On June 26th, 2023 – the ten-year anniversary of the landmark US v. Windsor Supreme Court decision – the Edie Windsor Heart Project was dedicated in a ceremony at Town Hall in Southampton NY.
The speakers, town officials, guests, reporters and media gathered in front of Town Hall where a circular paved area has been constructed; a tesselated pattern of heart-shaped bricks bordered by a circle of diamond shapes. The bricks can be engraved with names or a message and the border represents the “Circle of Diamonds” pin given to Edie Windsor by Thea Spyer as an engagement gift in lieu of a ring. Bricks which are purchased and engraved with personalized text will help fund the Edie Windsor Healthcare Center, part of Stony Brook Southampton Hospital.
Speakers who made remarks at the dedication ceremony included Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman, NY State Assembly member Fred W. Thiele Jr., Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming, Southampton Town Council members John Bouvier and Cyndi McNamara, Southampton Town Clerk Sundy Schermeyer, Dr. Eric Lella of the Edie Windsor Healthcare Center, Edie & Thea’s close friend Ardon Kessler, and Jean Shafiroff.
Edie Windsor’s widow Judith Kasen Windsor was scheduled to speak at the dedication but regretfully was called away at the last minute to meet with US Vice President Kamala Harris at LaGuardia Airport at the start of her visit to NYC for Pride Month.
The circular paved platform will be used to conduct civil marriage ceremonies at Town Hall. In attendance at the dedication was the first same-sex couple to be married by Town Clerk Sundy Schermeyer when it became legal in New York State in 2011, Alan Ceppos and Frederic Rambaud. Later in 2013 the US v. Windsor decision struck down DOMA, “paving” the way for marriage equality to be part of federal law.
Now that construction of the circular area has been completed, landscaping and plantings will eventually surround it, making a peaceful garden setting for couples who wish to be married there.
Bricks can still be purchased and personalized online here: https://www.southamptontownny.gov/1613/The-Edith-Windsor-Heart-Project
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