Taking on DOMA, Edith Windsor wins case in Supreme Court

ABC News
Power Players

Power Players

When she found out that the Supreme Court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act, the first thing plaintiff Edith “Edie” Windsor did was cry.

“Cried, first thing,” Windsor told ABC News' Diane Sawyer about her first reaction. “And the room was full of people both screaming and crying at the same time. Almost everyone cried somewhat, which is amazing.”

Windsor sued the federal government after she had to pay $363,000 in federal estate taxes following the death of her wife, Thea Spyer, in 2009, because the federal government didn’t recognize their same-sex marriage.

She says it feels “wonderful” to have won her case before the nation’s highest court, but she had doubts about what the outcome would be.

“I had a doubt,” Windsor said. “I didn't think we would lose completely but I thought it might be a partial something. So, I was thrilled, completely thrilled.”

Asked what she would say to those Americans who believe that marriage rights should not be extended to same-sex couples, Windsor said, “Maybe trust me?...I think it will only be better.”

“I think for some people it's become a reassurance that there is this vast number of people in this country that you never thought about, who want to be married, who do love, who do stay committed,” Windsor said.

For more of Diane Sawyer’s interview with Windsor, and to hear what Windsor would say to her wife, Spyer, if she were alive today, check out this episode of Power Players.