What a perfect moment for Pride Month.
New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has proclaimed June 20 to be Edie Windsor Day in New York State as a tribute to her legacy championing equality and justice for the LGBTQ community, and for being on the front lines of the fight for marriage equality.
Today would have been Windsor's 89th birthday.
When Windsor’s wife, Thea Spyer died in 2009, she was told she owed the U.S. government $363,053 in federal estate taxes on her inheritance of Spyer’s estate. At the time, federal law did not recognize same-sex marriages thanks to the woeful Defense of Marriage Act.
In 2010, Windsor filed a lawsuit for a refund rightfully calling DOMA unconstitutional.
A judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York agreed in 2012, as did the Second Circuit Court of Appeals later that year.
All this led to Windsor’s landmark victory in United States v. Windsor that secured equal rights for married same-sex couples on a federal level.
It was on June 26, 2013, that the U.S. Supreme Court issued a 5–4 decision declaring Section 3 of DOMA to be unconstitutional "as a deprivation of the liberty of the person protected by the Fifth Amendment."
Windsor’s win at SCOTUS paved the way for nationwide marriage equality. In 2013, TIME Magazine named her a finalist for their ‘Person of the Year,’ losing out only to Pope Francis.
As Gov. Cuomo’s proclamation declares, “Edie’s strength, perseverance, and conviction in the face of adversity has made her a hero to all New Yorkers and an invaluable inspiration to countless others in the fight for equality.”
“Edie was an iconic New Yorker who shaped history and taught us that love always wins,” Cuomo said today. “Proclaiming her birthday as Edie Windsor Day is a fitting way to salute a true New York hero whose strength, perseverance, and conviction in the face of adversity continues to inspire all of us.”
Windsor passed away on September 12, 2017, in Manhattan. Her second wife, Judith Kasen-Windsor was by her side.