Edie Windsor, an LGBT rights campaigner who won a landmark same-sex marriage case, has sadly died aged 88.
Windsor cemented her role as a campaigner for the LGBT community after she sued the federal government to recognise her same-sex marriage.
Windsor brought the case to the Supreme Court after being ordered to pay $363,053 in taxes after her previous wife, Thea Spyer, died. Had federal law recognised her marriage, then she would have qualified for a deduction and paid no tax.
The 2013 Supreme Court case went on to pave the way for same-sex marriages across the US.
Windsor was born in Philadelphia to a Russian Jewish family. She was the youngest of three children and her upbringing was modest due to the Great Depression.
In 1950, Windsor received her bachelor’s degree from Temple University. She then studied for a master’s degree in mathematics, which she obtained in 1957 from New York University.
She then went on to work for IBM, working there for 16 years. In 1975, IBM moved her work out of the area and she took redundancy to focus more on her activism.
Her wife, Judith Kasen-Windsor, confirmed her death to the New York Times. She was quoted as saying, “The world lost a tiny but tough-as-nails fighter for freedom, justice and equality.”
“Edie was the light of my life.”
“She will always be the light for the LGBTQ community, which she loved so much and which loved her right back.”
Across the globe people have paid tribute to Windsor and for all that she achieved.
Former President, Barack Obama said, “America’s long journey towards equality has been guided by countless small acts of persistence and fuelled by the stubborn willingness of quiet heroes to speak out for what’s right.”
“Few were as small in stature as Edie Windsor – and few made as big as a difference to America.”
Both Bill and Hillary Clinton offered their condolences, with Hillary Clinton tweeting that Windsor had, “showed the world that love can be a powerful force for change.”