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Edith Windsor has died


Edie Windsor at NYU, Attribution: Towleroad
Edie Windsor at NYU, Attribution: Towleroad
Earlier today, the New York Times reported that Edith Windsor has died. She was 88:

Edith Windsor, the gay-rights activist whose landmark case led the Supreme Court to grant same-sex married couples federal recognition for the first time and rights to a host of federal benefits that until then only married heterosexuals had enjoyed, died on Tuesday in Manhattan. She was 88.

Her wife, Judith Kasen-Windsor, confirmed the death, at a hospital, but did not specify a cause. They were married in 2016.

Former President Barack Obama posted a tribute to her life and her activism, including challenging the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in federal court and winning her case, US v. Windsor, in the Supreme Court.


  • 1. JayJonson  |  September 13, 2017 at 6:38 am

    The Australian Parliament has enacted emergency hate speech legislation in an attempt to stem the outbreak of crazy and threatening defamation in the wake of the postal poll. The hate speech was predicted by those opposed to allowing a vote in the first place. Parliament should have just enacted marriage equality itself.

  • 2. guitaristbl  |  September 13, 2017 at 8:28 am

    I highly doubted this will stop the abuse. This debate has turned incredibly toxic in every possible way. One indication is on online debates – the no campaigners spout every hateful nonsensical thing they want and the moment they are challenged or called homophobic they turn on "victim mode" and "I am bullied" mode to harness sympathy – and largely succeed.

    True insanity.

  • 3. bythesea66  |  September 13, 2017 at 10:45 am

    True insanity, but completely predictable. The Liberal Party are such assholes to force this.

  • 4. Zack12  |  September 13, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    They could have held a floor vote and passed this long ago.
    Now they want to pretend they are upset about the hateful bigots?
    Get the hell outta here.

  • 5. LK2013  |  September 13, 2017 at 11:14 am

    Very sad to hear of Edith Windsor's death. Her courage and perseverance were admirable.

    I hope her final years were joyous in the knowledge that she brought justice to so many of us.

  • 6. allan120102  |  September 13, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    Something is weird and hypocritical of the Israel supreme court. Like they want to satisfy both sides and they know they cant.
    A public service announcement celebrating Arab and LGBT equality cannot be banned, but the part of the advertisement emphasizing gay marriage can be, the High Court of Justice ruled Wednesday.The Association for Civil Rights in Israel petitioned the court in February, after the Second Authority for Television and Radio refused to overturn its ban on the ad in support of same-sex marriage and speaking Arabic in Israel.

    The court partially upheld the petition, ruling that the ad be reinstated apart from its reference to the idea of gay marriage, ordering the words “to marry” to be deleted from the sentence “the right to love, to marry even if I’m gay.”A panel of three justices accepted the argument by the ACRI that the message of promoting human rights cannot be considered controversial in a democratic country, and agreed that the broadcasting authority should not disqualify sentences such as “The right to speak Arabic without being afraid” and “The right to love, even if I’m gay.”

    However, just-retired justice Elyakim Rubinstein, Justice Hanan Melcer and Justice Anat Baron upheld the authority’s disqualification of the word “marriage” which refers to same-sex marriage, saying that same-sex marriage is Israel is still very much in dispute. Rubinstein reached the mandatory retirement age for judges of 70 in June, but, as is the rule, continues to sit on cases he began hearing before then.The ad was produced ahead of International Human Rights Day, which is marked annually on December 10, and features celebrities talking about rights that are important to them.Israeli-Arab celebrity Mira Awad appears saying that it is important to her to be able to speak Arabic without being afraid.LGBT activist Adir Steiner declares that he has the right to love and to get married, even if he is gay.

    The ad was broadcast on Channel 2, but the authority later decided that it includes controversial issues, which its own rules prohibit. In that light, the authority banned the ad until the disqualified sentences were removed.The petition noted that over a decade ago, the High Court instructed the Interior Ministry to register as married a same-sex couple who had married abroad and that this is a recognized right in Israel. Similarly, Arabic is an official language in the State of Israel and public authorities are required to use it, the petition argued.However, the High Court recently ruled against recognizing same-sex marriage as a general right, stating that since the issue is in dispute within different sectors of society, it must be resolved by the Knesset.Rubinstein specifically distinguished recognizing that general right from registering same-sex marriages that took place outside of the country.

