By now, we’ve all heard the depressing news that the California Supreme Court has upheld Proposition 8, making marriage illegal for same sex couples. LGBT groups are already planning the next move, and demonstrations are planned in California and all over the United States tonight.
The little good news about this issue today is that the 18,000 or so couples who got married before voters passed Prop 8 are still legally married.
Together, they founded the Daughters of Bilitis (DOB) in San Francisco in 1955 (the first social and political organization for lesbians in the U.S.). Lyon was the original editor of The Ladder, the first nationally distributed lesbian publication in the U.S., founded in 1956.
Martin died in August 2008, and, at the time, Lyon said, “I am devastated, but I take some solace in knowing we were able to enjoy the ultimate rite of love and commitment before she passed.”
Today, LATimes.com is running an uplifting piece about their lives together, their marriage and Lyon’s opinion about what the future holds for gay rights.
In the article, Lyon says that she and Martin hadn’t originally been too concerned with getting married, focusing instead on the other forms of discrimination faced by lesbians and gays.
That changed when San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom took matters into his own hands in 2004, ordering that same sex couples who wanted to get married be issued marriage certificates.
Afterward, Lyon recalled, "We got home around noon. We looked at each other and said, ‘We’re all dressed up, what are we going to do?’ I said, ‘I don’t know, but there’s not a damn thing in the house for lunch.’ So we went down to our favorite restaurant by the waterfront. It was all very peaceful and calm."
Martin and Lyon on their wedding day in 2008
Newsom’s attempt to help same sex couples marry was soon halted, and Lyon says, "It didn’t really surprise us when the court stopped the marriages. We thought it was pretty stupid and that they’d be sorry one day. We became part of the suit challenging California’s ban on gay marriage."
When gay marriage became legal in California in 2008, they were once again the first same-sex couple to get married in San Francisco.
Lyon says that Martin died "a married woman," before the passage of Prop 8.
A veteran fighter for LGBT rights, Lyon remains upbeat, telling LATimes.com:
Hopefully, she’s right.
What are your thoughts on Lyon’s prediction?