Edith Windsor walks through the lobby of the large Fifth Avenue apartment building just north of Washington Square Park where she has lived for nearly 40 years. "Construction," she says, motioning upstairs. "It's so loud."
Wearing a mauve shirt and a dangling string of pearls, Edie, as she is known, is a proper Manhattan host, even in the morning. And, though her 83-year-old body shows her age and she shakes slightly at times as she speaks, her smile and laughter over the course of the December morning signal a youthful spirit.
A week earlier, on Dec. 7, the U.S. Supreme Court announced the justices will be hearing Windsor’s challenge to the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), as well as a challenge to California's Proposition 8 marriage amendment. Windsor's hearing, scheduled for March 27, is a moment that LGBT advocates think will be a defining one for their cause. But Edie Windsor’s story is the cause.
For the past three years, that story has played out in federal courthouses. But the real tale is one of how a lesbian in post-World War II America could find, live with and — at long last — marry the love of her life.
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