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Remembering Edith Windsor


The namesake for the landmark same-sex marriage case, United States v Windsor, Edith "Edie" Windsor, has died at 88. Edith Windsor is the LGBTQIA+ activist who took the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) to the Supreme Court in 2009. The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), enacted in 1996, states that, for the purposes of federal law, the words "marriage" and "spouse" refer to legal unions between one man and one woman. Windsor's spouse, Thea Spyer died in 2009 and left her estate to Windsor. While the marriage was recognized by New York State, it was not recognized by federal law and the government imposed $363k in taxes on the inheritance. If the marriage was recognized by the federal government, there would have been a a marital tax exemption and no taxes would have been imposed. 

On November 9, 2010 Windsor filed suit in district court seeking a declaration that the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional. Windsor's initial law suit set forth the momentum for the 2015 decision to legalize same-sex marriage nationally.


Consider making a donation in Windsor's name. Windsor requested that instead of flowers, donations in her memory be made to the NYC LGBT CenterCallen-Lorde, the Hetrick-Martin Institute, and SAGE.

You can brush up on your case law here.


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