Gay-Rights Activist Whose Landmark Trial Ended the Defense of Marriage Act, Edith Windsor, Dies

Edith Windsor who changed the marriage laws in the United States has died. The New Yorker, who fought a long legal battle to receive federal benefits from her deceased wife, ultimately won a landmark Supreme Court case that resulted in marriage equality across the US. She died at the age of 88 today.

Windsor began the long battle for benefits by asking for a tax refund, but soon she was chosen to be the main plaintiff in a case that demanded the end of the Defense of Marriage Act, which barred 1,138 benefits for married gay couples that opposite-sex couples received.

Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, issued the following statement:

“Today, we lost one of this country’s great civil rights pioneers, Edie Windsor. The wheels of progress turn forward because of people like Edie who are willing to stand up in the face of injustice.

One simply cannot write the history of the gay rights movement without reserving immense credit and gratitude for Edie Windsor. We were proud to stand with Edie when she took her fight on behalf of same-sex couples everywhere to the Supreme Court.

We mourn her today, as do all whom she touched in her incredible life. Edie always urged others not to ‘postpone joy.’ So even as we mourn this terrible loss, we also celebrate Edie, who set an example for all of us to follow.”

Much more info over at the New York Times

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