Reveling in Her Supreme Court Moment

The New York Times
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December 11, 2012

People move to New York for many complicated reasons — personal, professional, spiritual, gravitational — some quite clear, some unknowable. Edith Windsor came 60 years ago for a very simple one. “I came to New York to let myself be gay,” said Ms. Windsor, 83 and regal in a pink silk blouse, black slacks, flowing blond hair and the pearls she wore on her wedding day in Canada five years ago. That her decision to move to New York would eventually take her to the United States Supreme Court would have seemed as unlikely at the time as the idea of two women stepping into a courtroom to get married. But on Friday, the court agreed to hear her federal suit challenging the law that requires the federal government to deny marital benefits to gay and lesbian couples who live in states that allow such unions. Ms. Windsor, a math and computer whiz in a field dominated by men, married her partner, Thea Spyer, in 2007 after a 40-year engagement. A woman who was ready to accept her own death after a heart attack three years ago, Ms. Windsor has had a life with far more than its share of twists and turns.