News Worms
News Worms

Edith Windsor, gay marriage activist dies, 88

Edith Windsor, gay marriage activist dies, 88

Edith Windsor, the woman behind the legal case that struck down the Defense of Marriage Act and paved the way for the legalization of same-sex marriage, died Tuesday at 88, the New York Daily News reports.

Windsor's death was confirmed by her wife, Judith Kasen-Windsor, to the New York Times Tuesday.

Windsor was the plaintiff in a landmark Supreme Court case that struck down parts of the federal defense of marriage act. After navigating the NY court system for years, her case made it to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013, culminating in a 5-4 decision declaring that the federal Defense of Marriage Act-the legislation blocking Ms. Windsor's tax claim-was unconstitutional.

Like Windsor said, "Don't postpone joy". I mean, forget all the financial stuff.

Windsor was born in Philadelphia and moved to Manhattan in the early 1950s after a brief marriage to a man. She grew up a serious student who did well in school, and in 1946, she enrolled at Temple University.

Former City Council Speaker Christine Quinn - the first woman and openly LGBT speaker - said that Windsor was a close friend, supporter and mentor and that she was "sweet, kind and loving" to her and her partner. So, overwhelmed with a sense of injustice and unfairness, I made a decision to file a lawsuit to get my money back.

Less than a year later, the pair divorced.

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". At a time when the gay organizations that I approached responded with, "It's the wrong time for the movement", Robbie Kaplan said - as did the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. before her - "There is no wrong time" to seek justice. If my parents had known the truth, would they have stopped loving me? "I didn't think it would happen again and it did".

She met Spyer in 1963, but, as BuzzFeed recounted in 2013, the two did not get together until two years later. I query everybody who has a long-ranging relationship and then gets married, and I ask, "Is it different the next morning?" and they all say yes. Windsor's 2013 victory at the Supreme Court eventually opened the door to marriage equality nationwide, by serving as a judicial stepping stone to the national constitutional right to marriage equality, which would come two years later.

They later married in Canada after realizing that they might not live long enough to see NY legalize same-sex marriage. When Spyer died in 2009, the Internal Revenue Service levied on Windsor an estate tax of $363,000 - a tax from which a straight couple would have been exempt. And when Thea passed away, Edie spoke up - not for special treatment, but for equal treatment - so that other legally married same-sex couples could enjoy the same federal rights and benefits as anyone else.

The couple split after less than a year and Windsor moved to NY, where she worked as a computer programmer for technology giant IBM.


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