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Edie Windsor, the inspiring face of the fight to defeat DOMA

Community/Meta DOMA trials Marriage equality Windsor

By Jacob Combs

We spend a lot of time on this site delving into the legal complexities of the many DOMA cases making their way through the courts, using shorthand names for those cases like Pedersen, Perry and Windsor.  But every now and again it’s important to stop and remember that those case names are almost always the names of decent, everyday Americans who, because of their sexual orientation, are treated differently by their government, and who have made it their mission to improve the lives of gay and lesbian Americans across the country.

One of those women is Edie Windsor, for whom the DOMA case Windsor v. USA is named.  Edie was forced by DOMA to pay more than $360,000 in estate taxes following the death of her wife, with whom she had been partnered for decades.  As we here at follow her case as it makes its way to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and possibly the Supreme Court this fall, sometimes the human story of Edie’s life can fall out of focus.

That’s why I thought today, as we end this week, there could be no better way to start the day’s coverage than this incredible video from In The Life Media.  It’s called “Edie Takes on DOMA,” and it shows this remarkable woman in all her strength and compassion.  I saw Edie marching proudly in New York City’s pride parade this summer, cheered on by an adoring crowd, where people stopped her and thanked her for what she was doing, and my heart swelled when I saw the pure joy on her face.

But above all else, it’s one simple statement that Edie made back when she won her case in the court for the Southern District of New York that has made her an inspiration to me.  Upon hearing the news of her court win, Edie said, her first reaction was, “I need to tell Thea immediately.  So I walked around, looking at the pictures and I said, ‘Oh honey, look what’s happening.'”

That is love, and that’s what this fight is really about.


  • 1. Sagesse  |  August 24, 2012 at 8:27 am


  • 2. David  |  August 24, 2012 at 8:51 am

    Of course this is such a wonderful, wonderful post. She, by way of your blog post, offers encouragement and inspiration on an otherwise normal day. Thank you for sharing.

  • 3. karen in kalifornai  |  August 24, 2012 at 11:09 am

    Find and watch the great documentary, "Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement".

  • 4. Todd  |  August 24, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    Lovely. I shared this video around. Thanks!

  • 5. Michael  |  August 25, 2012 at 12:51 am

    God bless you Edie. You are a hero. May you win for yourself and for Thea and for all of us!

  • 6. Chris  |  November 17, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    I love it I used to watch shows like this with my grandma . old black and white’s.. that tells how old I am and we had to get up to cghnae the dial on the tv of 13 channels wow things have cghnaed.. baby boomer I am, and am in now way of slowing down. I love my facebook acct it’s the greatest things since pb and jwe all need reminders on manners’ thanks for sharing

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