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The Obama administration announced last week that it will no longer defend in court a part of the Defense of Marriage Act that forbids the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriage.
One widow's story was one of two cases pending in federal courts cited in the announcement of President Obama's decision, Bloomberg reports.
Edith Windsor and Thea Spyer were together for more than 40 years when Spyer died in 2009. Not longer after her partner's death, Windsor received a $363,053 federal tax bill--a liability that she would not have faced had the federal government recognized their union.
The New York couple married in Canada in 2007 in their 70s, after they found out that Spyer's multiple sclerosis was getting worse. Spyer was a psychologist who had become quadriplegic from the disease before her death, and Windsor worked for IBM. They met in the 1960s at a restaurant in Manhattan's Greenwich Village. "We danced so much and so intensely that she danced a hole through her stockings," Spyer said in the New York Times' write up of their wedding.
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