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Del Martin
Birth: May 5, 1921
San Francisco
San Francisco County
California, USA
Death: Aug. 27, 2008
San Francisco
San Francisco County
California, USA

Social Reformer. Although she is renowned for being half of the first gay couple legally married in California, she played a long and important role in advancing lesbian rights in the United States. Born Dorothy Taliaferro, she was educated at San Francisco State College and the University of California, Berkeley. She was briefly married to James Martin and retained the last name following their divorce. She met Phyllis Lyon, the woman who would become her lifelong partner, in 1950 when they worked for the same magazine in Seattle. They soon became lovers and moved to San Francisco together in 1953. In 1955, they were among a small group of women who formed the Daughters of Bilitis, the first national lesbian organization. The group's newsletter, The Ladder, was a rallying cry that reached out to women throughout the United States, and was hugely influential in organizing the early gay rights movement. They joined the National Organization for Women (NOW) in 1967, and worked towards convincing the women's movement to incorporate lesbian issues into the agenda. When San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom made the monumental decision to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples in 2004, Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon were selected to be the first couple married. They were chosen for this honor because of their importance to the gay rights movement, as well as the fact that they had been together for over 50 years. Although the California Supreme Court initially voided the same-sex marriages that occurred in 2004, the very same court subsequently ruled that same-sex marriage was legal on June 16, 2008. Martin and Lyon were once again accorded the honor of being the first couple to marry. Martin died just two months after this historic union. Their life story was depicted in the award-winning documentary, "No Secret Anymore: The Times of Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon." (bio by: Miracle Mile Tim) 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Miracle Mile Tim
Record added: Aug 27, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 29365808
Del Martin
Added by: Miracle Mile Tim
Del Martin
Added by: Miracle Mile Tim
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