I pre-blogged this story. Today, Wed. June 27, 2013, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that those homosexuals who are married will be granted the same Federal rights as heterosexual couples in all the states. When Edith’s same-sex partner of 40 years died, Edith had to pay over $300,000 in estate taxes. Had she been married to a man, this would not have happened.
Read the story of these two remarkable women and the love they had for one another. Edith’s partner was Thea Spyer.
Thea Spyer was born to Jewish parents who escaped from Holland during the Holocaust. She grew up and obtained a Ph.D from Adelphi University and set herself up as a clinical psychologist. Her new love interest, Edith Windsor, graduated with a masters in mathematics from New York University. She became a senior computer systems programmer at IBM. When they became engaged in 1967, Thea gave Edith an engagement pin. For Edith to sport a wedding ring would have raised too many questions at IBM. Edith was forced to invent “Theo”,(the male equivanent of Thea) the male in her life. Most homosexuals couples back in the 60s were in in the ‘closet’ or in marriage of convenience with a homosexual of the opposite sex
In the 1970s, Thea was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and Edith quit work to be her help-mate. In the years that followed the couple travelled and continued their love of dancing whenever the occasion was possible. They moved to the countryside and lifts and accommodations were made to the home and to the swimming pool.
Thea falls ill.
Thea was diagnosed at 45 with multiple sclerosis. Edie took early retirement to become her full-time caregiver. As her condition worsened Thea was restricted to crutches, and later a wheelchair. By 2002, Spyer was diagnosed with a cardiovascular condition called aortic stenosis. At that point, Spyer was quadriplegic and got around by using an adjusted mouse to maneuver her wheelchair.
When 2007 rolled around, Thea was now a quadriplegic. The doctors gave her a year to live because of a heart condition. But, her heart was still pumping love for
Edith and the romantic woman ‘popped’ the question. Marriage was legal in Canada and Edith and Thea were married by an Ontario Judge (who happened to be gay!)
They had a May wedding and the news of the couple with a 40 year engagement hit the headlines. How doesn’t appreciate a love story?
Back in the state of New York, the marriage was not recognized in 2007.* Tell that to the newly weds, who had twenty months of married bliss together. When Thea died, she left her estate to Edith. If Edith had married a “Theo,” she would have escaped paying $300,000 in estate taxes on her inheritance. Today, Edith is 84 years young and fighting against this inequality. She is doing this for herself, for her beloved Edith, and every gay and lesbian person. * (New York state in 2013 recognizes same sex marriage).
Now, I can write: Congratulations, Edith. You fought and won a battle for homosexual rights! Thea is proud of you.