WINDY CITY TIMES
||NCLR mourns loss of civil rights and LGBTQ icon Phyllis Lyon, 95
This article shared 2417 times since Thu Apr 9, 2020
SAN FRANCISCO, CA Today, the National Center for Lesbian Rights mourns the loss of a beloved friend and LGBTQ civil rights icon. Phyllis Lyon, 95, passed away peacefully from natural causes at her home in San Francisco. Lyon, along with her wife Del 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. Phyllis' contributions to the LGBTQ equality movement will be felt for many decades following her passing.
"Phyllis Lyon was a giant. She was an icon, a trailblazer, a pioneer, a role model, and a friend to the many of us who looked up to her," said NCLR Executive Director Imani Rupert-Gordon. "Her activism changed what we thought was possible, and her strength inspired us. Her vision helped forge our path and made organizations like NCLR possible. And although the path is lonelier without her, we know the way because of her."
In 2004, Lyon and Martin became the first same-sex couple to be married in the state of California, and subsequently became plaintiffs in the California marriage equality case, represented by NCLR, which helped to ensure that the fundamental right to marry under the California Constitution belongs to all individuals, including same-sex couples. Phyllis and Del were married in California by former NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell on June 16, 2008, after 55 years together.
"Our country has lost a civil rights icon and one of the most legendary figures in the LGBTQ movement," said NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter. "I was proud to represent Phyllis Lyon and her longtime partner Del Martin in the historic 2008 California Supreme Court case that struck down California's marriage ban. Getting to know Phyllis and Del was the honor of a lifetime. Our movement would not be possible without their unflinching courage and willingness to live openly and proudly as lesbians, even at a time when doing so subjected them to vicious stigma and persecution."
Phyllis began her work in civil rights activism after she received a degree in journalism from the University of California at Berkeley in 1946. Shortly after graduating, Lyon met her partner Del and the two began working on behalf of lesbians in their community. Lyon and Martin both devoted their lives to working towards full LGBTQ equality, healthcare access, advocacy on behalf of battered women, and issues facing elderly Americans. Their many contributions over the past five decades helped shape the modern LGBTQ movement.
Lyon and Del are credited by the venerable Reverend Cecil Williams for helping shape an LGBTQ-inclusive vision for Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco including programs that helped shelter and protect LGBTQ youth who sought refuge in San Francisco to avoid discrimination and persecution in their hometowns. The couple was also co-founders of the Daughter of Bilitis, the first political and social organization for Lesbian in the United States. In 1956, they launched "The Ladder," the first lesbian newsletter, which became a lifeline for hundreds of women isolated and silenced by the restrictions of the era. Activists established Lyon-Martin Health Services named in honor of Phyllis and Del in 1979.
"Phyllis Lyon is truly an iconic figure in the history of LGBTQ and women's rights. Her life was marked by courage and the tenacious belief that the world must and could change," said Kate Kendell, former NCLR Executive Director. "She and her love of over 50 years moved from the shadows to the center of civil life and society when they became the first couple to marry in California after Prop 8 was struck down in 2008. Few individuals did more to advance women's and LGBTQ rights than Phyllis Lyon. From the moment I started as Legal Director at NCLR, Phyllis and Del were fixtures in my life. Our monthly lunches gave me the chance to learn at their feet about my own history and the story of much or our movement. I got to be a part of not one but two weddings with them! First in 2004 and then in 2008. After Del's death in August of 2008, I still had Phyllis in my life, even as dementia took a lot of her memory, she never lost her spirit, joy or sense of humor. I will miss her every day, but am comforted knowing she and Del are finally together again."
The family requests that gifts in honor of Phyllis be made to the Lyon-Martin Health Clinic: https://www.gofundme.com/f/save-lyonmartin-amp-womens-community-clinic?utm_medium=copy_link&utm_source=customer&utm_campaign=p_lico+share-sheet
A celebration of life honoring Phyllis is being planned by the family.
The National Center for Lesbian Rights ( NCLR ) is a national legal organization committed to advancing the human and civil rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education. Since its founding, NCLR has maintained a longstanding commitment to racial and economic justice and the LGBTQ community's most vulnerable. www.nclrights.org .
