Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Requiem for a Pioneer

I was saddened today to hear of the death of a real pioneer, Del Martin. You hardly ever hear her name without that of the love of her life, Phyllis Lyon. The two first met way back in 1950! Four years ago when San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom said that same sex couple could be married, they were the first and Newsom presided at their ceremony. The wedding was voided though as illegal and so it was a second wedding for them just over a month ago when the State Supreme Court overturned the law as not being constitutional.

Del (with Phyllis) Co-founded groundbreaking lesbian organization Daughters of Bilitis. She took over as editor of the Ladder, a monthly lesbian magazine. Del also helped found the Council on Religion and the Homosexual, formed to overturn laws that criminalized homosexual behavior. She co-wrote with Phyllis the book "Lesbian/Woman". She co-founded with Lyon the Alice B. Toklas Democratic Club, the first gay political club in the United States. Del also served as chairwoman of the San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women and as a delegate to the White House Conference on Aging.

Del Martin was much more though than a pioneer. She was a faithful spouse, mother, grandmother, friend, and servant of our Lord. May she rest in God's eternal peace.

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