Deb Value, a First as a Columnist on Homosexual Life, Dies at 62


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

They were the first to register as Domestic Affiliates in Takoma Park, Md., Where they lived, in 1993, and joined a civil union in Vermont in 2000. In 2003 they were finally able to legally marry in Toronto was the first same-sex wedding announcement that the Washington Post put on their wedding website.

“Enthusiastic tennis players, world travelers and certified divers, the newlyweds will be celebrating their honeymoon in Hawaii later this year,” the announcement said.

The couple produced two well-received books. “And say hello to Joyce, America’s First Gay Column Coming Out” (1995) garnered most of Ms. Price’s columns with comments from Ms. Murdoch. They dedicated it to “all gay readers who put 25 cents in a newspaper box and found nothing that reflects their own life”.

Her second was “Courting Justice: Gays 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 was moving when Ms. Murdoch was given an academic appointment there, Ms. Price, a long-time business and finance specialist, worked for the Asian Wall Street Journal. She became editor-in-chief of Caixin Global, an independent financial publication in China, and senior business editor at The South China Morning Post.

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

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


Robert Dunfee