Book Club: Then Comes Marriage
An account of the legal struggle to overturn DOMA in the case of U.S. v. Windsor, which was decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013. The author, an attorney who brought the lawsuit, includes a discussion of the impact of her Jewish upbringing in this book.
*Please note for the calendar that we decided to meet in July on Sunday, July 24 at 12:00 Noon rather than the usual 10:00 am. This is so we can then go directly to BCC for the congregational meeting and those who live in the SF Valley won’t have to drive over the hill twice or have a lot of down time in between.
Other future meetings are August 28 and September 25 at 10:00 am
Excerpt: Then Comes Marriage
“Thank you all, each and every one of you, for being here today,” Edie said to the twenty or so people assembled in a small, somewhat ramshackle auditorium at the LGBT Center in New York. “This case is extremely important to me, and I am grateful for your presence and support.” She was, as always, perfectly put together—dressed in a tailored black suit, purple silk blouse, and the circular diamond engagement pin that Thea had given her in 1967. From the moment she began speaking, she won the room over with her charm and dignity.
This was Edie’s first public appearance as plaintiff in the just-filed lawsuit, Edith Schlain Windsor v. the United States of America—the official case title that had thrown her into a bit of a panic the first time that she saw it. Edie Windsor versus the entire United States? Who did she think she was? As Edie would later explain in the context of describing how coming out is a continuous process, it was one thing to be an out lesbian, but quite another thing altogether to be “the out lesbian who just happens to be suing the United States of America.” But, as she would tell a reporter, “I thought, if Robbie’s not terrified, I’m not terrified either.”
I was far from terrified. In fact, I was thrilled. After long, tedious months of laying the legal groundwork and worrying constantly about Edie’s health, I was relieved that we had finally been able to file her case. During the year and a half since Thea’s death, the fight for marriage equality had picked up speed: Vermont, Iowa, New Hampshire, and Washington, DC, had all legalized equal marriage, and in August 2010, a lower court in California had ruled in the Boies and Olson lawsuit that Prop 8 was unconstitutional. That same summer, the 78-year-old federal judge Joseph Tauro ruled in the case Mary Bonauto had brought in Massachusetts, Gill v. Office of Personnel Management, that DOMA was unconstitutional, which meant Gill was already at the critical circuit court stage. I was impatient to get our case moving—with Edie front and center.Continue reading in The Advocate