Lesbian Activist, Pioneering Journalist Del Martin

Del Martin, left, cuts a wedding cake with Phyllis Lyon i i

hide captionDel Martin, left, cuts the cake with her wife Phyllis Lyon at their June wedding. Martin died Aug. 27; the two were together for 55 years.

Getty Images
Del Martin, left, cuts a wedding cake with Phyllis Lyon

Del Martin, left, cuts the cake with her wife Phyllis Lyon at their June wedding. Martin died Aug. 27; the two were together for 55 years.

Getty Images

Del Martin, co-founder of the first national lesbian-rights organization in the United States, died Aug. 27 at age 87. We remember her with an excerpt from a Fresh Air interview that first aired on Dec. 29, 1992. (You can hear the complete conversation using the link at left.)

Martin and her partner Phyllis Lyon founded the Daughters of Bilitis in the conformist '50s, long before the Stonewall riots of 1969 brought the gay civil rights movement into the spotlight.

Shortly after that, Martin and Lyon began publishing The Ladder, the first national publication aimed at a lesbian audience. Their landmark book, Lesbian/Woman, was published in 1972; they were among the first inductees in the LGBT Journalists Hall of Fame, established in 2005 by the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association.

Martin and Lyon, whose relationship spanned six decades, were married June 16 at San Francisco's city hall — the first same-sex couple to be united in that city under California's new marriage law.

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