Lesbian Rights Pioneer Dies
87-year-old activist Del Martin one of first to wed
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 28, 2008 1:59 AM CDT
Del Martin, left, places a ring on the finger of her partner Phyllis Lyon during their wedding ceremony officiated by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.   (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)
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(Newser) – Veteran lesbian rights pioneer Del Martin has died in San Francisco at age 87. Martin, founder of one of the first gay rights organizations, Daughters of Bilitis, had been in declining health for years, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. She and her partner were among the first same sex couples in California to marry.

"I am devastated, but take some solace in knowing we were able to enjoy the ultimate rite of love and commitment before she passed," said her partner. "Ever since I met Del 55 years ago, I could never imagine a day would come when she wouldn't be by my side."