The U.S. Supreme Court today agreed to hear Edith "Edie" Windsor's challenge to the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
After Windsor's spouse Thea Spyer died of multiple sclerosis, Windsor, 83, was forced to pay more than $363,000 in federal estate tax because their marriage was not recognized under federal law because of DOMA. It is undisputed that if Spyer had been married to a man, instead of a woman, no estate tax would have been owed.
Said Windsor, who sued the government for a refund after Spyer's death in 2009. "When Thea and I met nearly 50 years ago, we never could have dreamed that the story of our life together would be before the Supreme Court as an example of why gay married couples should be treated equally, and not like second-class citizens. While Thea is no longer alive, I know how proud she would have been to see this day. The truth is, I never expected any less from my country."
Windsor, who achieved the highest technical rank as a software programmer at IBM, and Spyer, a clinical psychologist, met in the 1960s.
So began the extraordinary tale of Edie and Thea, whose engagement to be wed would span more than forty years. In the film about their life together, Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement, directors Susan Muska and Gréta Ólafsdóttir present a lovingly crafted documentary in which two lovers reminisce about how their improbable romance ignited a lifelong journey around the world and through history.
Though they were touched by events like the civil rights movement and the Stonewall riots, Edie and Thea's relationship also transcends politics and serves as a shining example of love's ability to endure.
Ultimately, with both women in their 70s and Thea's health in decline, the two decide its time to fulfill their dream of getting married. The film captures their inspiring journey to Toronto - and Thea's last trip on a plane - where the women are finally able to make their vows. Told with candor, wit, and great affection, Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement is an American love story for the ages. The film is available at all major retailers and on Netflix streaming.