Edie Windsor, Civil Rights Icon and Hero, Has Died

Ms. Windsor inherited her late spouse’s estate, but was required to pay $363,000 in taxes-an amount that she would have been exempt from paying if she were married to a man.


I lost my beloved spouse Edie, and the world lost a tiny, but tough as nails fighter for freedom, justice and equality.

“I wanted the judges (and potentially Supreme Court justices) to see Edie and Thea’s relationship for its qualities of commitment and love”, wrote Kaplan, “not for anything having remotely to do with their sex life”.

Born in Philadelphia in 1929 to Jewish immigrants from Russia, Windsor’s life and battle for equal rights led to major victories for the LGBTI community in the United States.

“All through IBM, I lied about who I was”, Windsor said during the interview, sporting the diamond engagement pin Spyer gave her in 1967 because a ring would have prompted unwelcome questions.

“People stopped me on the street, people stopped me on the subway to say, ‘Thank you for what you’ve done-you’ve changed my life, ‘” Ms. Windsor said in the July article.

They later married in Canada after realizing that they might not live long enough to see NY legalize same-sex marriage. Spyer died at age 75 in 2009.

Her wife, she said, would have been proud of her achievement. “It really was. Something like three weeks before Thea died she said: ‘Jesus we’re still in love, aren’t we'”. But federal law didn’t recognize a marriage like theirs as valid – which meant that they were denied certain federal rights and benefits that other married couples enjoyed. It’s heartbreaking. It’s just a bad injustice. I don’t think so. So, overwhelmed with a sense of injustice and unfairness, I made a decision to file a lawsuit to get my money back.

LGBT rights advocate Edith Windsor died Tuesday in Manhattan.

In the end, those worries did not come to fruition. Two years later, the Supreme Court awarded full marriage equality to same-sex couples.

Other people posted messages on social media. “No legitimate objective overcomes the goal and effect to disparage and to injure those whom the state. sought to protect in personhood and in dignity”. Though their marriage was recognized in NY state, the 1996 DOMA proscribed a federal definition of marriage that excluded same-sex couples.

“Don’t let anything make you feel that somehow they can beat us, because they can’t”, she said at the time.

Mr Obama said in a statement: “America’s long journey towards equality has been guided by countless small acts of persistence and fuelled by the stubborn willingness of quiet heroes to speak out for what’s right. And so does Edie”.


“Edie Windsor is a hero and civil rights icon who pushed our country closer to the promise of a more flawless union”, said HRC President Chad Griffin.

Gay rights activist Edith Windsor dies at 88