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Sunday, 5 May 2013

Del Martin (1921 – 2008) US

Pioneer lesbian activist, who together with her life partner Phyllis Lyons made several major contributions over half a century to progress to LGBT equality in the United Sates. They were founder members of the Daughters of Bilitis, the first social and political organization for lesbians in the United States.. For their work editing The Ladder, the group's pioneering newsletter, in 2005, they were among the first group of people inducted the LGBT Journalists' Hall of Fame. They remained active in the DOB, until they later joined the National Organization for women, the first lesbian couple to do so. 
Their activism extended to religious and political groups. They worked  to form the Council on Religion and the Homosexual (CRH) in northern California to persuade ministers to accept homosexuals into churches, and used their influence to decriminalize homosexuality in the late 1960s and early 1970s. They became politically active in San Francisco's first gay political organization, the Alice B. Toklas Democratic Club, which influenced Dianne Feinstein to sponsor a citywide bill to outlaw employment discrimination for gays and lesbians. Both served in the White House Conference on Aging in 1995. 
They had first met in 1952, and moved in together in San Francisco on Valentine's Day the following year. 55 years late they were the first same - sex couple to be married, in June 2008, after the California Supreme Court   briefly legalized same-sex marriage in California. (later overturned by Proposition 8 that same year).
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