Gays Rights Activist, Philly Native Edith Windsor Dies At 88

Frederick Owens
September 14, 2017

"Those same children who happen to be gay will be free to love and get married - as Thea and I did - but with the same federal benefits, protections and dignity as everyone else". "She will always be the light for the LGBTQ community which she loved so much and which loved her right back".

His death was reported to media by his wife, Kasen Windsor, who married in 2016, but no furr details were provided.

"In response, Windsor sued".

In June 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 that provision in the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional, allowing legally married same-sex couples to have access to the same federal benefits heterosexual couples receive.

My heart broke hearing that Windsor had passed, and then soared at the thought of her being reunited with her beloved Thea. "Did I ever think we would be discussing equality in marriage? Never. It was just so far away".

By bringing her revolutionary suit, Windsor was simply fighting to make her life - all of our (LGBT) lives - ordinary. Two years later, Spyer died, and the federal government made Windsor pay $363,053 in estate taxes because DOMA prevented her from being recognized as the surviving spouse by the federal government. She was therefore left with a huge tax bill that heterosexual couples would not have.

"It's a very important case. In 2013, she won the case, setting the foundation for a string of rulings that increased the rights of same-sex partners", she added. However, the decision did not specify if there was a constitutional right to same-sex marriages and did not overturn laws in 37 states that banned those unions. "Today, JTS signed on to a brief at the United States Supreme Court arguing that the marriages of gay people should be respected under the law".

That set the stage for a ruling two years later that removed all barriers to equal marriage rights.

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Major political figures such as former President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Democratic senators such as Sen. Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, called Windsor "one of this country's great civil rights pioneers".

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, said he was heartbroken by the death of a woman who "embodied the NY spirit, taking it upon herself to tear down barriers for others".

Born in Philadelphia in 1929, Windsor was a trailblazer. Windsor took an early retirement at I.B.M.in 1975 and began a career as a gay rights activist.

Following the death of Thea Spyer, Ms. Windsor became the sole beneficiary of her estate.

"We mourn her today, as do all whom she touched in her incredible life".

Concerned that an engagement ring would bring unwanted attention to her sexual orientation from colleagues at IBM, Spyer gave Windsor a diamond brooch.

"I don't know how to say it that's not corny as hell-I've been having a love affair with the gay community", Windsor told the New Yorker's Levy in 2013.

Spyer, a psychologist, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1977. The women married in Canada when they realized they might not be living when NY state legalized same-sex marriage, which it did in 2011. It did in 2011.

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