More than 55 years after they first met, longtime partners and human-rights activists Del Martin, 87, and Phyllis Lyon, 83, at 5:01 Monday night became the first same-sex couple to be married in San Francisco. The women's nuptials kicked off what is expected to be a crush of weddings on Tuesday -- following a California supreme court ruling last month that legalized gay marriage.After 55 years, it was time for their commitment to be honored. They've been together longer than any heterosexual marriage I know except for my paternal grandparents. In the long run this will only strengthen society and help the gay community overall. A civilizing effect for us all.