The Leonard Mellman Visiting Scholar Lecture Series will present “Edie Windsor: Love Conquers the Law — One Woman’s Voice Silences DOMA” at 2 p.m. April 26.
The Philly native sued the federal government after being charged an exorbitant inheritance-tax bill following the death of her wife.
Windsor’s suit contended that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional, prompting a June ruling by the Supreme Court striking that clause. The decision was one of the milestones in the modern LGBT-rights movement and granted hundreds of federal benefits to married same-sex couples, as well as paved the way for the possible overturning of several state bans on marriage equality.
The Temple University College of Liberal Arts will sponsor the event with support from Temple’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans*, Queer/Questioning Alumni Society.
The alumni society was formed more than five years ago but was revamped two years ago, with new board members joining and enhanced support from the alumni office, said board member Michael Beachem, a 2012 Temple grad.
The board also includes Bradley Hemler, Jeffrey Jenne, Matthew Laskowski and Lauren Zumpano, all of whom graduated from 1988-2011.
The group hosted a marriage-equality panel last year, and Zumpano, board communications director, said they’re working to raise awareness about the organization.
“Events are primarily focused on getting the word out and bringing locally based LGBTQ alumni together to network,” she said “In the future, we have plans to get more involved with the undergraduate groups at Temple, like the Queer Student Union, as providing guidance and support to current Temple LGBTQ students is an important goal of ours moving forward.”
And they’re next turning their attention to the Windsor visit.
The event is open to the public, but only a select few will have the chance to gain VIP access to a private reception with Windsor.
Beachem said the alumni society is hosting a happy hour at 5 p.m. March 27 at Pennsylvania 6, 114 S. 12th St. Temple grads who attend the event and “like” the group’s Facebook page will be entered into a contest for tickets to the VIP event.
Windsor will introduce “Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement,” a documentary about her fight against DOMA, followed by a screening of the film. She will then host a question-and answer session.
Beachem said Windsor’s story helps prove that anyone can make a difference.
“I really would like to see our alumni realize that Temple alums are everywhere and not only everywhere, but able to make great change in our community and in the world,” he said. “Windsor is a testament of that. I want people to walk away with the ability to see their potential to make change.”
Zumpano added that Windsor is “an extraordinary woman, a courageous woman, a woman who paved the way for equality. Part of the mission of the LGBTQ Alumni Society is to promote the values fostered at Temple — pride, acceptance and equality — and I don’t think there is a single person who embodies those qualities day in and day out more than Edie Windsor.”
Tickets are $12 for general admission and can be purchased at http://templeperformingartscenter.org. For more information on the Temple University LGBTQ Alumni Society and the happy hour, visit www.facebook.com/TULGBTQ.