After a long battle against stage 4 breast cancer, New Hampshire National Guard soldier Charlie Morgan passed away on Sunday morning. She will be remembered as a fighter ... not just because she was a soldier. But because she also made it a personal mission to try to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The law hit home for her -- because she was gay -- and now, even after her passing, will create problems for her widow, Karen ...
Despite the fact that Charlie and Karen were legally married and had a 5-year-old daughter named Casey together, Karen will receive NONE of the survivor benefits bestowed upon a straight military widow. Can you believe that?!
What makes this even more heartwrenching is that Charlie deeply understood how valuable government benefits could be to a military widow ... She herself lost her soldier father in the Vietnam War when she was a kid, and her mom was able to pay for food and keep a roof over their heads thanks to death benefits.
So, when Charlie voluntarily stopped chemo last April, so she and Karen could take Casey to Disney World, visit family, and try to make her final months the best they could be, she also made a wish ...
She told The Washington Post in November:
I’m praying that [the Supreme Court takes DOMA] up soon. It’s my motivation for staying alive. I really need to be alive when they actually do overturn DOMA, otherwise Karen is not guaranteed anything.
But the Supreme Court will not hear a case involving and potentially overturning DOMA until next month ... So, everything's sort of up in the air.
Really, how on earth is that a reality that sits well with any American? A woman who bravely served her country, who valiantly fought cancer, and who stood up for what she believed is right leaves behind a widow and a child ... and the only reason they aren't entitled to death benefits is something so blatantly discriminatory, you'd think we were living in the 19th century. It's outrageous. With hope, the Morgans' story serves an illustrated example to the Supreme Court -- and all Americans -- that this injustice is simply something that won't be stood for any longer.
Here's a video about DOMA featuring Charlie before she passed away ...
How do you feel about gay military widows not receiving the same benefits as straight ones?
Image via Amanda Lucidon/LucidPix/Vimeo