  • 7. allan120102  |  September 13, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    part 2
    Attorney Dan Yakir, ACRI’s legal adviser, responded to the ruling.

    “By accepting ACRI’s petition, the High Court has not only defended ACRI’s freedom of expression to present its position on television, but it has also defended the public’s right to be exposed to the message of human rights for all humans – including the right to speak Arabic and the right of same-sex couples to recognition."

    “As Justice Baron noted, we cannot accept the position that ‘a public service announcement that promotes human rights will constitute a controversial social and political message; recognition of and commitment to human rights are inherently related to the very existence of a democratic society,’” he added.

    “It is regrettable that the High Court approved the disqualification of the word ‘marriage.’ The right of same-sex couples to marry is a basic right. The public service announcement did not discuss how this right should be implemented in Israel… there was no cause to disqualify it.”

  • 8. ianbirmingham  |  September 14, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    US Virgin Islands residents feel abandoned after Irma

    "We don't have information. We have not seen one first responder. We have not seen one police officer. Everyone in our neighborhood is walking around with sharpened machetes and guns for protection" [said Laura Dixon Strickling, an opera singer.] "There was a three-hour period where we truly were scared," she said. "There was a 30-minute period where we thought we were going to die." When [Strickling and her family] eventually emerged [from their cement bunker], the previously postcard-perfect land above was transformed. "It was gone — every tree was stripped bare and in half," she said. "We don't even recognize it." That devastation can even be seen from space; NASA images show the green of St. Thomas replaced by brown.

    "St. Thomas and St. John are pretty devastated," Rep. Stacey Plaskett, the Virgin Islands' delegate to Congress, told USA Today on Thursday. She said the only hospital on St. Thomas was crippled and many buildings couldn't withstand the storm. Plaskett estimated it would take years to rebuild. "We've lost practically 70% of our infrastructure in terms of utility system on the island [of] St. Thomas and all of the utility system on the island of St. John," Plaskett told MSNBC.

    A bar owner on St. John told The Washington Post that "people there are roaming like zombies" and that no one knew what to do.

  • 9. JayJonson  |  September 14, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    Hope Rick is okay. . . .

  • 10. 1grod  |  September 14, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    Jay, you echo my own apprehension. From Ian's report [above], it is obvious when Rick and ourselves are reconnected, he's going to need more than emotional support. I for one have been thinking about a $ contribution. G.

  • 11. ianbirmingham  |  September 14, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    Democrats Face Steep Climb to Win Back the Senate

  • 12. Randolph_Finder  |  September 15, 2017 at 8:04 am

    The climb will be much easier in 2020. In 2018, all R seats up are in Red or Purple States. In 2020 OTOH, all D seats up are in Blue or Purple states.

  • 13. ianbirmingham  |  September 15, 2017 at 8:51 am

    The problem is that we have a judicial confirmations emergency NOW.

  • 14. Randolph_Finder  |  September 15, 2017 at 10:54 am

    Agreed. The Democrats winning back the Senate is still unlikely, but Trump appears to be doing everything he can to help.

  • 15. scream4ever  |  September 15, 2017 at 10:33 pm

    Trans troops can also still receive medical care for the time being. Also, McCain is openly supporting legislation to block Trump's ban. A big change from the days of DADT indeed!

  • 16. Fortguy  |  September 16, 2017 at 2:14 am

    Will wonders never cease! Glad to see McCain is scratching the scales off his eyes after being blinded on the road to Damascus.

  • 17. bayareajohn  |  September 16, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    I feel like McCain is facing the reality that his own future isn't more important than the country's future anymore. Once you have seen your looming death, you have nothing more to risk and you want to be remembered as more than self-serving.

