Oh, Edie Windsor, you did it. You helped change history for the better. I bet Thea is waving her rainbow flag in heaven. You didn’t let it go, or allow the government to bully you, you stayed with it. And baby, YOU WON. (Here’s a great re-cap of Edie’s story and her life.)
Yesterday was a very good day. A VERY GOOD DAY! The Defense of Marriage Act has left the building. Voted on by the Supreme Court in a 5-4 vote, DOMA can no longer prevent the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages legalized by states, as unconstitutional, meaning that same sex couples will now get the same benefits other married couples get, under federal law. This is a dancing in the streets sort of moment, a fireworks display that spans the entire country. And of course, one that should have happened long ago, but I’ll take it.
Justice Scalia, I hope you get an incurable case of poison ivy this summer in an area that is not socially acceptable to scratch in public, that you are plagued by fleas for life, that you outgrow your Justice attire and have to step down. (Can you tell I’m trying to be nice?)
But back to Edie, who married Thea Spyer in Ontario in ’07 after a 40 years relationship. (The longevity of this couple just emphasizes the insanity here, doesn’t it?) They were living in New York when Thea died in ’09 and left her estate to Edie, but since the marriage was not recognized by New York, when Edie tried to claim the estate tax exemption for surviving spouses, she was unable to, because of DOMA, which states that a “spouse” only applies to the marriage of a man and a woman, which forced Edie to pay $363, 053 in estate taxes. Imagine having to grieve AND come up with an unfair nearly half a million bucks to pay to a government who doesn’t think your four decade relationship was real?
Gratitude for 83 year old Edie Windsor and her guts, courage and sense of fairness. You made the United States a “more perfect union” yesterday.