This one's for you, Glen!
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- 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.
In February 2004, San Francisco's new mayor decided to challenge California's marriage laws by issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. His advisers and gay rights activists knew right away which couple would put the most compelling human face on the issue: Martin and Lyon.
Back then, the couple planned to celebrate their 51st anniversary as live-in lovers on Valentine's Day. Because of their work with the Daughters, they also were icons in the gay community.
I personally congratulate this couple on their upcoming marriage. That's right, Glen. Screw you.