SAN FRANCISCO — Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin fell in love at a time when lesbians risked being arrested, fired from their jobs and sent to electroshock treatment.
On Monday, more than a half-century after they became a couple, Lyon and Martin plan to become one of the first same-sex couples to legally exchange marriage vows in California.
"It was something you wanted to know, 'Is it really going to happen?' And now it's happened, and maybe it can continue to happen," Lyon says.
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom plans to officiate at the private ceremony in his City Hall office before 50 invited guests. He picked Martin, 87, and Lyon, 84, for the front of the line in recognition of their long relationship and their status as pioneers of the gay rights movement.
Along with six other women, they founded a San Francisco social club for lesbians in 1955 called the Daughters of Bilitis. Under their leadership, it evolved into the nation's first lesbian advocacy organization. They have the FBI files to prove it.
Their ceremony Monday will, in fact, be a marriage do-over.
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Love that lasts more than half a century should be recognized by all as special. You go girls! ;)