Deb Price, a First as a Columnist on Gay Life, Dies at 62

Deb Price, a First as a Columnist on Gay Life, Dies at 62

Deb Price, a First as a Columnist on Gay Life, Dies at 62

Deb Price, a First as a Columnist on Gay Life, Dies at 62

After stints at The Northern Virginia Sun and the States News Service, which covered Washington news for dozens of papers across the country, she joined The Washington Post in 1984. Both she and Ms. Murdoch were editors on the paper’s national desk, and they became a couple in 1985.

They were the first to register as domestic partners in Takoma Park, Md., where they lived, in 1993, and were joined in a civil union in Vermont in 2000. They were finally able to marry legally, in Toronto, in 2003. Theirs was the first same-sex wedding announcement that The Washington Post put on its weddings page.

“Avid tennis players, world travelers and certified scuba divers, the newlyweds will celebrate their honeymoon in Hawaii later this year,” the announcement said.

The couple produced two well-received books. “And Say Hi to Joyce: America’s First Gay Column Comes Out” (1995) collected most of Ms. Price’s columns with commentary by Ms. Murdoch. They dedicated it to “all the gay readers who’ve put twenty-five cents in a newspaper box and found nothing reflecting their own lives inside.”

Their second was “Courting Justice: Gay Men and Lesbians v. the Supreme Court” (2001), described by a Kirkus reviewer as “a crackerjack resource volume on gay legal history.”

Ms. Price continued her column until 2010, when she received a Nieman fellowship to study at Harvard.

In Hong Kong, where the couple moved when Ms. Murdoch received an academic appointment there, Ms. Price, long interested in business and finance, worked for The Asian Wall Street Journal. She went on to become managing editor of Caixin Global, an independent financial publication in China, and senior business editor for The South China Morning Post.

Ms. Murdoch is her sole immediate survivor. Ms. Price’s older brother, Stephen, died in 2018.

“We never had children,” Ms. Murdoch said. “We knew that our gay-rights work would be our most important legacy.”


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