Edith Windsor: Who Is the Woman Behind DOMA at the Supreme Court?

ByGabriel Grand

At eighty three years old, Edith Windsor is the plaintiff in a potentially history-changing Supreme Court case challenging the Defense of Marriage Act.

After 40 years of romantic involvement with her partner, Thea Spyer, Windsor and Spyer married in Toronto, Ontario, in 2007. Both Windsor and Spyer were residents of New York, where Windsor first proposed engagement to Spyer in 1965.

In 2009, Spyer passed away, and Windsor was required to pay more than $363,000 in federal estate taxes on her inheritance of her wife's estate.

Soon after her wife's death, Windsor decided to sue the government, claiming that it was unfair for her to be forced to pay such steep federal taxes. She would have paid no federal state taxes had federal law accorded her marriage the same status as a heterosexual marriage.

After winning her lawsuit in a New York state district court, Windsor declared, "Thea and I shared our lives together for 44 years, and I miss her each and every day. It's thrilling to have a court finally recognize how unfair it is for the government to have treated us as though we were strangers."

Tomorrow morning, the Supreme Court will (hopefully) settle Windsor's case once and for all. Its decision may very well reshape how all of America will think about same-sex marriage.

For more live updates on the Supreme Court's decision of United States v. Windsor, follow me on Twitter: @gabethegrand