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Querying Edith Windsor, Querying Equality

9 Pages Posted: 1 Oct 2013 Last revised: 28 May 2014

Jeffrey A. Redding

Saint Louis University School of Law

Date Written: September 29, 2013


In this short essay, I express skepticism about U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion in United States v. Windsor, and especially the vision of equality articulated by it. Kennedy's vision of equality is one endorsed by many mainstream American LGB organizations as well. Yet, as this article explores, queer theorists, activists, and citizens have many reasons to be concerned by this articulation of equality, as well as the plaintiffs who instigate its expression. In this essay, then, after first problematizing the conceptions of equality circulating in the Windsor litigation, I try to conjure a queer politics of marriage and, simultaneously, a queer Edith Windsor. The hope is that by imagining this kind of plaintiff, a more queer — and more human(e) — articulation of equality might emerge from American courts and their resolutions of various same-sex marriage controversies.

Keywords: equality, marriage, queer, Windsor

Suggested Citation

Redding, Jeffrey A., Querying Edith Windsor, Querying Equality (September 29, 2013). 59 Villanova Law Review 9 (2013) (Tolle Lege); Saint Louis U. Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2013-27. Available at SSRN:

Jeffrey A. Redding (Contact Author)

Saint Louis University School of Law ( email )

100 N. Tucker Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63101
United States

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