Gay rights icon Edith Windsor passed away Tuesday at age 88 in Manhattan.
"I lost my beloved spouse Edie, and the world lost a tiny but tough-as-nails fighter for freedom, justice and equality", Kasen-Windsor said Tuesday.
Fast forward to June 2013, when the Supreme Court justices ruled 5-4 that the provision in the law was unconstitutional - and that legally married same-sex couples are entitled to the same federal benefits that heterosexual couples receive. Spyer died in 2009, two years after the women married in Canada.
Kaplan issued a statement, saying, "Representing Edie Windsor was and will always be the greatest honor of my life".
Barack Obama released a statement praising Windsor's monumental steps toward equality over the years.
"Edie was a new york-based outstanding that took fight for equality and achieved a historic victory in journey for justice", said Cuomo, who said that activist embodied spirit of NY and recalled that "tore down barriers".
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"I Also know that his memory will be a blessing not only to every LGBTQ person in this planet, but for all those who believe in concept of equal dignity for all", also said Kaplan.
"She got up the next morning after the doctor said that and she said, 'Do you still want to get married?'" Windsor recalled.
"Edie wanted to make sure everyone was protected from discrimination", Kilmnick said, "but also to make sure that we keep what was won at the Supreme Court".
Edith Windsor was born in 1929, shortly before her parents lost their home and business in the Depression. We agree with Edie 100% & we hope the world will now respect her wishes. NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg looks back on Windsor's life and her legal legacy.
She was helping to create a new statewide gay rights group after Empire State Pride Agenda, the state's leading LGBT group, disbanded in 2015.
Windsor was the lead plaintiff in the 2013 case which struck down the Defense of Marriage Act and proved to be instrumental in the legalisation of same-sex marriage across the US. Edie Windsor would go on to become an octogenarian rock star in the gay rights community.
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They officially started dating in 1965 and in 1967, Spyer proposed to Windsor, which led to a long engagement of 40 years.
She later received a masters degree in applied mathematics from New York University.
Spyer was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1977. I query everybody who has a long-ranging relationship and then gets married, and I ask, "Is it different the next morning?" and they all say yes. Windsor and Spyer were among the first to register for New York City's domestic partnership registry, which extended certain benefits to same-sex couples.
Her wife, Judith Kasen-Windsor, described her as "the light for the LGBTQ community".
According to the Advocate, a public memorial will be held September 15 in NY.
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