83-Year-Old Lesbian to High Court: Review DOMA
Edith Windsor was forced to pay federal estate tax when wife died
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 17, 2012 4:02 AM CDT
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, left, speaks with Edith Windsor, prior to a news conference to announce the introduction of a Senate bill to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act earlier this year.   (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

(Newser) – An 83-year-old lesbian from New York is hoping the Supreme Court will review her challenge to the federal ban on gay marriage while she is still alive. Edith Windsor, who suffers from a heart condition, has asked the court to hear her challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act, Reuters reports. Windsor married partner Thea Spyer in Toronto in 2007 after a 40-year engagement. But when Spyer died in 2009 and left her property, Windsor was forced to pay $363,000 in federal estate taxes because their marriage was not recognized under federal law.

A federal judge in New York last month ruled in favor of Windsor, who argues that DOMA unconstitutionally discriminates against married same-sex couples. "Edie and Thea were together for more than four decades and truly lived the words 'in sickness and in health, until death do us part,'" her lawyer tells the Huffington Post. "Solely because of DOMA, Edie had to pay more than $363,000 in federal estate tax, which is one of the most significant adverse impacts of DOMA. Edie, who just turned 83, suffers from a chronic heart condition. The constitutional injury inflicted on Edie should be remedied within her lifetime."

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Showing 3 of 44 comments
Jul 17, 2012 12:29 PM CDT
This terrorist is just trying to get out of paying taxes! What about the roads! She's worse than a tea baggin, rightwinger! On a serious note, we should do away with property taxes altogether, if you don't have the allodial title then you don't own your property, simple as that. So no one in America gay or straight owns their own house, the government owns it and you pay them an annual rent fee to live there. Aren't we suppose to be Kings and Queens in our own house?
Jul 17, 2012 10:40 AM CDT
She is a married woman who lost her spouse and is unfairly being asked to pay an Estate Tax. A married woman, by the way, whose 45 year relationship with her spouse lasted longer than 50 percent of straight marriages. She is being discriminated against because of her sexual orientation, an act that has been deemed illegal by the US Government in every instance EXCEPT marriage. If you can't discriminate against her when she wants to rent your apartment, how can it be ok to discriminate against her in her choice of a spouse?
Jul 17, 2012 10:00 AM CDT
She doesn't want to pay her federal taxes? How unpatriotic!