Chief Warrant Officer (CW2) Charlie Morgan of the New Hampshire National Guard was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a double mastectomy and several rounds of chemotherapy to save her life in 2008. Then, in 2010 - declared cancer free by her oncologist - she deployed to Kuwait for one year. She faithfully fulfilled her duty to our nation and returned proudly home to her wife, Karen, and their four-year old daughter.
But last September, the Morgans learned the awful truth that CW2 Morgan's cancer has returned, and it is incurable. Should CW2 Morgan not survive this bout with cancer, her wife Karen will not receive any survivor's benefits, social security benefits or health insurance coverage, in part because the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) prevents the military from providing them.
Karen is a stay-at-home mom, taking care of their daughter while CW2 Morgan works and undergoes chemotherapy. Even now, she does not have health insurance, as the policies available have too high a premium, and it is too expensive for their family to afford on our military salary.
President Obama has pledged that the Department of Justice will no longer defend DOMA cases, because he believes it is unconstitutional. Unfortunately, Speaker Boehner is still defending these cases through his House Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group.
It's time for Speaker Boehner to stop defending this indefensible law and
help ensure that the Morgans - and countless other gay and lesbian military families - receive the same recognition, support, and benefits as their straight, married peers.
CW2 Charlie Morgan can't wait. She and her family deserve equal treatment, and she may not have years for this process to play out in the courts or on Capitol Hill. Speaker Boehner can make a difference here. DOMA hurts our military and harms families.
Here are CW2 Morgan's words to Speaker Boehner:
"I would like the Speaker to know, as a member of the Active Guard, that I laid my life on the line for my country. Now I need my country to protect and take care of my family. My wife and daughter face an uncertain future, unable to receive the same family support and services as our counterparts who render the same service, take the same risks, and make the same sacrifices. Time is of the essence."
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