From a press release
This article shared 2417 times since Thu Apr 9, 2020
| ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE|
|Billie Jean King to receive Muhammad Ali Award on Dec. 7|
Tennis icon Billie Jean King will be honored with the Muhammad Ali Legacy Award presented by Alkaline88 at the 2021 Sports Illustrated Awards on Tuesday, Dec. 7. The honor celebrates individuals whose dedication to the ideals ...
|ART 'Frida: Immersive Dream' coming to Germania Place in 2022|
Lighthouse Immersive, North America's leading producer of ground-breaking experiential art exhibits, and Maestro Immersive Art announce their newest immersive art installation, "Frida: Immersive Dream." This exhibition will run at Lighthouse ...
|AFC commemorates passing of the HIV decriminalization law with World AIDS Day event Dec. 1 |
--From a press release - The World AIDS Day Community Celebration of the Historic Passage of HB1063, which ended criminal penalties against people living with HIV, will be hosted by AIDS Foundation Chicago (AFC). It will also commemorate World AIDS Day ...
|SHOWBIZ '9-1-1,' Billie Jean King, Lena Waithe, singer Mary Lambert, White Party|
Actor Rockmond Dunbar left the Fox show 9-1-1 after four seasons over a vaccine mandate, Deadline noted. His gay character, Michael Grant, was abruptly written off in the Nov. 15 episode, leaving fans of the first-responder ...
|VIEWS In defense of the word 'lesbian'|
When I decided to come out to my mom, I wanted to wait until I could say the word "lesbian" out loud. But as I sat her down, I tripped over the long string of letters. "Mom, I'm gay," I blurted ...
|LGBTQ+ equality in nine Illinois municipalities detailed in Human Rights Campaign Index|
--From a press release - WASHINGTON Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, in partnership with The ...
|Biden nominates second lesbian as federal judge|
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer recommended that President Joe Biden elevate the Manhattan federal judge overseeing the sex-abuse trial of British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Reuters reported. Biden ...
|NATIONAL Navy items, lesbian bar founder, QueerArt, trans guide|
A Navy ship named for slain gay-rights leader Harvey Milk, who served four years in the Navy before being forced out, was christened and launched in San Diego Bay, Navy Times noted. The replenishment oiler USNS ...
|WORLD China clinic, lesbian couple, Mr. Gay World, Ghana bill|
China launched its first medical clinic to treat transgender children and adolescents, NBC News reported. The Chinese state-backed media outlet The Global Times recently reported that the clinic opened at the Children's Hospital of Fudan University ...
|Human Rights Campaign Foundation releases data on COVID-19 & LGBTQ+ health equity|
--From a Human Rights Campaign Foundation press release - WASHINGTON Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization ...
|Combining creativity with consulting, trans-rights activists launch Better World Collaborative |
With years of activism behind them, transgender-rights advocates Crispin Torres and Rebecca Kling have sat through countless workshops. But they'd often leave their seats—or Zoom calls—feeling disappointed. Workshops don't need ...
|GLAAD releases latest Accelerating Acceptance Study|
--From a press release - New York, NY - Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021 - GLAAD, the world's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, today announced the findings of its seventh annual Accelerating Acceptance Study, a nationa ...
|Lesbian director sails again with Lyric Opera's 'Florencia en el Amazonas'|
Lesbian director Francesca Zambello has successfully ferried the Spanish-language opera Florencia en el Amazonas (Florencia in the Amazon) throughout its entire existence. Zambello not only staged its wildly successful world-premiere ...
|Actress Kristen Stewart announces engagement |
Actress Kristen Stewart announced she and actress/screenwriter Dylan Meyer are engaged in an interview with Howard Stern, CNN.com noted. "We're marrying, we're totally gonna do it," Stewart said. "I wanted to be proposed to, so I ...
|BREAKING Lesbian confirmed to appeals court|
On Nov. 1, the U.S. Senate confirmed the appointment of the first openly LGBT womana graduate of Dartmouth College and the University of Chicago Law Schoolfor a seat on a federal appeals circuit bench. The roll-call ...