Alumna successfully challenges DOMA

The federal lawsuit that successfully challenged the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act was filed by a Temple alumna.

Edith Windsor, 83, graduated from the College of Liberal Arts in 1950. Today, the Supreme Court ruled that DOMA, a federal law that denied benefits of marriage to same-sex couples, was unconstitutional.

In December, the high court agreed to hear Windsor’s case, which specifically argues against a section that prohibits same-sex spouses from receiving a number of benefits. That section has caused its fair share of costly problems for Windsor, whose wife, Thea Spyer, died in 2009 (because she wasn’t considered a spouse by the IRS, she’s paid more than $600,000 in taxes).

President Barack Obama called Windsor just after 11 a.m. to offer his congratulations.