Supreme Court Hears Arguments in DOMA Case, Harm to Military Among Key Arguments
OutServe-SLDN Press Release – (WASHINGTON DC)?Oral arguments have concluded in the case of?U.S. v. Windsor, heard today in the U.S. Supreme Court, and the harm done to service members and their families by the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was among reasons cited by attorneys for the petitioners that the Court should strike down the discriminatory law. In fact, it was the opening example cited by the Solicitor General when describing the harm DOMA does to gay and lesbian married couples. To read the full transcript, including references to members of the armed forces beginning on page 80,?click here. To listen to audio,?click here.
“Gay and lesbian service members and their families are clearly being denied the equal protection under the law that the fourteenth amendment to the Constitution demands ? and that discrimination is hurting our country,? said Allyson Robinson, an Army veteran and OutServe-SLDN Executive Director. ?The stories of military families are among the most compelling examples of how DOMA wreaks havoc on American lives and actually compromises our national security. It?s unconscionable that any American would be asked to risk his or her life to defend this nation and then be treated as a second-class citizen by the military.?
In an exclusive interview with MSNBC?s Thomas Roberts today, the real life example of Chief Warrant Officer Charlie Morgan, who died following a battle with cancer as she and her family were fighting DOMA in court, was brought to light by her widow, Karen Morgan. The surviving spouse, though legally married in the State of New Hampshire, is denied key survivor benefits due to DOMA. To see the complete interview,?click here.
The Morgans are plaintiffs in a lawsuit brought in October 2011,?McLaughlin v. Panetta, challenging DOMA on behalf of eight gay and lesbian military families. Lead plaintiff in the case, Casey McLaughlin, addressed yesterday?s United For Marriage Rally on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court. To view her remarks,?click here.
The McLaughlin case is stayed in the U.S. First Circuit pending the outcome of ongoing Supreme Court consideration in the Windsor Case.
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.