Edie Windsor is the petitioner in the forthcoming landmark United States Supreme Court case challenging the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, Windsor v. United States. Having prevailed at the District Court and the Second Circuit, Ms. Windsor's case will be argued before the US Supreme Court on March 27, 2013.
Edie met her partner Thea Spyer in in Greenwich Village in 1963, and the two were engaged in 1967. On May 22, 2007, after more than 40 years together, Windsor and Spyer were legally married in Toronto, Canada, and their decades long relationship was the subject of a 2009 documentary, Edith and Thea: A Very Long Engagement. Spyer passed away in 2009 after a long battle with Multiple Sclerosis.
Despite their marriage in Canada, Windsor, as executor of Spyer's estate, was forced to pay $350,000 in federal estate taxes due to the Defense of Marriage Act, including taxes on gifts that Spyer gave Windsor over their many years together. Windsor then met attorney Roberta Kaplan, who agreed to take her case in conjunction with the American Civil Liberties Union, and Edith Schlain Windsor, in Her Capacity as Executor of the Estate of Thea Clara Spyer, Petitioner v. United States, et al. was filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York in 2011. on June 6, 2012, Judge Barbara S. Jones ruled in favor of Edie and ordered a tax refund due to her. An appeal was filed by the United States Justice Department of June 6, 2012, moving the case to the Second Circuit United States Court of Appeals, which also found in favor of Windsor on October 18, 2012.
On December 7, 2012, the United States Supreme Court announced that they would hear arguments in Windsor v. United States challenging the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act.
Windsor lives in New York City and Southampton. She and Spyer were long time supporters of The Network's East End Gay Organization, and Windsor hosts a fundraiser for The Network's work on the East End each year.