Gay rights activist Edith Windsor passes away

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"The world lost a tiny but tough as nails fighter for freedom, justice and equality", said the activist's second spouse, Judith Kasen-Windsor.

Four decades after the 1969 Stonewall Inn uprising, which provided a beginning the fight for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights in the United States, Windsor - then a widow of a woman, Thea Spyer, with whom she had lived much of her life - became the lead plaintiff in the legal challenge to the Defense Marriage Act in 2013.

She had sued the U.S. government after being ordered to pay $363,053 (£224,940) in federal estate tax after her previous wife, Thea Spyer, died.

In 2009, Windsor was denied a spouse's exemption and forced to pay federal taxes on the estate of her late wife, Thea Spyer, who also was Jewish, although their Canadian marriage was recognized as legal by the State of NY, where they resided.

Two years later, to the day, we took another step forward on our journey as the Supreme Court recognized a Constitutional guarantee of marriage equality.

In a statement from Windsor's attorney, Roberta Kaplan, Kaplan said representing Windsor "was and will always be the greatest honor of my life".

"It's nearly essential that we all meet as often as we can meet: that we become more and more related to each other given these circumstances", Ms. Windsor previously said of local LGBTQ events.

"I Also know that his memory will be a blessing not only to every LGBTQ person in this planet, but for all those who believe in concept of equal dignity for all", also said Kaplan. In the 1950s, at a time being gay was harshly stigmatized, she married a man and changed her last name to his, Windsor.

"It was a love affair that just kept on and on and on", Windsor recalled to the Guardian US in 2013.

Born in 1929 to Jewish Parents, Windsor was the youngest of three, and was born Edith Schlain.

"I think of the people in this room as sort of the "mainstream gays" now, but there are tons of gays who are hidden still. and we have to be responsible for them and we have to help make everything possible for them", she said. They began dating in 1965 and in 1967, Spyer proposed to Windsor. In lieu of flowers, Windsor had requested, prior to her death, that any donations in her memory be made to The LGBT Center, Callen-Lorde, Hetrick-Martin Institute, and SAGE. Instead, she pursued her case all the way up to the Supreme Court. Spyer died two years later, in 2009.

"Marriage" is a magic word", according to the New Yorker.

Following Spyer's death, she met Judith Kasen at an LGBT rights event in 2015. United States. It is considered one of the most important LGBT rights cases in USA history.

"The better we feel as citizens and as human beings - not "queers" - the more of us come out", she told USA TODAY. They married in 2016. After 1977, when Spyer was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, she led with her good leg, she told the Guardian.

A public memorial will be held 12:30 p.m. Friday at Riverside Memorial Chapel in Manhattan.

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