Speed Reads

a goodbye

Same-sex marriage activist Edith Windsor dies at 88

Gay-rights activist Edith Windsor died Tuesday at the age of 88. Her fight for LGBTQ rights ultimately led to the Supreme Court's landmark ruling in 2013 striking down the Defense of Marriage Act and allowing same-sex couples federal benefits. Though the Supreme Court's 2013 ruling on Windsor's case only applied to 13 states and Washington, D.C., the Supreme Court in 2015 ruled to extend that privilege to same-sex couples nationwide after facing a slew of lawsuits from couples in the 37 states not included in the earlier ruling.

Windsor's death was confirmed by her wife, Judith Kasen-Windsor, who she married in 2016. The cause of her death was not revealed.

Windsor's court battle over marriage rights, sparked by frustrations over her inability to get a tax refund after her partner of 40 years died, gained her widespread recognition as a pioneer. She was the grand marshal of New York's Pride March and second only to Pope Francis in Time's 2013 person of the year rankings.

"The idea that I might be a piece of history blows my mind," Windsor told BuzzFeed News in 2013.