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SLDN Client to Meet with Boehner Staff Thursday

CW2 Charlie Morgan Set to Tell Her Personal Story of Struggle with Cancer, Fight for Equality

(Washington, D.C.) On Thursday, February 9, 2012, Chief Warrant Officer (CW2) Charlie Morgan of the New Hampshire National Guard, a plaintiff in SLDN's landmark lawsuit on behalf of sixteen married gay and lesbian service members and veterans, will travel to Washington, DC to share her personal story in two meetings on Capitol Hill. At 10:15 a.m., she will meet with her member of Congress, Representative Frank Guinta (R-NH), followed by an 11:00 a.m. meeting with Katherine Haley, a policy assistant to Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH). Morgan will be available to media for interviews outside the Speaker's office immediately following her meeting there. Details are below.

MEDIA AVAILABILITY with CW2 Charlie Morgan
Thursday, February 9, 2012: 11:30 a.m. or immediately following meeting with Speaker's Office
The Capitol - Outside the Office of the Speaker - H232

The meeting with Boehner's office was scheduled following a reversal of his prior rejection of CW2 Morgan's request that first came to light last week in an article by Andrea Stone of the Huffington Post. CW2 Morgan will tell her personal story and share how Boehner's ongoing legal defense of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) via the House Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group harms her family and others.

In a letter to Boehner dated December 23, 2011, CW2 Morgan, who is battling incurable stage-four breast cancer, asked to meet with him to discuss the issue.

"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 my my oncologist - I was deployed to Kuwait for one year in support of Operation New Dawn. I faithfully fulfilled my duty, and I swelled with pride and patriotism as I returned home to my wife and our four-year old daughter. But this 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 wrote in her letter.

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

For more information on SLDN's lawsuit, click here.

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ABOUT SLDN: Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) 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. 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. Since 1993, our in-house legal team has responded to more than 11,000 requests for assistance.

SLDN FREE HOTLINE: Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender service members with questions are urged to contact the SLDN hotline to speak with a staff attorney: Call 1-800-538-7418 or 202-328-3244 x100.

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