LGBT Trailblazer Edith Windsor Dies At 88

The activist's fight for marriage equality led to landmark SCOTUS ruling.

LGBT activist and icon Edith Windsor passed away in Manhattan on Tuesday at the age of 88.

Windsor was the lead plaintiff in the Supreme Court case United States v. Windsor, which successfully struck down the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013 and gave same-sex couples federal recognition and benefits for the first time.

While the decision was limited to 13 states, it paved the way for the historic Supreme Court ruling in 2015 that granted same-sex couples the right to marry anywhere in the country.

Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Logo TV

The activist said she was looking for a tax break when she challenged the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which prevented gay couples from receiving federal benefits that heterosexual couples received.

In 2007, Windsor went to Canada to marry first wife Thea Spyer, who died in 2009 of complications related to the heart condition aortic stenosis. After her wife’s passing, Windsor was left with over $350,000 in estate taxes after inheriting Spyer’s estate.

Windsor is survived by her wife, Judith Kasen-Windsor, whom she married in October 2016. Kasen-Windsor confirmed her spouse’s passing, but no details about the cause of death have yet been revealed.

In 2014, Windsor appeared at Logo’s Trailblazer Honors, and you can watch her speech and Logo’s tribute to the activist below.
 

 

 

Adam Salandra is a writer, performer and host in Los Angeles. When he's not covering the latest in pop culture, you can find him playing with his French Bulldog puppy or hovering over the table of food at any social gathering.
@adamsalandra