That lawsuit is challenging DOMA as it relates to the surviving partner in a lesbian couple. Because of DOMA, Edith was required to pay $350,000 in federal inheritance tax. The plaintiff is the estate's sole heir.
The couple, together for 44 years, married in Toronto in 2007. New York officially recognizes same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions.
Windsor paid $363,000 in federal taxes on her inheritance from Spyer's estate. If federal law accorded their marriage the same status as opposite-sex marriages, she would have paid no tax.