Friday, 24 November, 2017

Edith Windsor, Who Won Major Same-Sex Marriage Case, Dies at 88

Edith Windsor, Marriage Equality Activist and LGBT Rights Pioneer, Dies at 88 Gay Marriage Advocate Edith Windsor Dies at 88
Theodore Harris | 15 September, 2017, 00:27

Celebrities, politicians and LGBTQ rights advocates alike offered heartfelt words in honor of Edith "Edie" Windsor, who died Tuesday at the age of 88.

"The world lost a tiny but tough as nails fighter for freedom, justice and equality", she said. It was her case from 2009 in the United States Supreme Court that helped repeal parts of a federal law against gay marriage and paved the way for marriage equality in the country.

In 2010, after the death of her spouse Thea Spyer, Windsor filed a lawsuit against the federal government, seeking a refund on the $600,000 in estate taxes she was required to pay after inheriting her wife's estate.

When the 5-4 Supreme Court decision ruling the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional was announced on June 26th 2013, Windsor was at the apartment of her lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, to receive a congratulatory phone call from President Obama. At the time, Windsor said she was humbled by the role the LGBT movement bestowed upon her in pursuit of marriage equality.

Windsor remarried previous year.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio also posted a message on Twitter in which he praised her ability to provide the "moral universe" with "a good kick in the ass". I know that Edie's memory will always be a blessing to [my wife] Rachel, myself, and [our son] Jacob.

Windsor knew what it had been like to be stereotyped and stigmatized, Kilmnick said. And she belonged to the now-dissolved East End Gay Organization. "One simply can not write the history of the gay rights movement without reserving enormous credit and gratitude for Edie Windsor".

Windsor, born to an immigrant Jewish family from Philadelphia in 1929, was an unlikely civil rights icon; glamorous, wealthy and successful.

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TOTENBERG: There she met Thea Spyer, who for 42 years would be the love of her life and eventually her wife. "In court documents, Windsor said she told Spyer, "'If it still feels this goofy joyous, I'd like us to spend the rest of our lives together.' And we did". Windsor requested that instead of flowers, donations in her memory be made to the NYC LGBT Center, Callen-Lorde, the Hetrick-Martin Institute, and SAGE. It was the same year that she received a bachelor's degree from Temple University. When the Court allowed marriage equality in 2015, Windsor was finally able to exhale, knowing that what she had begun in a NY legal street fight was now protected in MS and Alabama.

One of the most significant civil rights cases in recent US history started with a tax bill.

They officially started dating in 1965 and in 1967, Spyer proposed to Windsor, which led to a long engagement of 40 years. Spyer was a psychologist with a large NY practice.

Spyer came into her life in 1963, and they became a couple two years later. She became a computer programmer at IBM in 1958. For almost half a century, the two were partners and eventually were legally married as well.

Spyer was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1977.

Michelle and I offer our condolences to her wife, Judith, and to all who loved and looked up to Edie Windsor.

A public memorial will be held 12:30 p.m. Friday at Riverside Memorial Chapel in Manhattan.

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