Flags Fly at Half Mast for Del Martin – Lesbian Hero

Posted: August 28, 2008 in Lesbian, lesbians, relationships, Sexuality
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Del Martin Dies – Lesbian Hero

The marriage of Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon on June 16, 2008 was the first legally recognized marriage of a same gender couple in the State of California.  Ms. Martin and Ms. Lyon have been part of our celebrity “Lesbo Photos” page since day one.   We’re very sad to learn of Ms. Martin’s death.

Although 2 Lesbos Goin At It is a fun blog with lots of information about celebrity relationships, at heart we’re lesbian activists wanting the best life possible for us, our son and others like us.  So while we take time to see the humor in the lives of LGBT people, this is a good time to remind our readers that we appreciate the hard work that went before us by leaders such as Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon; and while we don’t always agree with them, we’re thankful for organizations such as PFLAG, the Family Equality Council, COLAGE, GLSEN, Freedom to Marry, LAMBDA Legal, GLAAD and even . . . HRC

 After the jump some quotes regarding the death of Del Martin, including a statement by Barack Obama.

Gavin Newsom, Mayor of San Francisco said this:

For over half a century, Del Martin, along with her loving spouse, Phyllis Lyon, served as an activist for women’s rights and the LGBT community.  The marriage of Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon on June 16, 2008, marked an historic milestone on our country’s road to true freedom and equality.  Del laid the groundwork for all those who want a life of dignity, and we are forever in her debt.  The greatest way we can honor the life work of Del Martin, is to continue to fight and never give up, until we have achieved equality for all.Our deepest sympathies go out to Del’s family, her spouse, Phyllis, her daughter, Kendra, and all those who mourn the loss of this great and pioneering woman.

As a mark of respect for Del Martin, I have ordered the flags at City Hall and the LGBT Pride Flag on Market and Castro Streets to be flown at half-staff from now until sunset, on Thursday, August 28, 2008.

Barack Obama:

“Michelle and I were deeply saddened to hear that Del Martin had passed.  Del committed her life to fighting discrimination and promoting equality.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to her spouse Phyllis Lyon, and all those who were touched by her life.”

Tammy Baldwin:

“Del Martin holds a place of honor in the pantheon of American civil rights leaders. She was a hero and a role model to me and countless other LGBT women and men who seek nothing more and nothing less than full equality. I offer my deep sympathies to her beloved wife, Phyllis, and pledge to carry on the work that they began.”

Lorri Jean, of the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center:

Del made an invaluable difference in my life.  In 1979 when I was first becoming aware of my sexual orientation, I went to my university library in fear and desperation, searching for something that could help me.  There I found only one book on the topic, Lesbian/Woman, the book that Del co-authored with Phyllis.  I took the book off the shelf but was afraid to check it out.  So, I hid in the library and read it from cover to cover.  For the first time, I felt like I wasn’t alone.  Their ground-breaking work helped me to begin to accept myself and get over my fear.  I’ll always be grateful to Del and Phyllis for being there for me and for countless other lesbians. You will be greatly missed, Del, but never forgotten.”

Rea Carey, Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force:

“Del and Phyllis were inspiration in action, living openly and proudly as a loving couple long before many others felt safe to stand with them. Their love for each other gave them strength and sustained them; that same love, courage and grace have left an indelible mark on our movement, and in each of our hearts.”Del and Phyllis have personally been an inspiration to me since I came out when I was 16 years old. In my office, a picture of the two of them looks over me as I work to carry on their work and their vision for living our lives in truth. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force will honor Del’s life by using our uncompromising voice and fighting for justice and equality – a voice made louder and stronger by her 87 years of life. Thank you, Del, for showing so many of us the way.”

Lambda Legal Senior Counsel Jennifer C. Pizer:

“It’s impossible to overstate Del’s importance in the struggle for LGBT rights and dignity. When she and Phyllis started Daughters of Bilitis, they were nearly alone in Joe McCarthy’s America.  Del Martin led the way for all of us who came later.  Everything we’ve accomplished – marriage rights, anti-discrimination protections in the workplace, even the ability to visit our partners in the hospital – owes a vast debt to her work and example.”

Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund

Del Martin’s courage and tenacity helped her lead Californians, and indeed all Americans, to a deeper understanding of the love and commitment that is possible among same-sex couples. She inspired not just her own community, but millions of straight people who saw how long she was willing to wait to legally marry her wife, Phyllis Lyon, with whom she shared her life for more than 55 years. Del will be remembered by future generations as a leader and a hero, and she will be greatly missed.

People For the American Way President Kathryn Kolbert:

“Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon have been an inspiration in my life and work for years. In July, I had the great honor of meeting Phyllis and presenting her with a book containing more than 8,000 congratulatory wedding messages from People For the American Way members.”

In The Life Media, Inc. Executive Director Michelle Kristel:

“As a teenager, reading Lesbian/Woman between the stacks in the local library, to one of millions touched by their journey to legal marriage, I have long admired these formidable champions in the fight for equality.  It is a profound honor and privilege for In The Life Media to conclude our October season premiere episode with their recent wedding. That episode now becomes a joyous tribute to her life, her relationship with Phyllis, her witness, and struggle for LGBT equality.  We are braver and stronger for having had her in our midst.”

  1. Anonymous says:

    you are obviously a lesbian

  2. 2lesbosgoinatit says:

    Lovely Spouse says the same thing about me.


    One Lesbo

  3. […] Read the rest here: Flags Fly at Half Mast for Del Martin – Lesbian Hero […]

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