Del Martin, LGBT rights pioneer, passes away with wife, Phyllis, at her side

posted on Wed, Aug 27 2008 3:22 pm by Family Equality Council

(Phyllis Lyon, left, with her wife Del Martin, right, after being the first same-sex couple to marry in California in 2004.)

The LGBT community has just learned that Del Martin, 87, has passed away in San Francisco with her wife and partner of +50 years, Phyllis Lyon, by her side. Del and Phyllis were the first same-sex couple to marry in California in 2004 when Mayor Gavin Newsom began issuing licenses in San Francisco. They then became plaintiffs in the California marriage cases, resulting in the State Supreme Court's ruling in May that all Californians should be treated equally when it comes to the fundamental freedom to marry.

Del and Phyllis remarried on June 16 with the full weight of the state constitution at their side.

From the National Center for Lesbian Right's press release:

“Ever since I met Del 55 years ago, I could never imagine a day would come when she wouldn’t be by my side. I am so lucky to have known her, loved her, and been her partner in all things,” Lyon said. “I also never imagined there would be a day that we would actually be able to get married. I am devastated, but I take some solace in knowing we were able to enjoy the ultimate rite of love and commitment before she passed.”

Click here to read NCLR's full release on their website. The hearts of Family Equality Council board and staff go out to Phyllis and Phyllis and Del's family and friends.

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