Chief Warrant Officer Charlie Morgan of
the New Hampshire National Guard will lead the Pledge of Allegiance
at Governor-elect Maggie Hassan's inaugural ceremony, which will take
place on Thursday, January 3.
Morgan and her wife, Karen, are two of
the plaintiffs in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the
Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as it relates gay and lesbian service
Morgan has been diagnosed with terminal
breast cancer and doctors believe she has only months to live.
Six couples are represented by
OutServe-SLDN in the legal challenge filed in the same Boston federal
court which ruled last year that DOMA is unconstitutional. DOMA
prevents federal agencies from recognizing the legal marriages of gay
couples. With the law in place, Karen would be barred from receiving
military, Social Security and other benefits which would help her
care for the couple's five-year-old daughter, Casey Elena.
“Charlie Morgan is a national
treasure and a treasure to her home state of New Hampshire. We could
not be happier that Governor-elect Hassan has chosen to honor her
work and her fight for equality in this way,” Allyson Robinson,
executive director of OutServe-SLDN, said in a statement.
In February, Morgan visited House
Speaker John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, to share her story with
him and ask him to drop his legal defense of the law.