BREAKING: Edie Windsor dies at 88
Ms. Windsor’s case struck down the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013 and granted same-sex married couples federal recognition for the first time.
Edith Windsor, whose Supreme Court case struck down the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013 and brought federal recognition to marriage equality, has died at age 88. The cause of her death has not been specified.
After living together for 40 years, Ms. Windsor and Thea Spyer, a psychologist, were legally married in Canada in 2007. Dr. Spyer died in 2009, and Ms. Windsor inherited her estate. But the Internal Revenue Service denied her the unlimited spousal exemption from federal estate taxes available to married heterosexuals, and she had to pay taxes of $363,053.
She sued, claiming that the law, by recognizing only marriages between a man and a woman, unconstitutionally singled out same-sex marriage partners for “differential treatment.”
Affirming two lower court rulings, the Supreme Court overturned the law in a 5-4 ruling, citing the Fifth Amendment guarantee that no person shall be “deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.”
Edie was a pioneer in every sense of the word. She changed the world for millions of us. And she was the sweetest person, too – I met her about a year ago, told her about my recent engagement and thanked her for making it happen, and she kissed my hand and wished my future wife and I a lifetime of happiness. I will miss her. We all will. Thank you for everything, Edie.