Windsor V.US

Supreme Court Case Project.

In this picture: Edith Windsor and Thea Spyer.

Edith Windsor and Thea Spyer a same sex couple were lawfully married in Ontario, Canada in 2007.Edith and Thea where married for two years until (Thea) died. Thea left her estate to Edith Windsor.

On March 27,2013 windsor sought to claim the federal estatetax exemption for surviving spouses. She was barred from doing so by the Section 3 of DOMA which provided that the term "spouse" only applied to marriages between a man and women. The interal Revenue Service found that the exemption did not apply to same-sex marriages, denied Windsor's claim, and compelled her to pay $363,053 in estate taxes.

On November 9, 2010, windsor filed a lawsuit against the federal government in the  u.s. District court for the southern district of new york, seeeking a refund because DOMA singled out legally married same-sex couples for differential treatment compared to other similarly situated couples without justifcation. On February 23,2011, U.S Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the DOJ would not defend the constitutionality of section in Windsor. On April 18,2011 , Paul Clement,representing the Bipartisan legal Advisory Group(BLAG), intervened to defend the law.On June 6,2012, judge Barbara S.Jones ruled that the Section 34 of DOMA was unconstitutional under the due process guarantees of the Fifth Amendment and ordered the federal government to issue the tax refund, including interest. This means the Windsor got all of her money back and more. The U.S. Second circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the decision on October 18,2012.

BLAG petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to review the decision, and the Court issued a writ of certiorari in December 2012. On March 27, 2013, the court heard oral arguments. On June 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a 5–4 decision declaring Section 3 of DOMA to be unconstitutional "as a deprivation of the liberty of the person protected by the Fifth Amendment."[6]:25

On the same day, the court also issued a separate 5–4 decision in Hollingsworth v. Perry — a case related to California's constitutional amendment initiative barring same-sex marriage. The decision effectively allowed same-sex marriages in that state to resume after the court ruled that the proponents of the initiative lacked Article III standing to appeal in federal court based on its established interpretation of the case or controversy clause.Edith Windsor -- the Defense of Marriage Act plaintiff -- has had a big year.

In June 2013, the Supreme Court ruled in her favor, declaring DOMA unconstitutional and marking a major victory in the fight for marriage equality. Recently, she was named one ofTime magazine's 2013 "People of the Year", coming in third behind Pope Francis and Edward Snowden.

In her honor, Time's Deputy Photo Editor, Paul Moakley, put together a wonderful photo montage of Windsor's relationship with late wife Thea Spyer -- a love story that spanned more than 40 years.

The pair got engaged in 1967 and were together until Spyer's death in 2009. In the interview, Windsor opens up about how Spyer popped the question at a time when same-sex relationships were still very much taboo.

"We were driving out to the Hamptons and she started talking to me about, 'What would you do if you were to become engaged?' and I said 'Well, I couldn't wear a ring because then they would need to know who was he and when do we meet him.' By the time we got to the destination, she got down on her knee and said, 'Edie Windsor, will you marry me?' And she had a circle [pin] with diamonds and I said, 'Yes yes yes!' And she was furious because I didn't let her finish the sentence when I said, 'Yes yes yes.'"

Watch the video above for more on their decades-long romance. Then, check out the slideshow below for 31 photos that show the power of love between same-sex couples.


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