RIP, Edie Windsor. You are my Hero

*video courtesy of You Tube and Huff Post Live

Last week, the world lost an awe-inspiring hero for supporters of LGBTQ civil rights. Tiny, tough, lusty and outrageously fierce, Edie Windsor was the main plaintiff in the case that made it all the way to the Supreme Court, United States v. Windsor.

You see, Edie and her same-sex partner Thea were together as a couple for 40 years. After an absurdly long and loving engagement In 2007, they loudly and proudly said, I do,” in Toronto, a place where gay marriage was both safe and legal. Thea died two years later, in 2009, leaving her entire estate to her spouse, Edie, in the form of a revocable trust. But you see DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act), and the people who built this hateful excuse of a law specifically defined ‘marriage’ as deliberately excluding same-sex couples. They couldn’t see ‘us.’  They went so far as to say that the term ‘spouse’ only refers to that of a ‘man and a woman.’

Edie filed taxes after the death of her lifelong love, and justly claimed the federal estate tax that allows exemptions for surviving spouses. The IRS not only barred the exemption, they forced her to pay $363,053 in taxes. Quiet and demure never described Edie. She boldly set off on the battle of a lifetime. All of us in the LGBTQ community, we were with her every step of the way. After forking over all of Thea’s loot to the government, she filed a federal lawsuit for a full refund of the nearly $400k, stating DOMA was unconstitutional, unfair and singled out legally married, same-sex couples.

Windsor fought to overturn DOMA where non-sensical legal language stripped equality from life as she and many others of us knew it. Oral arguments were heard in March of 2013.  On June 26th of that same year, ‘the Supremes’ sang out in favor of love. This court, in a 5-4 decision (thank you, Justice Kennedy! Please never, ever retire), affirmed that DOMA was unconstitutional “as a deprivation of the liberty of the person protected by the Fifth Amendment.”

In my household, as in gazillions of same-sex households across the US, it was the feeling of sheer, unfettered joy. Phones rang, hearts throbbed, hugs, kisses, and high-fives could be heard in most major metropolitan areas where we believed we would be safer far and wide, and we were all alive with the promise of equality happening right before our very eyes.

Book the hall, call the caterer, hot-damn, we were going to be legal. In this lifetime. In our lifetime.

Once, when my Big, she was about two, maybe three years old and she asked us to see our wedding pictures. We told her we weren’t married. She asked why, and we looked at each other and said, the law, it doesn’t allow us to marry. She started to cry. We told her that despite the law, love wins.

Edie will be remembered as a powerful trailblazer in the long history of the gay rights movement. A queen in the Yiddish fight club! I am forever grateful for her, and all the others before her who went out on a limb and stood up for what is right. The positive outcome of her battle against the establishment has led to many happy and loving nuptials with similar ridiculously long engagements. (Ours was a mere 17 years… and we married legally in 2013)

Edie, you will be missed. Thank you for giving me and my mishpocheh (family) the gift of equality and acceptance in a time where we are tested, challenged, and opposed daily. Your giant heart gave out on you at 88, but we can still feel your pulse of hope. You will live on in our hearts each and every day. We carry your torch proudly and hope to keep moving our case for equality, justice, and authenticity forward.

My deepest sympathies to your surviving wife and family that are left behind. You left a tacca (big) set of shoes to fill, and you have proven that love does win.

To make promises and to love don’t cost any money. Tsuzogn un lib hobn kostn kayn gelt nisht.

My Mrs., Big, Little, I love you! Ich hob dier lieb!

     

      

      

      

 

76 thoughts on “RIP, Edie Windsor. You are my Hero

  1. Ashamed I had not really heard of Edie before reading this post, although was vaguely aware of her story from the news coverage of the law changes. She was indeed a trailblazer and should, and I’m sure will, be remembered in history. Such a sad story about your child being so upset you couldn’t marry and so pleased you are able to now. All is not right with the world until Same Sex Marriage is legal everywhere. #bigpinklink

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are so very right! And it shouldn’t every be threatened! Love is love! How is that wrong? Thanks so much for reading my story. Never be ashamed – we learn new things every day and that makes life richer! M’wah! Thanks so much for your kindness and support! #bigpinklink xoxo

      Like

    1. Thank you for helping me to spread the word of my hero, and a hero to many. I think I may even start a series of people that are strong women who really help to make the world a better place! xoxo #mg xoxo

      Like

    1. SHe is worthy of so much praise! Fighting for justice back before Stonewall! And, to top it off, her career was in tech, and she received the very fist computer! She has big shoes alright! Thank you for your lovely comments! #KCACOLS

