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Same-sex marriage rights pioneer, Edith Windsor, has died at 88

Edith Windsor 1929 - 2017
Photo credit:
thepridela.com

Edith Windsor, who fought for marriage equality has died at the age of 88 reports her wife Judith Kasen-Windsor. Windsor was successful in striking down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 2013 after suing the federal government.

Windsor was denied exemptions from federal estate taxes at the time after her first wife Thea Spyer passed away.

All-in-all Windsor paid $363,053 in taxes, but claimed in her case that doing so was unconstitutional because it treated same-sex spouses differently than opposite sex spouses.

The case resulted in SCOTUS ruling that the definition of marriage was not restricted to being one man and one woman, effectively rendering DOMA invalid. 

However, same sex couples would have to wait until 2015 for marriage equality on a nationwide federal level. 

The National Center for Lesbian Rights released the following statement upon hearing of Windsor's passing.  

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Edie Windsor, a hero and icon for the LGBT rights movement. Many of us feel the personal loss of a tremendous friend and mentor, whom we will never forget. She fought for dignity and laid the foundation for marriage equality. Her legacy will live on in history and be felt in the lives of our community for many years to come."

Lambda Legal also released a statement: 

"Our hearts are with Edie’s wife, Judith Kasen-Windosr, their family, friends and all whose lives were changed because Edie so fearlessly stood up for herself and her community. She called for the respect and dignity denied to same-sex spouses, and the Supreme Court heard her plea. Because of Edie, we are a more perfect union. 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. Thank you Edie. You will be remembered with deep respect and gratitude. We will miss you.”