Digital Report: Edie Windsor on Historic DOMA Decision

Woman at center of case that challenged the Defense of Marriage Act discusses its overturn.
16:05 | 06/26/13

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Transcript for Digital Report: Edie Windsor on Historic DOMA Decision
This is a special report from ABC news. Hello when I'm -- -- for a new Yorker this ABC news digital special report Edie Windsor took on the law. And he wins -- one that -- course -- in the 1996 defense of marriage act which barred same sex couples from receiving federal benefits. Windsor had better relationship with he has fired for forty years Mayer married in 2007 in Canada. And now she is reacting to this morning Supreme Court ruling let's listen. Particularly to be here -- data represent. Not only the thousands of Americans whose lives -- the whose lives have been adversely impacted by the defense of marriage act. But those whose hopes and dreams have been catastrophe -- fishing discriminatory law. Over the past two and a half years many people who -- asked me why did you decide to -- the United States of America over attacks. Because the answers counts like I want to give -- some of the backgrounds. I mostly in love to expire for more than four decades and -- Jolie is sickness and in health until death did us -- -- indicted 29 from a heart condition. And two years after we were finally married I was. -- in the the woman I hit. Was not. -- stranger with their relationship today. -- I was. Thousand dollars in federal estate tax that I would not have had to pay if I get married to a man named -- you know. Even -- he admits he -- it's just immediately before. Marry him and never even lived with him before he died the tax would you didn't hear. So overwhelmed with -- the injustice and unfairness I decided to bring that lawsuit against the government to get my money back. Find out when Brad Kaplan and litigation partner at Paul Weiss walked into my life. Waste has a proud tradition of reference to -- clients including LG BT clients. In a wide variety of pro Bono matters. One of those outstanding pro Bono case he's he's Edith -- -- me. -- the united. At a time when the organizations that I approach responded with -- the wrong time for the movement. Bradley -- seeing it as Martin Luther King before her there is -- -- trying to seek justice. Answered my plea and took me and and -- a little flourished with the help of the large and superb police team handling my case. Along with James antics of the ACLU. Who joined us right up front. And Pamela column -- of Stanford Law School Supreme Court litigation clinic. -- -- -- -- -- can -- TV Obama. Constitutionality. Of don't. To persuading the district court judge Barbara Jones -- there was no rational basis for Dilma. And it was unconstitutional. Three we won the first decision ever by federal appellate court holding -- volatile and Domonique discriminating against gay people should no longer be presumed to be constitutional. -- should be subject to heightened judicial scrutiny. And -- -- mentally. Bradley Kaplan are counsel of record argued -- case is the supreme. When she argued against illness she was cool and calm and informed and reason. All of which was sustained by her deeply felt passion -- quality -- -- lives. And we -- and all the way. So thank you from the bottom of my heart browbeat chaplain at your partner at Paul -- for making missile possible. Thank you James. Healthy -- storm and I also a special thank all the people in -- movement. -- report discard over so many years to reaching its regional. Especially -- DiNardo who led the effort on the -- from our friends and allies in our case. -- -- the justices of the Supreme Court thank you for affirming the principles of equal justice under Obama. Finally to all of legal people in your supporters who -- -- and thank you thank you thank you. Okay I'm sure thing is tanking it too. I don't need is a much larger portion of the of the Arab our country hit -- straight industry members of our country see this differently. OK as -- people who live and love and three of teens who will play with their kids. But our own community has come out and -- each other and loved each other. In a way that makes me courageous in crowd and Julius every day. Because -- to -- -- Supreme Court ruling the federal governing can illuminate discriminating against the marriages to gay and lesbian Americans. Children born today will grow up in a world without Dilma. And those same children who happen to be gay will be free to love and get married at the in nineteen -- protests -- federal benefits protections and dignity. As everyone else. If I can survive he is what a glorious way to do and she would be so please. Thank -- all high. I cried. I cried and then let a tough thrilled that he is about them but yet in the immediate reaction -- fifty years. He would run your life your portfolio hurt her. Or. Believe one -- she's thinking right. Yeah generation. From William Kidd how they think -- -- good -- Burlington man is a million things to thank you were talking about adult -- -- other kids who had you. What what was loved Whitney and CN. He studied -- incredible respect for each other. Well OK and two -- mine was -- -- Chile and the as well as keep it hot. That's of course -- is much more than. It's an it's like the word marriage it's magical. And then. And hard to win. I hadn't thought about it I put this and a visit the hunk of a poem by a legend and a dates this. Tell me how they use the word kill -- -- so now I had the skill I have the answer from the tasted it -- we'll go back into a book. