In 2007, Edie Windsor married her first wife, Thea Spyer, in Canada when they were 77 and 75, respectively, after being together since since 1963. In 2009, Spyer passed away. Windsor was hit with an estate tax bill after inheriting Spyer’s money. Because of the Defense of Marriage Act, Windsor was not protected by an exemption on the tax usually extended to widowers and had to pay $363,053 in taxes to the federal government, and $275,528 to New York State.
Windsor and her attorney Roberta Kaplan, who took the case pro bono, sued the United States. Her case went to the Supreme Court, and in 2013 they decided in a 5-4 decision that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional. The precedent set in Windsor’s case influenced the legalization of gay marriage in 2015. Now 87, Windsor felt the victory, but had no one to share it with as she might have been able to with Spyer. She told The New York Times, “I had no sense that anyone wanted anything from me except pictures.”
Last Monday, Windsor married Judith Kasen, a vice president at Wells Fargo Advisors, at City Hall. Kasen first met Windsor at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center in the West Village, and attempted to flirt with her, but apparently it took awhile for Windsor to see the signs.
In November of 2015, Windsor let Kasen walk her home from a benefit. They went on their first date a week later. Windsor told the Times, “I was empty and then this woman walked into my life... I didn’t think it would happen again and it did. She is it.”