Chief Warrant Officer Charlie Morgan of
the New Hampshire National Guard died on Sunday. She was 48.
Morgan was a vocal advocate for equal
recognition and benefits for families headed by gay and lesbian
Allyson Robinson, executive director of
OutServe-SLDN, announced Morgan's passing in a statement.
“Chief Warrant Officer Charlie
Morgan, a courageous fighter for our country, for her family, and for
the equality of all who wear the uniform of our nation, passed away
early this morning. On behalf of her wife Karen and daughter Casey
Elena, we thank all those who have supported Charlie so fervently
since she proudly came out on national television on the day 'Don't
Ask, Don't Tell' was repealed, and who have stayed by her side
through her brave fight with cancer. She made an indelible mark on
everyone she met with her integrity, her positive outlook, and her
unflinching commitment to righting the wrongs visited upon gay and
lesbian military families. The fight for full LGBT equality in this
country is forever changed because Charlie Morgan took up the cause,”
The Morgans are plaintiffs in a lawsuit
challenging the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act
(DOMA), which prevents the military from recognizing the legal
marriages of gay couples.
Because of the law, Morgan's wife is not
entitled to survivor's benefits following Morgan's death.
Last year, Morgan met with House
Speaker John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, to ask him to drop his
legal defense of DOMA.
“In 2008, I was diagnosed with breast
cancer and underwent a double mastectomy and several rounds of
chemotherapy to save my life,” Morgan told Boehner. “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.”
OutServe-SLDN has set up a page
(A video recorded by the Morgans in
support of marriage equality is embedded on this page. Visit
our video library for more videos.)