June 16, 2008

Lesbian couple of over a half-century to legally wed

Posted in Civil rights, GLBT issues, News at 9:51 am by The Lizard Queen

This is such a sweet story:

SAN FRANCISCO – Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin fell in love at a time when lesbians risked being arrested, fired from their jobs and sent to electroshock treatment.

On Monday afternoon, more than a half-century after they became a couple, Lyon and Martin plan to become the first same-sex couples to legally exchange marriage vows in San Francisco and among the first in the state.

“It was something you wanted to know, ‘Is it really going to happen?’ And now it’s happened, and maybe it can continue to happen,” Lyon said.

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom plans to officiate at the private ceremony in his City Hall office before 50 invited guests. He picked Martin, 87, and Lyon, 84, for the front of the line in recognition of their long relationship and their status as pioneers of the gay rights movement.

Along with six other women, they founded a San Francisco social club for lesbians in 1955 called the Daughters of Bilitis. Under their leadership, it evolved into the nation’s first lesbian advocacy organization. They have the FBI files to prove it.

I do have an issue with the story, though: it discusses the couple’s attempt to marry in 2004, and states that “the couple planned to celebrate their 51st anniversary as live-in lovers on Valentine’s Day.”  I’d say “live-in lovers” is an improvement over “galpals,” but it seems like a relationship that’s lasted over 50 years is based on more than sex, so “live-in lovers” is inadequate (not to mention, in my opinion, disrespectful).

At any rate, though, congrats to Martin and Lyon!



  1. Evil Bender said,

    What a wonderful story!

    I agree that “live-in-lovers” is poor phrasing at best, and probably rude. I’ve been trying to settle on which alternative would be preferable. Perhaps simply “partners”?

  2. pavlov112 said,

    Photos from their wedding here. Very, very sweet. 🙂

  3. pavlov112 said,

    Whoops. That’s just a link to one such photo. I meant to go to this album instead.

  4. OMG the photos — I’m all verklempt. Talk amongst yourselves…

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