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“Matriarch Of The Gay Rights Movement” Edith Windsor Looks Back On This Momentous Year

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Edie's Love Story With Thea

This June, the Supreme Court ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional in a case called Windsor v. United States. The woman behind the nation-changing lawsuit is Edith Windsor, an 84-year-old lesbian whose spouse, Thea Spyer, died in 2009. The women got engaged in 1967 and Edie wore a circular brooch with diamonds, so that coworkers and neighbors would not know they were a couple. For 40 years they stayed engaged, finally marrying in Canada in 2007. After Thea died, Edie was hit with $600,000 in taxes, because her U.S. government did not recognize her same-sex marriage as valid. By ruling DOMA unconstitutional, the Supreme Court affirmed the right of gay couples to have their marriages recognized on the federal level. As a runner-up for TIME magazine’s Person Of The Year distinction, here Edith speaks with TIME about the depth of her relationship with Thea and hiding their sexuality from anyone but their closest friends for decades. “There’s some legitimacy that we never knew we were lacking,” Edith said about getting married. “If you really care about the quality of someone’s life as much as you care about as your own, you have it made.” What a sweet and lovely woman. Edith, you’re my person of the year. [TIME]

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