beautiful relationship and say that it doesn't deserve the same rights and respect as a hetero relationship?

Well, Del Martin has passed away, at the age of 87, after a long life of activism and fighting for the rights of lesbians. She, along with her partner and six other women, were founding members - way back in 1955! - of the Daughters of Bilitis, which was the first lesbian activist group in the United States. They weren't ashamed to stand up and say "we are lesbians," in a time when such a thing was completely kept under the rug. And they fought for the rights of gays all across the country, because they believed it was the right thing to do.

I'm thankful to this courageous, amazing, strong woman for all of the work that she did. My deepest condolences go out to her wife and lifelong partner, Phyllis. Thank you, Del. You did good.

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