Edie Windsor street sign unveiled to honour lesbian campaigner
A street sign in honour of lesbian campaigner Edie Windsor was unveiled on October 7.
“‘Don’t Postpone Joy’ today and take a stroll The Edie Windsor Way,” Windsor’s widow Judith Kasen-Windsor—her second wife—wrote on Facebook on Sunday, quoting one of the campaigner’s mantra.
A ceremony to officially inaugurate the street sign, standing between Locust St. & South 13th Street near 1301 Locust in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania—Windsor’s hometown—was scheduled for the early afternoon. It’s also due to include an awards presentation.
Windsor died in September 2017 aged 88 after spending most of the past decade of her life fighting for the recognition of same-sex couples in the country.
After her partner of 40 years Thea Spyer died in 2009, two years after they got married in Canada, Windsor inherited her estate. Tax authorities denied her spousal exemption from federal estate taxes, which was then given to heterosexual couples, and billed her for more than $300,000.
Windsor took the case through the courts and, in June 2013, the US Supreme Court ruled in favour of the campaigner, finally allowing same-sex partners to be granted federal estate tax deduction previously only available to straight people when their spouses die.
That decision arguably paved the way for the historic marriage equality ruling Obergefell v. Hodges two years later.
Windsor married Kasen, a vice president at Wells Fargo Advisors, at City Hall in New York in 2016.
“Few were as small in stature as Edie Windsor—and few made as big a difference to America,” President Barack Obama said, reacting to news of her death last year.
Hillary Clinton too paid a moving tribute to the activist: “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?’
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“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.”
Earlier this year, New York state Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a proclamation declaring June 20, Windsor’s birthday, as an annual day in her honour.
“June 20, 2018 marks what would have been Edie’s 89th birthday, and all New Yorkers are proud to join in honouring and remembering Edie’s extraordinary life, her legacy of groundbreaking leadership, and her lasting contributions to equality everywhere.”