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Photos: Edith Windsor's fight for recognition

Updated 1:05 PM ET, Wed March 27, 2013
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Edith Windsor is leading the campaign to erase the Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on her suit, which she filed after she had to pay $363,000 in estate taxes after her female partner died because the federal government didn't recognize their marriage. REUTERS /EDUARDO MUNOZ /LANDOV
Windsor, 83, arrives at the Supreme Court on Wednesday, March 27, in Washington. The Supreme Court heard arguments in the case of Edith Schlain Windsor, in Her Capacity as Executor of the Estate of Thea Clara Spyer, Petitioner v. United States, the second case about same-sex marriage this week. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Windsor lost her spouse, Thea Clara Spyer, in 2009. They had been together for 40 years. Courtesy Edith Windsor
Spyer, left, and Windsor met in 1965 at a restaurant in New York's Greenwich Village. At the time, Windsor was working as a programmer for IBM, and Spyer was a psychologist. Courtesy Edith Windsor
Spyer proposed to Windsor in 1967 with a round diamond pin. However, a legal union seemed out of the question. courtesy edith windsor
A year after their wedding, Windsor and Spyer, pictured, purchased a house together in Southampton, according to an NYU Alumni Magazine story. Courtesy Edith Windsor
After Spyer was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Windsor halted her work as a gay rights activist to care for her partner. Courtesy Edith Windsor
Spyer proposed to Windsor again after hearing that she had only a year to live, and they married again in 2007 in Toronto. Pictured, Windsor and Spyer at a gathering in May 2005. Courtesy Edith Windsor
Even though New York courts ruled that "foreign same-sex marriages" should be recognized in 2009, Windsor was billed $363,053 in estate taxes after Spyer died that year. Windsor file suit. Here, after a hearing at the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York on September 27. REUTERS /SHANNON STAPLETON /LANDOV
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York speaking with Windsor before a news conference, and 16 other Democrats introduced a bill to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act in 2011. Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images