For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Ali Bay, Communications Manager
916) 284-9187 ali@eqca.org

Equality California

Community Mourns Loss of Beloved Civil Rights Leader Del Martin, 87

Statement by Equality California Executive Director Geoff Kors

SAN FRANCISCO - Today, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community lost an iconic leader and a beloved friend. Del Martin, 87, passed away in San Francisco with Phyllis Lyon, her lifelong partner and spouse, by her side. Martin was one of the nation's first and most visible lesbian rights activists who dedicated her life to combating homophobia, sexism, violence and racism. Martin's many contributions to the LGBT movement will resonate for decades to come.

Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon were married in California on June 16, 2008 after 55 years together.

"We are saddened to lose such a wonderful friend to our community and our love goes out to Phyllis and her family during this most difficult time," said EQCA Executive Director Geoff Kors. "We would not be at this incredible moment in history, where all couples have equal rights under California law, if it had not been for Del's lifetime of courage and leadership. Our community will forever honor her life and legacy."

EQCA honored Del and Phyllis with the Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon Marriage Equality Award in 2003, an award the organization gives every year in their honor.

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 www.nclrights.org/NoOn8.

Read more about Del Martin.

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