Pride is for celebrating our heroes, and drawing cheers at the 2017 Pride celebration in the nation’s capital was Edith Windsor.
Edie, working as a senior systems programmer for IBM, in New York City, may have received the first IBM computer delivered in the city. But her insurance company rejected her request to name her partner, Thea Spyer, as beneficiary.
The two eventually wed, and upon Thea’s death, in 2003, Windsor was forced to pay $363,453 in federal inheritance taxes, even though they were married. Her state recognized their marriage. The U.S. government did not.
Windsor tried to work through the system to reverse the tax bill, but, in 2010, she filed suit against the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which penalized her as a same-sex spouse.
A federal judge ruled in her favor. So did a federal appeals court. But the case went to the U.S. Supreme court in March 2013.
In a 5-4 decision on June 26 that year, the court ruled in Windsor’s favor, when it struck down Section 3 of DOMA, which applied the terms “marriage” and “spouse” only to opposite-sex unions.
Two years later, in 2015, Windsor helped celebrate the court’s ruling that legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states.
The much-beloved Edie was honored and celebrated at Prides before her death later that year, on Sept. 12, 2017, at age 88.