Edith "Edie" Windsor (1929-2017)
Edie Windsor was a historical New York trailblazer for LGBTQ+ marriage equality.
After Windsor discovered that she was not entitled to the benefits and protections of marriage after the death of her spouse, Thea Spyer (the two married in Canada in 2007), Windsor decided to sue.
Windsor’s lawsuit challenged the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which legally recognizes only opposite-sex marriages. In June 2013, the United States Supreme Court ruled in United States v. Windsor that DOMA was unconstitutional.
Cathy Marino-Thomas, the former Executive Director of Marriage Equality New York, brings her advocacy beyond marriage equality. She has been active helping individuals afflicted with HIV/AIDS and has volunteered with Gays Against Guns, an organization created in the aftermath of the tragic shooting at Orlando’s Pulse Nightclub in 2016.
Currently, Marino-Thomas is a co-chair for Equality New York (EQNY) where she actively lobbies for inclusive state legislation, improving the criminal justice system, and increasing healthcare access for all within the LGBTQ+ community.