JUNE 16: San Francisco celebrates its first sa…


It doesn’t take too much digging around LGBT
history to come across the names Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon. Not only were
they the founders of the Daughters of Bilitis and the landmark lesbian magazine
The Ladder, but they were also the
very first same-sex couple to be legally married in San Francisco on this day in


Despite only being legally married for less than a year, Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon were partners for 58 years (x). 

Del and Phyllis’s love story is truly one for the ages. The two
met in 1950 in the city whose history they would eventually be woven into, San
Francisco. They officially moved in together on Valentine’s Day in 1953 and it
was out of their shared apartment on Castro Street where they created some of
the most defining cultural touchstones of lesbian history in America – those touchstones
being the Daughters of Bilitis organization and its accompanying magazine The Ladder. The two worked side by side
in the movement their whole lives and were married for the first time on
February 12, 2004, but sadly that first marriage (along with thousands of other
couple’s marriages) were made defunct by the California Supreme Court in August
of that year. It was only when same-sex marriage was finally declared fully legal
in the city in 2008 that Del and Phyllis were wed once and for all and became
the very first gay couple legally married in San Francisco on June 16, 2008. Del
Martin passed away just two months later on August 27, 2008; she died a happily
married woman, twice over.