Last wish of married lesbian soldier dying of breast cancer: "Let DOMA die before I do"

Charlie Morgan, a 47-year-old career soldier in the late stages of metastatic breast cancer, says she hopes to live long enough to see the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) overturned, so that her wife will receive the benefits that a widow in a hetero couple would receive. “I’m praying that they take it up soon,” Morgan told the Washington Post in a phone interview from her home in New Durham, NH “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.” Read the rest here.


  1. It’s sad but not at all surprising to read the WP comments and see that there are still people who disagree that this obvious injustice should be overturned.

    1. Incredibly disappointing, I agree. 

      And going through “similar” circumstances to this in my own life, I can’t imagine having to cope with the extra helping of shit sandwich they are given during the worst period in their lives.

      Have you ever accidently been on Yahoo “news” and read the comments afterwards? If you ever feel like racism, hate, and ignorance is diminishing in our country, just head on over to Yahoo to get a refresh of how bad our society really is.

    2. I know from experience that I’d never get a straight answer, assuming I’d get an answer at all, but I would still like to ask DOMA’s defenders how overturning it would harm them.

      I like to think I’m intellectually honest enough that if someone could offer a reasonable explanation of what good DOMA does, or why legalizing same-sex marriage would be bad, I’d at least give their arguments a great deal of thought, and possibly even reverse my own views.

      So far, though, the only argument I’ve heard in favor of DOMA is, “Well, it’s just the law”, and the only argument I’ve heard against same-sex marriage is “Well, it’s wrong because that’s what I believe.” And neither one of those is compelling enough for me to even consider them.

  2. Possibly when it’s overturned they will have to pay the back benefits?  I know we have to file provisional tax returns so that when DOMA is overturned we can get the taxes back, but death benefits probably don’t work the same way.  We have made so many strides over the last decade, this last election was so encouraging, but I think overturning DOMA is the key to winning the fight nationwide.

  3. So now you’re not just marking comments as deleted, you’re erasing them from existence too? Did you ever think to yourself that you wouldn’t censor polite discussion just because you disagree with the arguments being explored? I didn’t like them much either, but they were polite and well written and you’ve censored them because you don’t like them. I’m not using my usual identity now, because I expect this one to get banned any second now… You’re right, it’s your ball and you can take it home whenever you like.

    1. What part of “Allowing people to marry who cannot breed effectively dilutes marriage” is polite and well-written?

      It’s a tired, homophobic argument that belongs on Jerry Springer, not here. LGBT people read BB. Why should we be subjected to that?

  4. I appreciate your willingness to discuss this in a logical, calm, and reasonable way, so I’d first like to explain that, if I understand your argument correctly, I don’t mean to sound glib when I say I’ve heard it before. As a clarification to my earlier statement, I’ve heard this argument before, and when I’ve offered a rebuttal to it the only response to my rebuttal I get is the “I just believe it’s wrong” line.

    If I understand your argument correctly you’re saying that marriage is either primarily or solely for the production and raising of children. And that would be a reasonable argument, but heterosexuals who marry aren’t required to have children, and infertile heterosexual couples aren’t prevented from marrying. If they were then the only reason people derive tax breaks and other benefits from marriage being because they have children would make a lot more sense.

    And same-sex couples are allowed to adopt children in most parts of the United States. There have been court challenges in some of the places where they’re not allowed to adopt (Florida, for instance), but so far there has been no compelling reason offered to prevent same-sex couples from adopting.

    Interestingly a sociologist named David Blankenhorn made the argument that same-sex marriage would benefit society when he was called as a witness in defense of California’s Prop 8, which banned same-sex marriage in that state. Let me make that clear: he said same-sex marriage would benefit society, but he was still against it…well, just because. He’s since reversed his position and is now in favor of same-sex marriage.

  5.  You have a couple more axioms in there that you haven’t stated clearly at the end of your post:

    1. Allowing people who cannot procreate to marry makes marriage “less special.”

    2. Perception of how “special” a marriage is influences how likely a couple is to stay together.

    #2, as an axiom, is hard to support.  If you can provide any statistics or reasoning behind it, rather than “I think this is so,” then you should state that.

    #1 is problematic.  If we accept it, we should also ban marriages between people who are infertile, either through injury, genetic conditions, or just plain old age.

    Additionally, there are a lot of places that allow gay couples to adopt children.  And if gay marriage were legalized, I think you would probably see the number of places that _don’t_ allow gay couples to adopt would shrink rapidly.

  6.  I think that what you’re describing is more along the lines of child tax benefits, rather than marriage. 

  7. I’m pretty sure that society endorsing “child-raisers” has been tried, with the unfortunate effect that women were considered mere property, and their value judged primarily by how many babies they could produce.

    If we could avoid falling into that trap I don’t think it would be a bad thing to recognize that parents need a lot of assistance from the community around them to raise children. As the saying goes, after all, it does take a village to raise a child.

    However, even if the problem of women being regarded merely as factories could be avoided I think there are still problems with giving privileged status to people solely because they can breed. David Blankenhorn, who I mentioned earlier, undermined his own opposition to same-sex marriage by pointing out that marriage encourages faithfulness (although it doesn’t necessarily require it), which helps contribute to societal stability. If that is the case then even a childless marriage has societal value.

  8. I find it interesting that all the comments of the person claiming to be trying to find a rational reason to oppose same-sex marriage have been removed now. Although it’s probably just as well. I was beginning to get the feeling we were talking to a troll.

  9. Interesting in what way? You might find the wikipedia page on boingboing contains an interesting snippet, and a google search will show you some more interesting things.

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