Tuesday, 26 September, 2017

Edith Windsor, LGBTQ Rights Pioneer And Southampton Resident, Dies At 88

Thea Spyer left and Edie Windsor were a couple for 44 years and married for 20 months Edith Windsor, Marriage Equality Activist and LGBT Rights Pioneer, Dies at 88
Andrew Cummings | 13 September, 2017, 00:44

Following Windsor's case, other lawsuits challenged the constitutionality of the remaining 37 states with bans on same-sex marriage.

Windsor is survived by her wife, Judith Kasen-Windsor, whom she married in October 2016.

United States, the landmark 2013 Supreme Court decision that gutted the Defense of Marriage Act, making federal government recognition of same-sex marriages possible.

Represented by NY lesbian attorney Roberta Kaplan and the American Civil Liberties Union, Windsor sued the USA government for enforcing DOMA after it forced her to pay $363,000 in estate taxes in 2009 upon the death of Spyer, who died of a heart condition after the two were together 44 years.

Windsor, who worked as a computer programmer before devoting herself to L.G.B.T. activism, had spent much of her life with Thea Spyer, whom she married in Canada in 2007.

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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. Two years later, in June 2015, SCOTUS put the final nail in the coffin for marriage inequality, ruling in favor of a constitutional right to same-sex marriage in Obergefell v. Hodges.

Ms Windsor died in NY. A cause has not been specified, but her lawyer, Robbie Caplan, confirmed to BuzzFeed News that she died peacefully in Manhattan. The women married in Canada when they realized they might not be living when NY state legalized same-sex marriage, which it did in 2011. She began dating her first wife, Thea Spyer, a pyschologist, in 1965, when they were living in Greenwich Village and often vacationed on the South Fork.

"Today, we lost one of this country's great civil rights pioneers, Edie Windsor". While everyone else went out dancing, she waited up all night for Spyer to arrive-she finally showed up the next afternoon.

And all of us should be saddened by Windsor's passing. She was 88 years old. A public memorial will be held September 15, 12:30 p.m.at Riverside Memorial Chapel. With Edie's passing, I lost not only a treasured client, but a member of my family. In lieu of flowers, Windsor had requested, prior to her death, that any donations in her memory be made to The LGBT Center, Callen-Lorde, Hetrick-Martin Institute, and SAGE. "Her legacy will live on in history and be felt in the lives of our community for many years to come".

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