Cancer-Stricken Soldier On The Frontlines Of Battle Against DOMA

Chief Warrant Officer Charlie Morgan is a paragon of bravery: Not only was she deployed in the Middle East to support ongoing military intervention in Iraq, but she’s battling incurable stage-four breast cancer.

Adding more heartbreak is the fact that should Morgan not recover, her wife, Karen, and 5-year-old daughter Casey, won’t be eligible for survivors’ benefits because of the Defense of Marriage Act—even though Charlie and Karen were legally wed in New Hampshire.

You can thank DOMA for that.

“In 2008, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a double mastectomy and several rounds of chemotherapy to save my life,” recalls Morgan, who is a plaintiff in a lawsuit brought by SLDN in October.  “In 2010—declared cancer free by my oncologist—I was deployed to Kuwait for one year in support of Operation New Dawn.  I faithfully fulfilled my duty and returned home to my wife and our then four-year old daughter.  But last September, we learned the awful truth that my cancer has returned.  It is metastatic and incurable.  We don’t know how long I have.”

Freedom to Marry and Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) released this new online video spotlighting the Morgans’ dilemma. Wouldn’t it be great if we could tie up Republican congressmen, Clockwork Orange-style and make them watch it over and over?


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One Comment

  • Michael Bedwell

    BRAVA to them both. But, to clarify, Morgan’s partner—or anyone else she chose to designate—would be eligible, under current law and regulations, for, e.g., Servicemembers Group Life Insurance and as a Thrift Savings Plan beneficiary because, even before repeal of the ban, they are “member-designated” benefits. [She wouldn’t get Social Security survivor benefits, but that has nothing to do with the military.] It doesn’t justify all of the benefits she and others are being denied, either because of DOMA or ARBITRARY internal Pentagon POLICIES that the President or Secretary of Defense could change with the stroke of a pen because Congress gave them that power, but let’s not waste time fighting over specific territory that is not in dispute.

    But it boggles my mind that SLDN and Freedom to Marry imagine that trying to open Boehner’s heart when he doesn’t HAVE one or that petitions are going to make a difference. 30,000 signatures—or 300,000 signatures—have the proverbial snowball’s chance in Hell of making a difference—and it’s not just CW2 Morgan who doesn’t have long enough to live for such worthless “tactics” to work. However well-intentioned all the parties, such naivete is both unbecoming—and a distraction from viable options such as direct action protest. Was Rosa Parks passing out petitions on that bus? Did ACT UP force the federal government to take AIDS seriously WITH PETITIONS????

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