Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese Statement on the Passing of Del Martin

by HRC Staff

WASHINGTON - Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese today issued a statement on the death of longtime lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender activist Del Martin.

"The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community has lost one of its bravest and most admired activists," said HRC President Joe Solmonese. "Del Martin dared for decades to fight to marry her beloved Phyllis, and by doing so became an iconic hero the LGBT community. Her death is a great loss to all of us, but her life is an inspiration."

Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon had been a couple for 55 years when a California Supreme Court ruling finally granted them the right to legally marry. They became the first same-sex couple in the state to marry, doing so on June 16, 2008. Proposition 8, which aims to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry, will be on the California ballot in November.

"On behalf of the entire Human Rights Campaign family, I want to send our deepest sympathies to Phyllis and the rest of Del's family. We will never forget the trail she blazed to help bring justice to LGBT couples in California, and she'll be in our hearts as we work tirelessly to preserve the rights she worked so hard to obtain."

The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against GLBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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