Today We Mourn the Passing of Del Martin

This is some sad news.

Call me sappy (and putting aside my complicated feelings about marriage), but it makes me happy that she got to marry her long term partner before she passed.

Del Martin is best known for co-founding the Daughters of Bilitis, which was the first national lesbian organization in the United States, but was also involved in the National Organization for Women (where she helped combat homophobia within the organization), the Alice B. Toklas Democratic Club, and, later in her life, in Old Lesbians Organizing for Change.

She also co-authored several books, one of which, Lesbian/Woman, was read outloud to me by my best friend in her bedroom when I was 13 and was trying to figure out what being queer was all about.

According to a statement by Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality California, “gifts in lieu of flowers can be made to honor Del’s life and commitment and to defeat the California marriage ban through the National Center for Lesbian Rights NO on 8 committee at”

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7 comments for “Today We Mourn the Passing of Del Martin

  1. August 27, 2008 at 6:34 pm

    I’m glad she and her partner were able to help many couples realize their dream of marriage. Even though Del and Phyllis’ legal marriage was short, as far as I’m concerned, they’ve been married for much longer than most heterosexuals in this country.

  2. August 27, 2008 at 7:00 pm

    I remember first seeing their wedding picture in 2004…it made me cry then, and it makes me cry now. It’s such a beautiful depiction of lifelong, enduring love.

  3. August 27, 2008 at 7:12 pm

    My heart goes out to Phyllis, and both of their families. I was so happy that they were able to marry, I smiled every time I thought of it. Now the smile will have a bittersweet edge to it.

    May I live as long, and love as deeply.

  4. Lucy
    August 27, 2008 at 8:52 pm

    I never knew who she was, but that photo always got me when I saw it. So sweet. Now I know that she was doing such good in life.

  5. August 28, 2008 at 12:53 am

    Oh, man. Thank you for posting this. It’s so sad to lose someone like her, but I share your happiness about her having gotten the chance to marry her partner.

  6. August 28, 2008 at 4:14 am

    Rest in peace.

  7. August 28, 2008 at 5:28 am

    Sad news, indeed. I love their smiling faces in some of the other images that are floating around.

    Committed relationship for over a half century. Awesome.

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