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Gay Rights Pioneer Edith Windsor Dies at 88

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Gay rights pioneer Edith Windsor, whose lawsuit against the federal government helped pave the way for same-sex marriage nationwide, has died at 88.

Windsor was thrust into the national spotlight after suing the federal government upon receiving a $363,000 estate-tax bill after the death of her first wife, Thea Spyer, in 2009. Her case, United States v. Windsor, went to the Supreme Court, which in 2015 overturned the Defense of Marriage Act and established a constitutional right to gay marriage.

Former President Barack Obama was among the many people who reflected on Windsor's legacy following her passing. "America’s long journey towards equality has been guided by countless small acts of persistence, and fueled by the stubborn willingness of quiet heroes to speak out for what’s right," Obama said in a statement. "Few were as small in stature as Edie Windsor – and few made as big a difference to America."

NBC News

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