Edith Windsor, marriage equality pioneer, dies at 88

Edith Windsor will forever be remembered as a courageous champion for civil rights

Manhattan, N.Y. — LGBTQ civil rights pioneer Edith Windsor, whose Supreme Court case brought down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 2013, granting federal recognition to same-sex married couples, has died at 88 on Tuesday, in Manhattan.

The death was confirmed by Windsor’s wife, Judith Kasen-Windsor confirmed, The New York Times reports. The couple married in 2016.

Windsor, who also went by Edie, became the lead plaintiff in the marriage equality case after her partner, Thea Clara Spyer, whom she married in 2007 after years spent living together, died in 2009.

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Upon winning her case, United States v. Windsor, same-sex married couples in 13 states and the District of Columbia were finally treated like their opposite-gender peers. In 2015, the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples could marry in anywhere in America.

“Married is a magic word,” Windsor said at a rally outside of City Hall in 2009, shortly before Spyer passed away. “And it is magic throughout the world. It has to do with out dignity as human beings, to be who we are openly.”

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Windsor spent years working as a tireless advocate for LGBTQ rights, participating in marches, as well as showing up as a member of organizations such as the Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE), The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center, and helped found improv group Old Queers Acting Up.

Twitter is full of remembrances in honor of Windsor’s passing. She will forever be remembered as a hero of the LGBTQ rights movement.

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Posted by Jeff Taylor / Social Media Editor

Jeff Taylor is a journalist and artist. In addition to QNotes, his work has appeared in publications such The Charlotte Observer, Creative Loafing Charlotte, Inside Lacrosse, and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. He graduated from the State University of New York at Brockport and has lived in Charlotte since 2006.@jefftaylorhuman.