In the end, it was a battle she could not win. Chief Warrant Officer Charlie Morgan fought hard for LGBT Military Equality. She has passed away now due to complications from breast cancer. Morgan came out on MSNBC back on 20 September 2011, the very day Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell fell. Unfortunately, the law that hurt her the most was the one that bars her widow, Karen, and their daughter, Casey Elena, from having all the same benefits in death that a straight couple would have had. The Morgans are one of the plaintiffs in a suit brought by what is now OutServe-SLDN challenging the Defense of Marriage Act.
CW2 Morgan met a year ago with staff from House Speaker John Boehner’s office to try and get the Speaker to drop his ongoing and wasteful defense of DOMA. While there, she detailed her battle with stage-four breast cancer. Boehner ignored the pleas to drop the defense, choosing, instead, to try and hurt President Barack Obama politically.
At the time, Morgan stated “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 by my oncologist – I was deployed to Kuwait for one year in support of Operation New Dawn. I faithfully fulfilled my duty and returned home to my wife and our then four-year old daughter. But last September, we learned the awful truth that my cancer has returned. It is metastatic and incurable. We don’t know how long I have.”
She did, however, get the Democratic Party to stand behind marriage equality fully.
OS-SLDN Executive Director Allyson Robinson stated “Chief Warrant Officer Charlie Morgan, a courageous fighter for our country, for her family, and for the equality of all who wear the uniform of our nation, passed away early this morning. On behalf of her wife Karen and daughter Casey Elena, we thank all those who have supported Charlie so fervently since she proudly came out on national television on the day ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ was repealed, and who have stayed by her side through her brave fight with cancer. She made an indelible mark on everyone she met with her integrity, her positive outlook, and her unflinching commitment to righting the wrongs visited upon gay and lesbian military families. The fight for full LGBT equality in this country is forever changed because Charlie Morgan took up the cause.”
CW2 Morgan served in the New Hampshire National Guard. OS-SLDN has set up a site to remember her.