By Shaun Knittel
Out Military News Editor
It is with a heavy heart that Out Military News reports that Chief Warrant Officer Charlie Morgan, the soldier who tirelessly fought for equality for LGBT service members and the repeal of DOMA, passed away this weekend, succumbing to breast cancer.
Allyson Robinson, Executive Director of OutServe-SLDN issued the following statement:
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supported Charlie so fervently since she proudly came out on national television on the day ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ was repealed, and who have stayed by her side through her brave fight with cancer.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.”
Morgan came out as a lesbian on MSNBC on September 20, 2011, the day “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was officially repealed. Since then, despite failing health, the member of the New Hampshire National Guard worked to educate Congress about the harm caused by the Defense of Marriage Act.
Morgan was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008 and underwent a double mastectomy and several rounds of chemotherapy.
In 2010, with the cancer in remission, she was deployed to Kuwait; she faithfully fulfilled her duty and returned home to her wife and daughter.
Tragically, the cancer returned in 2011. Morgan was told by doctors that her cancer was incurable.
Because Morgan and her wife are not recognized as a married couple, Karen cannot receive military, Social Security and other benefits to help her care for Casey Elena, who is 5.
Friends, family, and supporters are encouraged to leave remembrances on the memorial site, Remembering Charlie Morgan.