Word has come down from Servicemembers Legal Defense Network or SLDN today that House Speaker John Boehner has filed a request to intervene in McLaughlin v. US. “The landmark federal court case filed in October 2011 by eight married gay and lesbian service members and veterans, who are represented by SLDN and Chadbourne & Parke. The case challenges the constitutionality of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and three other federal statutes – Titles 10, 32, and 38 – that preclude the military from providing equal recognition, support, and benefits for all military families. “
SLDN went on to note:
“Speaker Boehner’s request to defend this case in the wake of the ongoing harm done to military families by these discriminatory laws is reprehensible and callous. The Speaker has turned a deaf ear to the urgent pleas of CW2 Charlie Morgan and countless families like hers, who are living with the day-to-day realities of a military that has been forced to create two classes of service members,” said Army veteran and SLDN Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis.
In February, Chief Warrant Officer (CW2) Morgan, a member of the New Hampshire National Guard and a plaintiff in McLaughlin v. U.S. – who also is battling incurable stage IV breast cancer – traveled to Washington, D.C. to tell her story on Capitol Hill and ask Boehner not to intervene in the case.
“Should I not survive this bout with cancer, my wife Karen will not receive any survivor’s benefits, social security benefits or health insurance coverage. Karen is a stay-at-home mom, taking care of our four-year old daughter while I undergo chemotherapy. Now, after fighting for my country in Iraq and fighting for my life with this illness, I am forced to fight the Speaker of the House in order to make sure that my family is cared for when I am gone. It’s shameful,” Morgan said today.
“Speaker Boehner’s politically motivated ongoing defense of these unjust laws is hurting military families. It’s time to repeal DOMA and revise these antiquated laws that are preventing all military families from being treated with fairness and equality. There cannot be two classes of service members,” said Sarvis.