LGBT activist Del Martin slips away


Renowned LGBT activist Del Martin died today, according to a press release from State Senator Carole Migden.

Del Martin, 87and her partner Phyllis Lyons, 83, became the first gay couple in the nation to legally marry on Feb. 12, 2004, after having spent almost 50 years as a couple.

Their marriage was deemed void later that same year, but this summer, when the California Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is legal, Del and Phyllis were, once again, the first to wed.

State Senator Carole Migden’s (D-San Francisco/North Bay) released the following statement today in response to Martin's death:

“Del Martin slipped away from us just moments ago but her spirit and legacy will never be extinguished within the LGBT community. Del and her loving, longtime partner, Phyllis Lyon, were harbingers for change and activism long before lesbian issues became au courant and socially acceptable. All people and movements in search of true liberation owe an immeasurable debt to Del Martin who, along with other early brave souls, was determined to speak out and change the world to better the plight and lives of those whose voices are not heard. “


What a life fully lived, shepherding the queer movement from invisibility to acceptance. We have truly lost a pioneer.


Posted by marc salomon on Aug. 28, 2008 @ 6:34 am

In 1976 I was a young, bitter, angry rudderless young woman. I had internalized the message that society fed every lebsian, gay man, bisexual and transgendered person. Then, in Seattle, WA I found a copy of Lesbian/Woman. I read it, over the course of one night, at the YMCA in Seattle. The next morning bleary-eyed and stumbling from lack of sleep I hit the streets of Seattle looking for those out loud, outrageous and PROUD lesbian women I had just read about. I found them. I walked out of that closet on that day and I have never gone back. I thank Del Martin and her partner, Phyllis Lyon, for that book. It saved my life.

Posted by Jo B. on Aug. 28, 2008 @ 1:05 pm

We'll miss you, Del. What an inspiration you are to all of us. Thank you for everything.

Posted by Marke B. on Aug. 27, 2008 @ 10:27 am