Pioneering LGBT activist Edie Windsor dies at 88

Mrs Windsor gained landmark Supreme Court ruling in favour of same-sex couples


Edith Windsor, the renowned LGBT rights activist whose same-sex marriage battle led to a landmark US ruling, has died aged 88.

Her death, in New York, was confirmed by her wife, Judith Kasen-Windsor, whom she married in 2016.

Mrs Windsor, who was born in Philadelphia to a Russian Jewish family, attracted worldwide attention when she sued the US government after being ordered to pay more than $300,000 (£225,000) in estate tax after her previous wife, Thea Spyer, died.

The couple had been together for 44 years and married in Canada in 2007.

Mrs Windsor contended the provision of the law that defined marriage as between a man and a woman and prevented her from getting a tax deduction available for married couples.

In 2013 the Supreme Court ruled with Mrs Windsor, and the decision became the basis for reforms, culminating with the 2015 ruling to give same-sex couples the right to marry.

Mrs Kasen-Windsor said: “The world lost a tiny but tough-as-nails fighter for freedom, justice and equality. Edie was the light of my life. She will always be the light for the LGBTQ community, which she loved so much and which loved her right back.”

Former US presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton also paid tribute to Mrs Windsor.

Mr Obama said: “Few were as small in stature as Edie Windsor – and few made as big a difference to America.”

Mr Clinton tweeted: “In standing up for herself, Edie also stood up for millions of Americans and their rights. May she rest in peace.”

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