Wednesday, June 26, 2013
LGBT Military Perspective on DOMA Decision
“Today, we congratulate plaintiff Edie Windsor, her incredible legal team, and all those who have stood up for the freedom to marry in America. This victory is especially sweet for our nation’s lesbian, gay, and bisexual service members, who can now not only serve openly, but can serve knowing that their loving, committed, and legal marriages will be recognized by the military they serve and the nation they protect,” said Army veteran and OutServeSLDN Executive Director Allyson Robinson.
Currently twelve states and the District of Columbia permit samegender marriages. Robinson said today’s victory adds to the rapidly growing momentum for marriage in the U.S.
“This victory energizes our work moving forward and lays a new, strong foundation for ensuring marriage for all loving and committed couples in our country across all fifty states,” said Robinson.
Robinson thanked the plaintiffs in OutServeSLDN’s landmark litigation, McLaughlin v. Panetta, which was filed in October 2011 on behalf of eight married gay and lesbian military couples seeking equal recognition, support, and benefits, for their part in bringing the stories of gay and lesbian military families to the fore. Despite today’s ruling, the McLaughlin case will move forward because the case challenges the constitutionality of other statutes in addition to DOMA.
“We owe a debt of gratitude to the McLaughlin plaintiffs today, including the late Chief Warrant Officer Charlie Morgan and her family, all of whom courageously stepped forward to do something very difficult: to file suit against their employer, the Department of Defense, as well the Department of Veterans Affairs. In doing so, they stood up not only for their own families, but for countless LGBT military families they will never know. Their stories have been, and will continue to be, a gamechanger as the marriage fight marches forward,” said Robinson.
Robinson called on the Pentagon to act immediately and unequivocally to implement today’s ruling.“Secretary Hagel has already demonstrated his commitment to LGBT military families, just as he promised he would during his confirmation. Today the Court cleared the way for him to take the next step. We expect Secretary Hagel to act so that all families affected by today’s ruling gain access to full recognition, benefits, and support no later than sixty days from today. OutServeSLDN will be working with the Pentagon and the VA to ensure that the greatest number of federal protections, responsibilities and programs are available to all military couples as soon as possible,” said Robinson.
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