Edith Windsor is an Iconic Symbol of Love and LGBTQ Equality

Edith Windsor, Marriage Equality Activist and LGBT Rights Pioneer, Dies at 88

As a married gay American, I owe a debt of gratitude to Edith Windsor, the famous litigant whose crusade for a tax refund became the landmark case of United States v. Windsor.

Few were as small in stature as Edie Windsor - and few made as big a difference to America. She touched countless lives, and we at GLAAD are deeply saddened by her passing, but her kindness, compassion, and legacy will endure'.

I thought about Edie that day. "I said, 'Is your dance card full?'" Windsor recalled. "Whehter you knew her really well or you just knew her from meeting her a couple of times, you felt like she was a great friend to you".

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

"The better we feel as citizens and as human beings - not "queers" - the more of us come out", she told USA TODAY.

"Edith Windsor will be remembered as a great American civil rights hero". The case granted same-sex married couples federal recognition for the first time in the country and the rights that were earlier enjoyed only by married heterosexuals.

When Windsor's lifelong partner died in 2009, the IRS billed her for more than $300,000 in estate taxes she would not have owed had the government recognized their marriage.

Win she did: The justices ruled 5-4 in June 2013 that a provision in the law barring the USA government from recognizing same-sex unions was unconstitutional.

Edith Windsor is mobbed by journalists and supporters as she leaves the Supreme Court in Washington DC 27 March 2013
UPDATED: Edie Windsor, the Matriarch of Marriage Equality, Dies at 88 – Reactions

Edith Windsor became a legend because of her tireless activism. "I'm thrilled, I'm absolutely thrilled", she told the New Yorker as guests crowded her apartment.

She was also featured as Time magazine's runner up person of the year in 2013.

Windsor was born in Philadelphia and moved to Manhattan in the early 1950s after a brief marriage to a man.

The couple split after less than a year and Windsor moved to NY, where she worked as a computer programmer for technology giant IBM. It was, Windsor later said in court documents, "just one of many ways in which Thea and I had to mold our lives to make our relationship invisible". "He married the right girl and had a lovely life".

But the couple could not marry in NY during Spyer's lifetime. Spyer died two years later. Spyer, a psychologist, proposed to Windsor in 1967 - offering Windsor a pin with diamonds rather than an engagement ring, concerned that the ring would lead others to ask some questions the pair couldn't answer.

Spyer was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1977.

Ms. Windsor was a staple of the Hamptons LGBTQ community and served as honorary chair alongside her wife of the annual Hampton Tea Dance in July, an LGBTQ celebration originally produced by the Empire Pride Agenda, an organization that disbanded in 2015 for which Ms. Windsor served as a marriage ambassador. For almost half a century, the two were partners and eventually were legally married as well.

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