  • 18. scream4ever  |  September 16, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    The same thing happened to Mark Kirk.

  • 19. Sagesse  |  September 16, 2017 at 9:50 am

    Hillary Clinton’s Powerful Tribute To Edie Windsor Was Only One Part Of Her Amazing, Moving Funeral [Daily Beast]

  • 20. ianbirmingham  |  September 17, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    Major Hurricane Maria Is Now Aimed Directly At US Virgin Islands shtm…

  • 21. bythesea66  |  September 18, 2017 at 10:22 am


  • 22. Fortguy  |  September 18, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    The city of Houston is appealing to SCOTUS to defend its spousal benefits for municipal employees in same-sex marriages.

    Alexa Ura, The Texas Tribune: Houston looks to Supreme Court to resolve same-sex marriage benefits fight

    After the Texas Supreme Court ruled that the landmark decision legalizing same-sex marriage does not fully address the right to marriage benefits, the city of Houston is now looking to the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in.

    In a petition filed with the high court Friday, the city asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review a June 30 decision by the Texas Supreme Court in which it ruled that there’s still room for state courts to explore “the reach and ramifications” of marriage-related issues that resulted from the legalization of same-sex marriage.

    In that decision, the Texas Supreme Court threw out a lower court ruling that said spouses of gay and lesbian public employees are entitled to government-subsidized marriage benefits and unanimously ordered a trial court to reconsider the case.

    Now, Houston is instead appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing in its petition that the Texas court “disregarded” previous rulings by the high court.

    This lawsuit against the city was filed by a couple of taxpayers outraged that their tax money would condone city workers who wanted to have butt sex with other men since they don't believe marriage applies to gay couples. This is the same case that the Texas Supreme Court initially refused to hear until they changed course after bullying from far-right haters and their political patsies.

    There is also a separate federal lawsuit filed by affected city workers.

  • 23. scream4ever  |  September 18, 2017 at 7:12 pm

    I fully expect the Supreme Court to not take this up, as nobody is actually being denied benefits.

  • 24. Elihu_Bystander  |  September 18, 2017 at 9:14 pm

    Donn't forget the option of remand with instructions. SCOTUS can also remand to a state supreme court.

  • 25. FredDorner  |  September 19, 2017 at 6:50 pm

    How about a one line comment from SCOTUS: "Did we stutter?"

  • 26. guitaristbl  |  September 20, 2017 at 7:20 am

    I smell a summary reversal with Gorsuch writing another nonsensical dissent and Thomas and Alito, possibly Roberts as well, joining. If there was another change in the composition of SCOTUS I d say this could serve as a good case for the reversal of Obergefell. But they have time for that I am afraid, especially if Kennedy retires…

  • 27. scream4ever  |  September 20, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    Roberts will not join onto such an opinion, as he did not in Pavin v Smith.

  • 28. theperchybird  |  September 20, 2017 at 10:35 am

    Trans rights are taking center stage in Spain and Greece:

    In Spain, an LGBTI Equal Rights law passed the Congress of Deputies with the lead party, PP, abstaining despite sending a representative to Madrid Pride *typical*. The bill takes transgenderism off the list of illnesses, teaches about LGBT in schools, heightens anti-discrimination laws, etc. It's now off to the Senate where hopefully it won't be watered down too much.

    In Greece, a Gender Identity Bill was presented, but lgbt rights groups say it needs several improvements since it states that a judge must approve a gender change, a person must divorce their spouse, their child's birth certificate cannot be amended to represent the parent's new gender, among other deficiencies.

  • 29. guitaristbl  |  September 20, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    The bill in Greece looks very close to pass or fail even at its current form as the two old big parties, right wing New Democracy and center left PASOK pulled a stunt and said they wont vote for it or anything else the right wing governmental partner ANEL does not support. For New Democracy this is an easy cop out since they would not vote for it anyway but for PASOK it is disgraceful.

    The only other party that could vote for it is The River but I think even with their votes they are short 1 of a majority. Some votes from the union of centrists or independents may save it though.

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