      Like

  2. What a amazing women and I am so glad you shared this! As you know I am frustrated right now with this vote in Australia, it should just be passed, same sex marriage should be legal! One of my dear friends was able to marry early this year as she is a British Citizen and her and her wife were married in the British consulate in Melbourne, only a few family members were allowed to witness the ceremony but at the reception (a huge amazing celebration) we all got to watch the wedding. It was such a joy to see them married, but frustrating that our country is so backwards in this! We are meant to be a tolerant, loving country and it makes me so angry that our positions won’t just make it legal. I am praying this vote brings us a YES! But scared of so many narrow minded people winning with their No votes. Any way I could go on all day, my bestie and I spent the whole weekend talking about it. I won’t clog up all your comment space. Wish us luck! #mg

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love you so, Mac! My entire blog experience has been so wonderful and you are such a big part of that! The world we live in today is so frightening. We took so many steps forward, and now we are being threatened in every way. Thank you for your ongoing support! Someday, we will meet! And If I personally have to write to the folks in Australia, I am not afraid to do so! M’wah! ❤ ❤ ❤ xoxoxo #mg

      Liked by 1 person

      1. fingers crossed, hubby and I voted the other day we were so excited, I showed my daughters our vote forms with YES on them and told them we are making history they were super excited it was lovely!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. This woman is amazing and just made the difference for so many people in the US. My wife is American and we felt like we had to check out marraige was valid over in NJ, just in case anything happened. Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. NOt sure if I am repeating myself here, but it says I did not respond. Edie has made my family and your family even more beautiful! We got married in NJ because it wasn’t legal here in PA yet. Edie is really quite the trailblazer, at 5 foot tall! Much happiness to you and yours, and thank you for reading! xoxo #KCACOLS

      Like

  4. Nice post. Timely for us here in Australia where the ‘national survey’ (don’t even ask) is bringing out all the insane reasons why people shouldn’t marry (apparently it’s something to do with transgender kids, stolen kids, freedom of speech, sex education,something that happened in Canada that we wouldn’t like to see happen here (but no one can clarify what), schools telling boys they can wear dresses and a whole myriad of other reasons that aren’t logically linked to answering the question ‘Should the marriage act be inclusive of SS couples’. #Dreamteamblogger

    Liked by 1 person

  5. She was a trailblazer and her fight will reverberate for decades across the country. Every state needs to make marriage, ANY marriage, legal. It’s ridiculous to hold onto this man/woman crap that is as archaic as slave ownership. #bigpinklink

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I am shocked to have not heard of amazing lady, she sounds like someone who knows that it doesnt matter who you are, love conquers all, love trumps all (HA trump) and Love, as the Beatles sang… is ALL you need. I cannot imagine not being able to legally be married and receive the same benefits as others. Truly shocking and so out of date. Your daughters response to you not being married back then is so adorable!
    Thank you for sharing this with us at #TriumphantTales. I hope to see you back next week! (also popping by from #thatfridaylinky)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Lianne for reading about this lady who changed my life! A real #TriumphantTale indeed! She will always be a hero to me and so many families like mine, which are just like families like yours! xoxxo M’wah! #TriumphanTales

      Like

  7. What a beautifully inspirational story of love, Edie’s story is one that will always have played a huge part in history and its wonderful that you are making sure her story is known. A beautiful tribute to an incredible woman. Thank you for sharing with #bigpinklink

    Liked by 1 person

  8. An inspiring woman, fighting for what shouldn’t need fighting for, but does!
    Thanks so much for linking up with #kcacols. We hope you can join us again next time.

    Like

  9. Pingback: The Saturday Sesh #6 | Whatmyfridgesays

  10. It being US law, I actually hadn’t heard about Edie until she died and I read some articles I saw on fb. She sounds like an amazing woman. People often use that ‘look for the helpers’ quote about bad things happening, and it is a very nice sentiment. But I think the fighters also play such a huge role in society – the people who relentlessly and determinedly keep standing up for what they believe and fight when everything is against them. The helpers make the world a nicer place, but the fighters change the world. Thanks so much for joining us for #FridayFrolics

    Liked by 1 person

  11. What an amazing story, and such a strong woman. Thank you for sharing it so I could learn about her. There are many injustices in this world, and we need amazing people like this to fight back and claim justice and equality for all of us. You’re my #blogcrush this week for this post!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Just popping back again from BlogCrush! It really is inspirational to hear about someone who stood up for what they believed in and made life better for so many people in her wake #blogcrush

    Liked by 1 person

Talk to me! Please? You want some cake?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s