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Wed Sep 13, 2017, 04:40 PM

Jim Obergefell: Edie Windsor, my hero and my friend

By Jim Obergefell September 13 at 1:52 PM

Jim Obergefell was lead plaintiff in “Obergefell v. Hodges,” the 2015 case in which the Supreme Court held that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry.

I’ll never forget the day I met Edie Windsor. I was at an event in the ACLU offices in New York. We were introduced in the middle of a crowded room, and it was as if everyone else — everything else, really — ceased to exist. I suddenly found myself in the orbit of this mesmerizing woman. We chatted about our experiences in the landmark legal cases that ultimately led to marriage equality in the United States. But we talked more about Thea and John, our late spouses.

We both began to cry, and I remember being struck by how present Edie was, how she made me feel as if I were the only other person in that room. In the two years after we met, however, I saw again and again that this was just Edie’s way. Whether you were an old friend with many shared memories or a stranger, Edie made you feel known.

Hero. Our society has become very free in its use of that word, but if anyone fully deserved the label, it was Edie. Her successful career in the male-dominated world of technology and her efforts to inspire and support women in that industry are reasons enough to admire her. But that isn’t why so many of us consider Edie our hero. She became our hero because of her courage in fighting to have her lawful marriage to the person she loved treated as equal to opposite-sex marriages, even in a time of great personal loss. Edie is our hero because she moved the LGBT community a giant step closer to full equality as Americans.

Edie well understood the risks and sacrifices inherent in taking on the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act. She pressed ahead anyway, and she never wavered. In the fight for equality, we often say that we stand on the shoulders of those who came before us. Few had bigger shoulders than Edie. Her strengths were those of character, commitment and generosity, and she shared these willingly and frequently. In her work with the LGBT Community Center, Lesbians Who Tech, Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders, and more, Edie was generous with her time, energy, expertise and financial support. The name Edie Windsor was synonymous with possibility, and she gave of herself so that others could turn their possibilities into reality.


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Reply Jim Obergefell: Edie Windsor, my hero and my friend (Original post)
DonViejo Sep 2017 OP
murielm99 Sep 2017 #1

Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Sep 14, 2017, 02:27 AM

1. Thank you Edie and Jim

for showing us that love erases the boundaries of gender and endures.

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