Hillary Clinton made a beautiful tribute to LGBT+ activist Edie Windsor
Hillary Clinton has made a beautiful tribute to the late LGBT+ activist Edie Windsor at her funeral.
Windsor died on Tuesday at the age of 88 after spending years fighting for marriage equality.
Clinton told the crowd that Windsor had left a “positive lasting influence on our country and the world” and that she was “honoured” to speak at the funeral.
She started: “When I think of Edie, I think of that line from A midsummer night’s dream ‘and thought she be but little, she is fierce’.
“She was fierce. She helped change hearts and minds including mine. She refused to give up on the promise of America.
“There wasn’t a cynical, defeatist bone in her body. Through her determination and sheer force of will, she brought us another step closer to a perfect union. it is up to all of us to pick up where she left off.”
Clinton went on to say that going forward in the fight for LGBT+ equality, we should remember Windsor and her courage in taking on the US Government.
“We really owe it to her to ensure as I’ve said before that gay rights are human rights and human rights are gay rights now and forever.
“It’s easy to grow weary fighting these fights but remember Edie Windsor took on and won against the US government. She pushed us all to be better, stand taller, dream bigger. Because of her, people came out, marched in their first Pride parade, married the love of their life.
Clinton finished the moving tribute by thanking Windsor for “filling us with a sense of possibility” and urging those at the funeral to live as vivaciously as she once did.
“So thank you Edie, thank you for being a beacon of hope, for proving that love is more powerful than hate, for filling us with a sense of possibility and promise as we answer the question posed by Mary Oliver, ‘tell me what it is you plan to do with your own one wild and precious life?’.
“Let us continue to be inspired by Edie’s wild and precious life and let us make her proud every day of how we answer that question ourselves. Thank you, Edie.”
As well as Clinton, Windsor’s lawyer Roberta Kaplan, her wife Judith Kasen-Windsor, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and other family and friends made moving speeches about the activist.
Judith Kasen-Windsor confirmed the death of her wife but did not give a cause.
Windsor was the lead plaintiff in the 2013 case which led to the striking down of the Defense of Marriage Act effectively giving recognition to same-sex marriage in 13 states and the District of Columbia.
This led to a wider 2015 ruling which legalised same-sex marriage in all 50 states.
The couple married back in 2016 after same-sex marriage became legal in all states.
Windsor had filed her lawsuit with a view to getting a tax refund, but the lawsuit went much further than that.
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She had been affected by the Defense of Marriage Act which had banned same-sex couples from being recognised as “spouses” federally.
Her late wife Thea Spyer, who Windsor married in Canada in 2007 after being together for 40 years, had left her estate to Windsor, but the IRS had denied her the spousal exemption from federal estate taxes, which was then given to straight couples, when Spyer died in 2009.
This led to Windsor paying taxes of $363,053 and filing her lawsuit which accused the federal government of singling out same-sex partners for “differential treatment”.
The Supreme Court later bolstered the rulings of two lower courts in a 5-4 ruling, which states that nobody should be “deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.”