Gay Marriage Advocate Edith Windsor Dies at 88

Thea Spyer left and Edie Windsor were a couple for 44 years and married for 20 months

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, who she married in 2016. Her court case surrounded a tax refund that she applied for after her first wife, Thea Spyer, passed away in 2009. They were engaged in 1967-pledging with a brooch, as opposed to a ring, and lived as partners until 2007, when Spyer's illness made a quick marriage in Canada, where it had already been legalized, necessary.

Windsor, outside the Supreme Court after oral arguments in Windsor v.

The 2013 Supreme Court ruling that struck down a key provision of DOMA is also credited with providing the legal framework for 2015's landmark ruling in Obergefell, which found that gay couples have a constitutional right to marry.

The longtime Greenwich Village resident was the plaintiff in Windsor vs. U.S., a 2013 Supreme Court case that knocked down the Defense of Marriage Act's discrimination against LGBT couples in 2013.

"Our fierce heroine Edith Windsor devoted her final years to her people - the LGBTQ community - and will be remembered as a seminal figure in our inevitable march toward equality".

Windsor died in NY, said her lawyer, Roberta Kaplan.

"The world lost a tiny but tough-as-nails fighter for freedom, justice and equality", said her current spouse, Judith Kasen-Windsor.

This led to a wider 2015 ruling which legalised same-sex marriage in all 50 states.

"Don't let anything make you feel that somehow they can beat us, because they can't", she said at the time. Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, called Windsor "one of this country's great civil rights pioneers". And then she went to the Stonewall Inn to celebrate.

Windsor's advocacy impacted the lives of many, especially same-sex couples in the US who aspire to marry the one they love. With Edie's passing, I lost not only a treasured client, but a member of my family.

"Edie, you lied to us!", said Ms. Windsor, mimicking the reaction of her co-workers. Windsor, an enthusiastic supporter of Clinton in her bid for the White House, said she was "so honored" the candidate chose her as a role model. "My fiancé, Steve, and I owe her and those who fought in the courts with her for the very fact that we can be married this year".

A public memorial will be held Friday, Sept. 15 at 12:30 pm at Riverside Memorial Chapel in New York City.

Spyer came into her life in 1963, and they became a couple two years later.

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