Edith Windsor celebrates winning her case against DOMA
June 08, 2012
On Wednesday, Edith Windsor won her case against the so-called Defense of Marriage Act when Judge Barbara Jones ruled DOMA unconstitutional. The judge found that Section 3 - which defines marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman - violates the Constitution. In her opinion, she wrote, "A sweeping federal review in this arena does not square with our federalist system of government, which places matters at the 'core' of the domestic relations law exclusively within the province of the states."
In a heartfelt new video today, Windsor thanked everyone who has supported her in time working on the case.
She has been focused on the case since November 2010, when she worked with a law firm and the American Civil Liberties Union to file a lawsuit against the United States. Her case revolved around a discriminatory inheritance tax policy that DOMA requires: In 2009, Windsor's wife Thea Spyer - who she had legally married in Canada in 2007 after living together as a couple in New York for over 40 years - passed away. Spyer left her estate to Windsor, but because the federal government did not recognize the marriage, Windsor was forced to pay a $363,000 federal inheritance tax. Had their marriage been accorded the same status under federal law as a different-sex marriage, Windsor would have paid $0 in taxes.
In a new video today by the NYCLU, Windsor reflects on the case. She says:
I didn't want anybody to have to repeat what I experienced when Thea died. The news yesterday just thrilled and elated me. I don't know what else to say except "Thank You" to every single person I met on the street or in a gay meeting for the support that I got. They made me feel so important, and I just had to keep going.
Check out the entire video, and read more about Windsor's historic victory here.