Edith Windsor: Gay rights trailblazer dies aged 88

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Activist Edie Windsor, whose lawsuit eventually led to same-sex marriage being legalised in all 50 states has died aged 88.

Windsor's second wife, Judith Kasen-Windsor, issued a statement mourning her wife, saying the world "lost a tiny but tough-as-nails fighter for freedom, justice and equality".

Edith Windsor, a widow who brought a Supreme Court case that that struck down parts of a federal law that banned same-sex marriage and led to federal recognition for gay spouses, died Tuesday. But the US did not recognize their marriage, with the result that when Spyer died two years later, Windsor owed $363,000 in estate taxes - which she would not have owed if she had been married to a man. They legally married in Canada in 2007 after being together for more than 40 years.

On the day of oral arguments of her case in 2013, Windsor famously appeared before the media on the steps of the Supreme Court with an iconic pink scarf that flew in the wind.

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Over four decades after uprisings at Stonewall Inn, Compton's Cafeteria and Cooper's Donuts started the modern LGBTQ rights movement, Windsor became a major advocate for marriage equality. In addition to QNotes, his work has appeared in publications such The Charlotte Observer, Creative Loafing Charlotte, LGBTQ Nation and The Pride L.A. He graduated from the State University of NY at Brockport and has lived in Charlotte since 2006. "She will go down in the history books as a true American hero", said Roberta ("Robbie") Kaplan, Edie Windsor's attorney. As Windsor would later say, she wouldn't have owed the government those estate taxes "if I had been married to a man named Theo" rather than a woman named Thea. Windsor called them and said, "I know this is presumptuous, but, please, can I come stay with you?"

"Edie Windsor's willingness to stand up and challenge the government's discrimination against her has forever changed the path of LGBT rights in the United States", she added. The couple married on 26 September 2016.

A public memorial for Windsor will be held at Riverside Memorial Chapel this Friday at 12:30 p.m. A year ago in an interview with the Washington Blade, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton identified Windsor as an LGBT person she sees as a role model. I know that Edie's memory will always be a blessing to [my wife] Rachel, myself, and [our son] Jacob. In lieu of flowers, Windsor had requested, prior to her death, that any donations in her memory be made to The LGBT Center, Callen-Lorde, Hetrick-Martin Institute, and SAGE. A 2015 Supreme Court case struck down state laws regarding gay marriage.

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