On September 12, 2017, the entire LGBT community lost a true hero, and Long Island’s LGBT community lost a dear friend. Edith Windsor was best known as the crusading activist whose landmark Supreme Court case struck down the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013, paving the way for LGBT couples to receive federal recognition of their unions for the first time in our nation’s history. On Long Island, we knew her as Edie, our friend with a heart as big as her smile, relentless in her activism, always fighting for those in need.
Edie’s tireless fight for equality for LGBT people had been a common thread throughout her life, neither beginning nor ending with her victory at the Supreme Court. On Memorial Day, 2012, Edie opened her home to guests to support the work of the LGBT Network for the first time in what has become a cherished tradition kicking off summer on the East End each year.
Following the tragic suicide of 16-year old David Hernandez Barros, Edie was instrumental in helping open the LGBT Network’s Hamptons Center in Sag Harbor – the first and only LGBT Center on the East End of Long Island. In 2013, the LGBT Network honored Edie as an LGBT Civil Rights Trailblazer atits 20th Anniversary Gala. As Grand Marshal of the Long Island Pride Parade in 2014, Edie brought us all together to celebrate as a community, with an eye toward the important work yet to be done.
Those who knew Edie will never forget her warmth, her kindness, her generosity of spirit, or her passion for helping others. By continuing to fight for those in need, and continuing the fight for full equality, we honor the life and the spirit of our friend Edie. The LGBT Network mourns the loss of Edie Windsor and commits to ensuring that her vision and hard-work continues into the future.