The Human Rights Campaign Remembers Marriage Equality Pioneer Edith Windsor

WASHINGTON September 12, 2017 – Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, responded to the tragic news that Edith “Edie” Windsor has passed away at the age of 88.

“Edie Windsor is a hero and civil rights icon who pushed our country closer to the promise of a more perfect union,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Future generations will learn how she faced down discrimination with courage and defiance, and boldly challenged the United States government to treat her marriage to Thea Spyer equally under the law — as our Constitution guarantees. After Edie Windsor succeeded in defeating the Defense of Marriage Act, she continued to push forward, galvanizing the support of hundreds of thousands of Americans in support of the Obergefell case before the United States Supreme Court in 2015. We join millions across the nation in mourning the loss of Edie Windsor, and share our deepest condolences with her wife, Judith Kasen-Windsor.”

Windsor, plaintiff in the landmark Supreme Court case United States v. Windsor, successfully challenged and defeated the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 2013. Her case was argued by Roberta Kaplan, and helped pave the way for the 2015 Supreme Court decision that granted nationwide marriage equality, Obergefell v. Hodges. Windsor was also the first signatory on the “People’s Brief,” a first-of-its-kind amicus brief signed by more than 200,000 Americans — the largest such brief in history — and submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court in support of marriage equality in the Obergefell case.

As a leader and icon in the fight for marriage equality, Edie Windsor became a hero to millions and her advocacy continued well beyond the Supreme Court. Her marriage to Thea Spyer and fight for marriage equality was chronicled in the documentary “Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement.”

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer equality. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.