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US gay marriage pioneer Edith Windsor dead at 88

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Edith Windsor, the New York woman whose successful challenge to a federal law that defined marriage as between one man and one woman helped pave the way for gay marriage nationwide, died on Tuesday at age 88.

Her passing was announced by her wife, Judith Kasen-Windsor, and lawyer Roberta Kaplan, who did not offer a cause of death.

The 2013 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in United States v. Windsor, which struck down the core of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, was credited with laying the groundwork for the court’s 2015 ruling in another case that legalized same-sex marriage.

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“I lost my beloved spouse Edie, and the world lost a tiny but tough as nails fighter for freedom, justice and equality. Edie was the light of my life,” said Kasen-Windsor, who married Windsor last year.

In a statement, former President Barack Obama said he spoke with Windsor a few days ago and told her again how important her work had been to the country.

“America’s long journey towards equality has been guided by countless small acts of persistence, and fueled by the stubborn willingness of quiet heroes to speak out for what’s right,” he said. “Few were as small in stature as Edie Windsor – and few made as big a difference to America.”

The case, which made Windsor a revered figure in the modern gay rights movement, originally stemmed from a tax dispute. Windsor, a former IBM consultant known as “Edie,” and Thea Spyer, a psychologist, met in the 1960s in a New York restaurant and spent four decades engaged to be married before they finally tied the knot in Canada in 2007.

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Spyer died in 2009. Under the Defense of Marriage Act, same-sex marriages were not federally recognized, depriving Windsor of an estate-tax break afforded to heterosexual surviving spouses.

The Supreme Court’s Windsor decision applied to gay marriages only in the 13 states that permitted them at the time. In the ensuing months, the central reasoning of the case was cited by courts in several states that found gay marriage bans unlawful.

In 2015, the Supreme Court declared that same-sex marriage was protected by the Constitution.

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“It’s an accident of history that put me here,” Windsor said after she won her case. “If Thea had been Theo,” everything would have been different, she added.


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Trump hit with a furious backlash for letting the Saudis dictate US foreign policy

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Donald Trump is taking marching orders from Saudi Arabia, said progressive members of Congress and foreign policy analysts, after the president tweeted Sunday that the U.S. military is prepared and waiting for the kingdom to assign blame for attacks on its oil facilities over the weekend.

"There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed," Trump said.

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Secret Service asks for jet skis to protect Trump family during Mar-A-Lago vacations

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The U.S. Secret Service has asked for two jet skis to use while protecting President Donald Trump and his family during visits to their vacation homes.

The federal law enforcement agency formally requested funds to purchase the vehicles, which typically cost more than $10,000, after Secret Service agents had rented the watercraft with their own personal money, reported The Daily Beast.

“President Trump and his family spend several weeks throughout the year in (Mar-A-Lago) FL and Hamptons NY," the request reads. "The first family is very active in water sports. Several family members along with their guest participate in open water activities for which USSS Special Agent Rescue Swimmers are responsible.”

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Cops slammed black man and arrested him over tinted windows on his ‘fancy car’: lawsuit

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After Tennessee police pulled over Timothy Hamilton for having tinted windows that were too dark, he ended up in a jail cell. Now, Hamilton, who is black, is suing the Franklin Police Department for using what he claims was excessive force.

According to the Atlanta Black Star, the incident took place on September 2018 and Hamilton filed his suit in August. The incident began when Hamilton was sitting in his parked car in the parking lot of the church where he's a member when officers cited him for the tinted windows. Officers allege that before Hamilton parked his car, he was parked illegally in the street while visiting a family member, and made an illegal U-turn when he left.

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