Edith Windsor, Victor In A Landmark Marriage Equality Case, RIP

Windsor inherited Spyer's estate but because of 1996's Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), same-sex couples were excluded from federal benefits.

Windsor, who was from NY, often said that she fought her battle in memory of her wife Thea Clara Spyer, who died in 2009.

Windsor sought a refund of over $300,000 dollars but was denied by the IRS. As her condition grew steadily worse, she and Windsor made a decision to travel to Canada to get married, which they did in 2007.

Following Windsor's case, other lawsuits challenged the constitutionality of the remaining 37 states with bans on same-sex marriage. We were proud to stand with Edie when she took her fight on behalf of same-sex couples everywhere to the Supreme Court.

Almost two decades later, Edith Windsor would challenge the law after Thea Spyer, her spouse and partner of 44 years, died and Windsor was hit with an estate tax bill of $363,000 from the federal government, money that she would not have owed if her spouse had been a man.

On a practical level, because of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, I was taxed $363,000 in federal estate tax that I would not have had to pay if I had been married to a man named Theo instead of a woman named Thea. In a 5-4 decision, the 2013 case ruled in Windsor's favor and overturned DOMA.

The ruling was narrow and applied to a limited number of states.

Condolences to Judith Kasen-Windsor, Roberta Kaplan, and the many people who knew and loved Edie Windsor. Time magazine named Windsor the second-runner-up for 2013 Person of the Year, behind Pope Francis and Edward Snowden.

Born Edith Schlain to Jewish immigrants from Russian Federation, she grew up in Philadelphia and first realized she was gay while attending Temple University.

Windsor later married Windsor after attaining a bachelors degree from Temple in 1950 but divorced after less than a year.

Gay rights activist Edith Windsor passed away at 88 in Manhattan on Tuesday (12 September). "He married the right girl and had a lovely life". The marriage ended after she told him she was gay. Windsor's victory is a shining example of what it looks like to never give up on love, even in the face of some very long odds. Thea Spyer and Windsor became a lifelong couple and in 1967, Spyer proposed.

Ms. Spyer was suffering from multiple sclerosis at the time, and died two years later.

I lucked out when Robbie Kaplan, a litigation partner at the law firm of Paul Weiss, walked into my life.

They travelled to marry in Canada after Spyer had a heart attack in 2002 with six friends.

Anthony Romero, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, called Windsor "one of this country's great civil rights pioneers". 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.

  • Leroy Wright