Edith Windsor, Whose Lawsuit Helped Win Gay Marriage Rights, Dies at 88

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The case, which made Windsor a revered figure in the modern gay rights movement, originally stemmed from a tax dispute.

"America's long journey towards equality has been guided by countless small acts of persistence, and fueled by the stubborn willingness of quiet heroes to speak out for what's right".

In a statement, former President Barack Obama said he spoke with Windsor a few days ago and told her again how important her work had been to the country. It all started when Windsor met and fell in love with Thea Spyer in Manhattan in 1963. "And I said, 'yes!' And she said, 'I do, too". "The next generation is so far advanced over us", Windsor said. "She will be greatly missed".

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

"Edith felt deeply the injustice of being denied the right to marry her partner of more than 40 years, and she committed herself to fighting back with determination and a smile", Moodie-Mills said.

Windsor was 81 when she sued the federal government in 2010 over the Defense of Marriage Act following the death of her first spouse, Thea Spyer.

Before the Supreme Court struck it down, DOMA restricted the federal government from conferring marriage benefits to same-sex spouses.

Windsor's death left a wake of former presidents, politicians and activists reflecting on her activism that began in earnest at 81.

"It's an accident of history that put me here", Windsor said after she won her case.

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

Windsor was born in Philadelphia in June 1929 but was a longtime Greenwich Village resident.

In her book Then Comes Marriage, released in 2015, attorney Kaplan revealed that her effort to represent Windsor ran up against the effort of Boston-based Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) to press two of its own cases. I have marched in the parade for the last several years carrying a huge rainbow flag. Windsor called them and said, "I know this is presumptuous, but, please, can I come stay with you?" "I will never forget Edith standing on the steps of the Supreme Court, describing marriage as more than just rights and benefits but also as "magic"-a powerful recognition of indescribable love. He married the right girl and had a lovely life".

She later received a masters degree in applied mathematics from New York University.

In 1967, Spyer proposed engagement.

Windsor became a full-time carer eventually after Spyer was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1977.

In 2009, Spyer died due to complications from a heart condition.

Windsor spent decades working tirelessly as an LGBTQ activist in and around NY, including once going to so far to donate her Cadillac to a Village Halloween parade in Manhattan where, upon seeing her name on the car's "donated by" sign, she turned to Spyer, and said "It's a whole new world".

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