Edie Windsor, LGBTQ Activist, Dies at 88

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September 13, 2017

Edie Windsor (Photo by Donna F. Aceto)

Edith “Edie” Windsor, best known for winning the landmark Supreme Court case that struck down the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013, has passed away. She was 88.

According to The New York Times, Windsor died on Tuesday in Manhattan. Her cause of death has not been specified.

In 2010, Windsor sued the federal government after the IRS denied her request for a refund of the $363,053 federal estate tax she had to pay on the assets of her deceased spouse Thea Spyer, to whom she had been legally married. Her claim had been denied because the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) defined marriage as only between one man and one woman.

By March 2013, the her case, U.S. v. Windsor had been elevated to the U.S. Supreme Court. The court ruled in her favor on June 26, 2013 in a 5-4 ruling that found Section 3 of DOMA unconstitutional.

Windsor was in New York when she learned of the decision. “I couldn’t hold back the joy,” she recalled in a Tagg Magazine interview published in May.

Edie Windsor and Judith Kasen

Judith Kasen-Windsor and Edie Windsor (Photo by Donna F. Aceto)

In the years after the decision, Windsor maintained a busy schedule. She was particularly involved in causes supporting LGBTQ youth and LGBTQ mental health. “I don’t want young LGBTQ people to feel hopeless anymore,” Windsor told Tagg. “If we look out at progress over the past 20 years, 10 years, even five years, it’s been huge—and nobody can turn that around.”

In June, Windsor served as a grand marshal in Washington, D.C.’s annual Capital Pride Parade.

Windsor is survived by her wife Judith Kasen-Windsor. The two had married on September 26, 2016 and loved each other deeply.

As she had said in many interviews before, Windsor told Tagg, “If you care as much for the quality of life of the other person as you care for the quality of your own life, you’ve got it made.”

 

Update—September 13, 2017

According to The Washington Blade, a memorial service for Windsor will take place on September 15 at 12:30 p.m. at Riverside Memorial Chapel in New York City. Donations in Windsor’s memory can be made to the NYC LGBT Center, Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, the Hetrick-Martin Institute, and Services & Advocacy for LGBT Elders (SAGE).

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Annie Brown
Annie Brown
Annie Brown is a communications professional in the Washington, D.C. area. She works full-time as a communications contractor and has dabbled in writing, editing, and social media for Tagg since July 2016. Annie received her B.A. in English from McDaniel College in 2015. Her favorite things in life include corgis and coffee.