Charlie Morgan | Fought for benefits, 48

Posted: February 16, 2013

Charlie Morgan, 48, a chief warrant officer in the New Hampshire Army National Guard who fought to repeal the federal law barring her wife from receiving benefits to help care for their daughter, died Sunday at a Dover hospice after a battle with breast cancer.

Chief Warrant Officer Morgan, of New Durham, was a nationally recognized advocate in the effort to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. She was a plaintiff in a federal lawsuit in 2011 saying the act violated her constitutional rights.

Under the federal act, the Pentagon is required to ignore same-sex marriages, which are legal in several states including New Hampshire. Chief Warrant Officer Morgan, after finding out she had cancer, was worried her spouse and their young daughter would be unable to receive military, Social Security, and other benefits if she died.

On Monday, a Pentagon memo detailed benefits that would be extended to same-sex partners of service members, including ID cards giving access to commissaries and other services. It appears the benefits do not apply in her case because they would not be retroactive. - AP

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