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

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"'United States vs. Windsor' is a tremendously important case in the American Civil Rights landscape", Suzanne Goldberg, a professor at Columbia Law School and former senior staff attorney at Lambda Legal, the country's first legal organization focused on achieving full equality for lesbian and gay people, told The Press in a July profile of Ms. Windsor.

Windsor's wife Judith Kasen-Windsor confirmed her passing to the New York Times on Tuesday.

Edith Windsor, the woman who broke barriers when she sued the federal government to recognize her same-sex marriage, died on Tuesday at the age of 88.

Windsor lived with her first wife, Thea Spyer, for more than 40 years. In 2013, she took her fight to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court's Windsor decision, handed down in 2013, ruled that DOMA was unconstitutional and opened the door for residents of 13 states which recognized gay marriage to qualify for federal benefits that marriage conferred.

In 2015 another crucial Supreme Court ruling gave same-sex couples the right to marry.

"I lost my beloved spouse Edie, and the world lost a tiny but tough as nails fighter for freedom, justice and equality", saidJudith Kasen-Windsor via a statement. DOMA, which banned all federal recognition of same sex marriage, barred her from receiving those benefits.

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Windsor's path to gay-rights icon stretches back to 1962, when she met her wife-to-be in a Greenwich Village restaurant. "The next generation is so far advanced over us", Windsor said.

"She will go down in the history books as a true American hero", Kaplan said. "I also know that her memory will be a blessing not only to every LGBT person on this planet, but to all who believe in the concept of b'tzelem elohim, or equal dignity for all".

Windsor and her partner, Spyer, kept their relationship secret for years, as Windsor worked as a computer programmer for IBM, and Spyer worked as a psychologist. Thea Spyer and Windsor became a lifelong couple and in 1967, Spyer proposed.

A public memorial will be held Friday, Sept. 15 at 12:30 pm at Riverside Memorial Chapel in New York City. Windsor requested that, instead of flowers, donations in her memory be made to The NYC LGBT Center, Callen-Lorde, Hetrick-Martin Institute, and SAGE.

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

The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate objective overcomes the goal and effect to disparage and to injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity.

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