Then Comes Marriage: United States v. Windsor and the Defeat of DOMA

W.W. Norton  2015


In a matter of seconds, Attorney Roberta Kaplan knew it was the perfect case. Together for forty-four years, Edie Windsor and Thea Spyer—Jewish women battling through society’s homophobia and Spyer’s multiple sclerosis—married in Canada in 2007. But when Spyer died two years later, the United States government refused to recognize their marriage, forcing Windsor to pay a huge estate tax bill. In this landmark work, Kaplan describes her strategy and shares insights into the dramatic oral argument before the Supreme Court justices. Then Comes Marriage depicts the Windsor-Spyer love story behind the watershed case Kaplan’s difficult coming-out journey, her relationship with her client, family, and community, and the fascinating unfolding of the case that became U.S. v. Windsor. Full of never-before-told details, this is the momentous account of a historic, political ride and ultimate victory for gay civil rights. Of note: Major events occur around Yom Kippur and Passover, which add resonance to the story.

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