Tuesday, 21 November, 2017

Gay rights trailblazer Edie Windsor dies aged 88

Edith Windsor, Marriage Equality Activist and LGBT Rights Pioneer, Dies at 88 LGBTQ rights icon Edie Windsor passes away at age 88
Edmund Wade | 15 September, 2017, 00:24

The New York Times on Tuesday quoted her second wife, Judith Kasen-Windsor, as confirming her death. "She left an indelible mark on all who knew her story, and all whose love is now recognized and protected because of the victory she helped secure for LGBT people".

Before and particularly after her court victory, Americans came to learn about Windsor and Thea Spyer's long march toward matrimony, encumbered by Spyer's 30-year battle with multiple sclerosis and culminating in their unlikely wedding trip to Canada in 2007. When Spyer died in 2009, the Internal Revenue Service levied on Windsor an estate tax of $363,000 - a tax from which a straight couple would have been exempt.

Ms. Windsor challenged the law and went on to sue the Internal Revenue Service.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2013 that the provision of the law was unconstitutional and that same-sex couples should receive the same federal benefits that heterosexual couples have. Her legal action in United States V. Windsor was instrumental in bringing down DOMA and ensuring that same-sex marriage would be legal across every state in the US. "We were proud to stand with Edie when she took her fight on behalf of same-sex couples everywhere to the Supreme Court".

After death of her wife, Windsor had to pay for heritage inherited more than $ 350,000 in taxes to federal Government, what led her to undertake a crusade in defense of equality of ir rights as a spouse, which led to Supreme. "I thank you all for this great world I live in". Windsor's wife, Judith Kasen-Windsor, confirmed the news.

Windsor, born to an immigrant Jewish family from Philadelphia in 1929, was an unlikely civil rights icon; glamorous, wealthy and successful.

Former City Council Speaker Christine Quinn - the first woman and openly LGBT speaker - said that Windsor was a close friend, supporter and mentor and that she was "sweet, kind and loving" to her and her partner.

Just two years later, Spyer died. They divorced less than a year later. "And 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", Windsor said, according to NBC News. She became a computer programmer at IBM in 1958. In 1967 on a drive to the country, Thea asked Edie what she would do if she got an engagement ring.

Former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton also sent her condolences, writing on Twitter: "Edie Windsor showed the world that love can be a powerful force for change".

In fragile health herself with an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator but still walking 10,000 steps a day, she focused on winning her case - and returning to private life as much as possible. They continued to cross paths over the next two years, but it wasn't until the summer of 1965, four years before Stonewall, that the pair began dating.

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