Longtime Triad-area, marriage equality advocate Pearl Berlin passes at 93

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Longtime LGBTQ and marriage equality advocate Pearl Berlin passed on May 17, 2018. Berlin was known for her support of local, regional and national LGBTQ equality causes and for her and her partner Lennie Gerber’s long fight for marriage equality. Berlin was 93 years old.

Berlin and Gerber worked closely with several organizations, including as supporters of the Human Rights Campaign.

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“Pearl Berlin was a fierce advocate for equality who fought injustice on behalf of all North Carolinians. Alongside her wife Lennie, Pearl helped bring marriage equality to the Tarheel State, and she was a driving force against the discriminatory HB2 law,” HRC President Chad Griffin said in a statement on May 18. “Pearl’s smile and wit were infectious, and she endeared herself to countless people across the country through her fearless advocacy. All of us at HRC are deeply saddened by her loss, but we are also deeply grateful to have known Pearl during her extraordinary life. Our hearts go out to her beloved Lennie and the many family members and friends who knew and loved Pearl.”

Together with her wife, Berlin was party to the lawsuit which ultimately overturned North Carolina’s anti-LGBTQ marriage amendment. The couple were profiled in a documentary and several online videos, ads and campaigns with HRC and Equality North Carolina advocating for marriage equality.

The two women met in 1967 and after 43 years together were wed in Maine in 2013.

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Berlin and her wife would have celebrated their 52nd wedding anniversary next month.

qnotes will feature more on Berlin’s life and legacy in our next print edition on June 1.

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Posted by Matt Comer

Matt Comer is a staff writer for QNotes. He previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015.