Published: Thu, September 14, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Edith Windsor passes away at age 88

Edith Windsor passes away at age 88

She took the fight to the Supreme Court, which struck down critical parts of a USA marriage law in a ruling that helped pave a path toward legalizing same-sex nuptials nationwide. Windsor was asked to pay $363,000 in federal estate taxes, which she would not have been required to do "i$3 f Thea was Theo", as Windsor put it during a 2013 interview with NPR's Nina Totenberg.

Though the decision did not assert a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, evangelicals said it was "wrong" and a "subversion" of marriage.

"Because of today's Supreme Court ruling, the federal government can no longer discriminate against the marriages of gay and lesbian Americans", she said then in a statement.

"Few were as small in stature as Edie Windsor - and few made as big a difference to America", the Democrat said in a statement Tuesday, adding that he had spoken to her a few days earlier.

Keith Boykin, a political commentator and pioneer for LGBTQ rights in the Clinton White House, tweeted about her legacy.

Windsor was the lead plaintiff in the Supreme Court case United States v. Windsor, which successfully struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 2013 and gave same-sex couples federal recognition and benefits for the first time.

Windsor was 81 when she brought a lawsuit that proved to be a turning point for gay rights.

At an event in NY I did with Windsor and Kaplan just a month after the court victory, someone asked Windsor how she would like to be remembered in 50 years.

The path to Windsor's life's work began with a love story. The ruling granted same-sex couples tax and other benefits previously limited to marriages between a man and a woman.

Supporters of the Voting Rights Act waiting outside the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington after the court struck down a section aimed at protecting minority voters
Candlelight Memorial Held For Edie Windsor At Stonewall

Win she did: The justices ruled 5-4 in June 2013 that a provision in the law barring the US government from recognizing same-sex unions was unconstitutional.

"One simply can not write the history of the gay rights movement without reserving vast credit and gratitude for Edie Windsor", said Anthony Romero, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union. She was engaged to her partner, Thea, for forty years. "She died a hero, a champion, an extraordinary New Yorker", Ruhle said, "a life well-lived".

Windsor once told NPR "marriage is this magic thing" in the battle for homosexual rights.

Windsor was born June 20, 1929 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

"I Also know that his memory will be a blessing not only to every LGBTQ person in this planet, but for all those who believe in concept of equal dignity for all", also said Kaplan.

Edith Windsor probably couldn't have fathomed that when she met Thea Spyer more than 50 years ago. "In court documents, Ms. 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".

Spyer, a psychologist, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1977.

Despite not being a total decision that completely legalized same-sex marriages, the Windsor ruling was seen as a major victory for LGBT rights.

She is survived by her second same-sex spouse Judith Kasen-Windsor.

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