Gay widow Edith Windsor wins case as court strikes down Defense of Marriage Act

Edith Windsor addresses reporters from the downtown office of the NYCLU.

Wearing a diamond brooch her wife, Thea Spyer, gave to her when she proposed in 1967, Edith Windsor told reporters she will continue to fight, even after a federal appeals court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act Thursday.

This is the second ruling by a federal appellate court that deems DOMA unconstitutional for violating the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection. Legal experts predict the Supreme Court will soon take the issue.

For Edith “Edie” Windsor, the ruling marked a victory in a legal battle three years in the making. When Spyer died in 2009, she left her assets, including the New York City apartment the couple shared, to Windsor. Though the couple were legally married in Canada in 2007, Windsor was forced to pay $363,000 in federal estate taxes, though the fee would have been exempt for a widow of a straight marriage.

Thursday’s ruling means Windsor will be re-paid that money from the government.

“I’m sure she is here with me in spirit and would have been so proud to see how far we’ve come,” Windsor said of her late wife. “I’m thrilled, I can’t wait till the next phase.”

“Treating married New Yorkers like Edie and Thea like strangers under the eyes of the law is unfair, unjust, unconstitutional, disrespectful and plain wrong,” NYCLU executive director Donna Lieberman said. “We celebrate today knowing we are one step closer to fulfilling the dream of real 100 percent relationship equality here in New York.”

James Essex, director of the LGBT project at the ACLU said Windor’s case is one of four that ask the Supreme Court to rule on DOMA.

“The Supreme Court cant just let it sit there because they can’t have a world where DOMA is unconstitutional in the northeast part of the United States and constitutional everywhere else,” Essex said. “This is the classic context of where the Supreme Court is going to take this issue.” 



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Is #JusticeForAvaLynn a case of bullying?

On Saturday, the hashtag #JusticeForAvaLynn became one of the trending topics on Twitter. Users circulated the above photo of 5-year-old AvaLynn, posted by her mother…

International

Terrorism could spread to US and Europe in…

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah said terrorism would soon spread to Europe and the United States unless it is quickly dealt with in the Middle East,…

National

Ex-Bitcoin official to plead guilty to Silk Road…

Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has reached a plea deal to resolve U.S. charges that he engaged in a scheme to sell over $1 million of…

International

China's army changes tactics to prepare for war…

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said China will spur military innovation and called on the army to create a new strategy for "information warfare" as…

Gossip

Joan Rivers on life support: Report

TMZ reports that comedian Joan Rivers has been placed on life support, "completely reliant on machines to stay alive." Rivers has been hospitalized since she…

Movies

What's new on Netflix in September

September has a supernatural theme for Netflix. UFO "documentaries" and the survivalist reality series "Doomsday Preppers" are among the new series coming to the online…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: Lesbians, men most likely…

Lesbians, men most likely to achieve orgasm Location: U.S. Study subjects: 2,850 people Results: Whether you find it shocking or not, a new study reports that…

Wellbeing

VIDEO: Still not wearing sunscreen? You will after…

Sunscreen is possibly the most often repeated - and ignored - piece of skincare advice. But Thomas Leveritt took a different tactic. With a short…

Food

Twitter used to track down sources of food…

When Chicago health officials saw Twitter users complaining about local food poisoning episodes, they reached out on Twitter to those users and often ended up…

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.