The Washington Post profiles Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, lifelong activists who became the first lesbian couple to be issued marriage licenses in the United States:

‘There’s always going to be backlash,’ Lyon says, resolute. ‘If you wait for the right time, there’s never a right time.’

For them, getting married is no more extreme than organizing Daughters of Bilitis at the peak of the McCarthy era, when newspapers carried headlines such as ‘Federal Vigilance on Perverts Asked.’ Their marriage license sits on the coffee table in a blue folder.

California law states what they have is not a marriage. No matter how it seems.
‘We really only had problems our first year together,’ says Lyon, referring to 1953. ‘Del would leave her shoes in the middle of the room, and I’d throw them out the window.’

From her recliner, Martin chimes in. ‘You’d have an argument with me and try to storm out the door,’ she says. ‘I had to teach you to fight back.'”

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