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- The man described by many as a hero. How have the last few years -- working -- this case it might use its -- just -- OK I have found they don't vote in the gay community and OK certainly live find legal help. Unbelievably. Close relationships. And -- -- -- joyful all the way old. And and similar insults you know -- And and -- like they didn't think -- fell off. Okay. -- yeah. -- -- -- -- -- -- I guess I need one voice. Are some more movies -- or are you know. Himself he noted that I'm sort of R&R. -- It hit but it makes me feel incredibly -- He's incredibly proud and humble. OK well delighted there won't. -- become an accident of history potent form. And then again desperate -- then we're. Italy hero does have one question is pretty optimistic about -- It. Going -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Though so no one was. I. I wished that question I pulled them out myself to -- -- -- Okay that's -- he had. I currently have every right to win. I -- our our -- -- were sounded everyone else is -- in the same. -- 54. Ruling yet that -- But maybe -- Fabian -- while a certain -- -- And that is one of the things they gave -- hope. Any he has voted. -- -- -- A of gay equality. Twice before is very significant. It is true. And that and I hope that he -- this one this will. That's normally known for federal benefits that some of these guys -- with a history that -- in nineteen. Helen about your evolution from fun fun the end. -- Incredible to me I know is that -- -- -- -- be in for sixteen years of originally. And then went for another -- later. Linda. The and I idled -- -- And I -- -- kind of bastard group we had a floor at the time life building that we went. Situated with any other groups because you have -- and -- -- -- it okay and a and and we were very close to -- -- and I lie all the time. Indeed -- her marriage OK. Marriage announcement within the year -- People. And he. -- So cool that -- been -- home today and and then it. Some of it hasn't he we all had some -- that -- you know -- their -- I had to work hard yeah. For me and I'm not -- city so literally in what questions appeared to hear from. Eat pie eyed girl and want. To find something if I had it and at some point way back somebody -- that you know what do you think would happen if you win. And then and Shanley I don't have been here but what I talked about was it was the beginning of the end of statement. -- of lying about who we are of them they eat fifty different level of dignity -- -- head. And -- our kids have an extent. You know that this generation coming along doesn't really thinks it's all a bunch of Bologna and unnecessary they don't believe this is discrimination. -- -- But my whole generation an. -- -- -- -- -- Movie film. I think ultimately I think it's the end of suicides I think it's the end of -- teenagers falling in love and not knowing that there's a future for them and pay it with love. And then. -- yeah yeah. Not correct my but I think -- -- salary cap -- It -- but he says that chemical equivalent time that aren't right -- This particular thing you think that it would go all -- that important. That it. Once we started to work together. I thought anything -- -- them. It's true we had an incredible relationship. They -- describes it as we took turns being mother taking care the other. Let them play but I really solid and you know from the beginning with both -- forgot -- we had -- smartest people Gould hall. I almost didn't get enormous confidence in each -- all wrong. And and and and we get Smart sympathetic give them. And then and -- this electric. He's going to -- embraced his role and bring it Eric's devastated. At -- probably that I yeah homer -- Wimbledon. Because we're only slightly -- helpful if they -- -- absolutely. But all but now that that's certain that if he -- -- and occasionally has been beating -- I don't I don't have that kind of -- -- all and I would like -- relax a little bit I'm okay. Yeah. I -- an -- yes it could be. Like -- company now they've got to work to try again. -- anything different hang -- out okay yeah a young players championship. Yeah first of all going forward section three of -- -- dead. So. People who are married gay and lesbian couples -- are married now helpful marriages. Entitled to equal -- -- under both state and federal law. In terms of other couples that is gonna -- and terms of other. Couples who are married now that's -- -- each federal program and benefit there's rules about how many years you can go back and get taxes back. There's rules about estate taxes center that will -- based -- each program. Everyone has brought -- case and there are a lot of people are -- different cases we'll get their relief and we'll get. Don't will be gone through them all. He -- -- every -- -- that whiz in trust that. And. That was Edie Windsor that woman that took on the defense of marriage act as she. Point out her own personal story with the aspire for forty years they were married in Canada and 2007. -- had died in 2009. And from that. The couple is his. 363000. Dollars from an estate tax attacks she would not have had to pay. If she had been married to a man and that was the start of the case. Against the defense of marriage act and this morning the Supreme Court ruling in fact that -- is unconstitutional. Edie Windsor reacting in New York to this morning's ruling. Thanking those who have supported her and her journey along the way and also saying that her late spouse is thanking them as well. Of course we have a complete recap on Not only on the Supreme Court ruling on the defense of marriage act but also on proposition eight. For now I'm Dan Cutler -- New York with this ABC news digital special report. This has been a special report from me.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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