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CW2 Charlie Morgan to Participate in NH Governor’s Inauguration

For immediate release:
Thursday, December 27, 2012

Contact: Zeke Stokes at
202-621-5406 or zeke@outserve-sldn.org

Cancer-stricken Soldier Fighting DOMA Set to Lead Pledge at Hassan Inauguration
Amid a brave fight for her life, Morgan carries on battle for equality for LGBT service members and families

(Concord, NH) – New Hampshire Governor-Elect Maggie Hassan today announced additional details of her Inaugural Ceremony on Thursday, January 3, 2013 that include Chief Warrant Officer (CW2) Charlie Morgan of the New Hampshire National Guard, who will open the ceremony by leading the Pledge of Allegiance. Morgan, who has been diagnosed with terminal breast cancer, has become a nationally recognized advocate against the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which bars her wife, Karen, from receiving military, Social Security and other benefits that would help her care for their five-year-old daughter Casey Elena. Morgan recently announced that her doctors have given her just months to live.

“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,” said Army Veteran & OutServe-SLDN Executive Director Allyson Robinson.

The Morgans are plaintiffs in a lawsuit brought by SLDN in October 2011 challenging DOMA and four other federal statutes that prevent the military from providing equal recognition and support to same-sex military spouses. Currently, the Morgans do not receive the same protections as their straight, married peers, and Karen would not be entitled to survivor's benefits upon CW2 Morgan's death.

CW2 Morgan also drew national support in February when she visited Capitol Hill to meet with the staff of Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) to tell her personal story and share how the Speaker's ongoing legal defense of DOMA via the House Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) harms her family. There, she detailed her battle with incurable stage-four breast cancer and asked the Speaker to drop his legal defense of DOMA. Boehner has ignored her pleas and continues to defend the discriminatory law in court.

"In 2008, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a double mastectomy and several rounds of chemotherapy to save my life. 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," CW2 Morgan said at the time.

More information on the Inauguration of Governor-Elect Maggie Hassan may be found here.

ABOUT OUTSERVE-SLDN: OutServe-SLDN is the association of actively serving LGBT military personnel with more than fifty chapters and 6000 members around the world It works to support a professional network of LGBT military personnel and create an environment of respect in the military with regard to sexual orientation and gender identity. It is a non-partisan, non-profit, legal services and policy organization dedicated to bringing about full LGBT equality to America's military and ending all forms of discrimination and harassment of military personnel on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. OS-SLDN provides free and direct legal assistance to service members and veterans affected by the repealed "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law and the prior regulatory ban on open service, as well as those currently serving who may experience harassment or discrimination. For more information, visit www.outserve-sldn.org.

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