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

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

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

“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.”

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.

Leave a comment. Share your thoughts on Del’s passing and the
importance of marriage equality for all loving families.