AFTER the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling overturning DOMA, the world erupted, because of one woman’s journey to get justice. Her name is Edie Windsor and her courage and stubbornness in the face of great prejudice is now part of American history.
President Obama called Ms. Windsor from Air Force One.
“I spoke to the president this morning and he was absolutely charming. He congratulated me and I thanked him for what he had done–for speaking up.” – Edie Windsor, of United States v. Windsor, Executor of Estate of Spyer, et al.
It was likely the second biggest moment in Edie Windsor’s day, which is as it should be. The personal always trumps the political, even if they often collide.
After 40 years together, Windsor and Spyer married in Canada in 2007. Two years later, the state of New York, where Windsor and Spyer lived together, also began recognizing same sex marriages and that same year Spyer died.
Because of DOMA, when Spyer died, Windsor was hit with a massive federal estate tax—a penalty heterosexual married couples would not have been subject to.
“One of the things I felt did not have to do with the money but had to do with…with my country is not giving dignity to this beautiful person I lived with,” Windsor said. “And today, my country gave dignity and appreciated who she was.”
Their story propelled the case to the nation’s highest court, and their victory today has breathed new optimism for the gay-marriage movement.
“I think [the court decision is] the beginning of the end because these things do take a very long time,” Windsor said.
She also had a message for gay marriage opponents and skeptics.
“Maybe trust me,” Windsor said. “Okay, I think it will only be better.”