Edith Windsor, the 83-year-old plaintiff in a lawsuit challenging the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), said Thursday she was thrilled with a judge's ruling in her favor.

On Wednesday, New York District Court Judge Barbara Jones ruled in favor of Windsor, who received an estate bill of more than $360,000 after the death of her wife Thea Spyer. Windsor sued, arguing that DOMA, which bars federal agencies from recognizing the legal marriages of gay and lesbian couples, violates the equal protection guarantee of the U.S. Constitution.

“Obviously I'm thrilled with the judge's decision,” Windsor told reporters during a press conference. “And when I think about what federal recognition of marriage by same-sex couples would mean, I think it would mean justice and fairness instead of the inherent injustice of a law that treats married people as though they were legal strangers to each other.”

Windsor and Spyer shared their lives for 44 years and married in Toronto, Canada in 2007. In 2009, New York began recognizing the marriages of gay couples, although gay couples could not enter such unions in the Empire State. Spyer died in 2009.

Windsor said she sued the federal government because paying the tax bill was a heavy burden for a senior citizen living on a fixed income. (The video is embedded in the right panel of this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)