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Edie Windsor, 88

LGBT rights champion dies


LGBT rights champion Edie Windsor passed away Sept. 12 at the age of 88 in New York City.

Windsor’s landmark 2013 case, United States v. Windsor, overturned the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act and thereby granted same-sex married couples federal recognition for the first time and rights to myriad federal benefits.

The Windsor decision was limited to 13 states and the District of Columbia. But in 2015, the Supreme Court held that same-sex couples had a constitutional right to marry anywhere in the nation, with all the protections and privileges of heterosexual couples. Its historic significance was likened to that of Lawrence v. Texas in 2003, which decriminalized gay sex in the United States.

Windsor, the widow of a woman with whom she had lived much of her life, became the lead plaintiff in what is widely regarded as the second most important Supreme Court ruling in the national battle over same-sex marriage rights.

Her wife, Judith Kasen-Windsor, confirmed the death but did not specify a cause. They were married in 2016.