Edith Windsor, Who Paved Way for Gay Marriage, Dies

She ended Defense of Marriage Act with 2013 Supreme Court case
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 12, 2017 5:33 PM CDT
Woman Who Paved Way for Gay Marriage Dies at 88
Edith Windsor smiles as she cools herself with a fan showing her image during the 2013 gay pride march in New York. The gay-rights activist died Tuesday at 88.   (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

Edith Windsor, the woman behind the legal case that struck down the Defense of Marriage Act and paved the way for the legalization of same-sex marriage, died Tuesday at 88, the New York Daily News reports. The longtime New Yorker and gay-rights activist was the plaintiff in United States v. Windsor, which went before the Supreme Court in 2013. According to the New York Times, the ruling in favor of Windsor was the first time married same-sex couples received federal recognition. It allowed couples in states where same-sex marriage was already legal to receive more than 1,000 federal benefits available to heterosexual couples and struck down the legal definition of marriage as between a man and woman, paving the way for the 2015 case that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. "The wheels of progress turn forward because of people like Edie who are willing to stand up in the face of injustice," ACLU executive director Anthony Romero says. (More Edith Windsor stories.)

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