A $363,000 Tax Bill to Widow Led to Obama Shift in Defense of Marriage Act
Edith Windsor and Thea Spyer had a 40-year engagement and a two-year marriage, starting with a wedding in Canada recognized under the laws of New York, where they lived, and ending when Spyer died two years ago.
Her death triggered a $363,053 federal tax bill from which her widow would have been exempt had she been married to a man, because the federal Defense of Marriage Act bars the U.S. government from recognizing same-sex unions.
Both women in the New York case were professionals, with homes in Manhattan and Long Island. The Amsterdam-born Spyer was a clinical psychologist. Windsor, born in Philadelphia, earned a master’s degree in mathematics from New York University and built a career as a manager for International Business Machines Corp., according to a complaint filed in her case.
Now, contrary to the impression that Laurel “Lurleen Blogovitch” Ramseyer’s scriverner at the Seattle Santorum wants the that paper’s readers (and the blogosphere at large) to come away with, neither I nor just about any trans activist is against same-sex marriage (those who claim that we are should pay daily tribute to New York Times v. Sullivan but should also keep in mind that eventually someone is going to convince a version of the U.S. Supreme Court that bullshit per se should be actionable.) We are, however, simply against the obscene over-prioritization of it as an issue in general and the disingenuous rhetorical corollary which holds that, somehow, same-sex marriage helps trans people more than anti-discrimination protections do.
Does anyone – trans, LGB or merely in the land of functioning brains – who is against the obscene over-prioritization of gay marriage as an issue in general and the disingenuous rhetorical corollary which holds that, somehow, same-sex marriage helps trans people more than anti-discrimination protections do not think that what is happening to Edith Windsor is at least unjust and, in all likelihood, unconstitutional?
Yet, plenty of those who actively engage in the obscene over-prioritization of gay marriage as an issue in general and who disseminate the disingenuous rhetorical corollary which holds that, somehow, same-sex marriage helps trans people more than anti-discrimination protections do either don’t get – or don’t care – that no DOMA repeal bill and no anti-DOMA decision from the U.S. Supreme Court would benefit 2011 counterparts to Windsor and Spyer if their employers decided that they didn’t want to employ lesbians.
And I won’t even mention how neither would be of any use whatsoever to the career aspirations of any trans person.
So, my question – a question that gay organizations refuse to even make an attempt to offer a stright (pun intended) answer to and which, while not forbidden, if shunted off to oblivion on InsidersOut blogs – is this: How did it become more of an ‘LGB(T) community’ priority to protect the estates of LGB people who managed to earn a living with and/or without anti-discrimination protections than to enable LGBs and, of course, Ts to actually compete in the marketplace for the opportunity to earn money and create an estate in the first place?
If the answer is not ‘pure, unadulterated greed (with or without a transphobia chaser), then please enlighten me as to what it is.’
Straight answers from gays, only.
[Cross-posted at ENDABlog]