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New Campaign Highlights How DOMA Hurts Military Families

New Campaign Highlights How DOMA Hurts Military Families

 

A new campaign from two major LGBT rights groups hopes to draw attention to the ways the Defense of Marriage Act hurts military families.

The groups behind the campaign, Freedom to Marry and the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, have launched “Freedom to Marry, Freedom to Serve” to highlight that even though the military’s ban on openly gay and lesbian servicemembers has been lifted, gay and lesbian couples in the military do not receive the same federal benefits as heterosexual couples because DOMA prevents them from being treated the same.

The following video released as part of this campaign shows in stark terms what it means to not have a marriage recognized in the context of the military:

Evan Wolfson, founder and President of Freedom to Marry, said in a statement:

“Many people assume that, with the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ gay men and lesbians serving our country are being treated fairly and equally, but that’s not the case. We ended the ban on open military service for gay and lesbian Americans, but there is still a federal ban on treating married service members as what they are: married. The so-called Defense of Marriage Act’s ‘gay exception’ keeps the government in the business of discriminating against families, such as those of service members, and burdening employers, such as the military, who are prevented from treating their employees fairly and equally.”

Army Veteran and SLDN Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis also said of the campaign:

“Last week the President described how the stories of service members and their families made a difference in his decision to support the freedom to marry. Indeed, the faces and stories of military families impacted by the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act illustrate the unjust ways this law treats our nation’s most courageous patriots. It’s unconscionable that we would ask American citizens to put their lives on the line for us in war zones while treating them and their families as second-class citizens at home. All service members and their families provide the same service, take the same risks, and make the same sacrifices. When it comes to recognition, support, and benefits, they must all be treated equally. There cannot be two classes of service members.”

In October, SLDN partnered with eight gay and lesbian servicemembers to file a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of DOMA.

The lawsuit, McLaughlin v. Panetta, calls for equal marriage recognition for current and former servicemembers.

 

Related Reading:

DOJ Will Not Defend Anti-Gay Block on Military Benefits

SPLC Challenges DOMA On Behalf of Disabled Lesbian Vet

GOP Wants to Deny Lesbian Veteran With MS Full Disability Benefits

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Image taken from YouTube video, no infringement intended.

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8 comments

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10:11AM PDT on May 18, 2012

Great video and I hope that leads to the overturning of DOMA, however I don't think it will sway the entrenched religious bigots. even if they would watch it.

9:19AM PDT on May 18, 2012

BMunity - I wish I could say that hard core bigots would be as affected by this movie as you or I but they seem to be wired differently. While they would be sympathetic at the loss for the mother & feel sorry for the person who lost a "friend" - they really would draw the line at anything else.
They would say the person deployed knew what might happen. Some would even go so far as to say that it was God's punishment for their "sin" of loving each other.
I hope for an end to this hatred. But as long as we have people like John Boehner & his ilk in Congress who will spend money to defend DOMA & to pass bills that prevent gays from being married by Chaplains; moreover to keep writing discrimination into the Constitution; coupled with the people who elect them, we will have more stories like Monica & Naomi's. Because you have to be able to see them as PEOPLE first - not gay women & they seem unable to separate their label from their humanity.

5:16AM PDT on May 18, 2012

Thanks

2:55PM PDT on May 17, 2012

An important effort designed to make a positive impact in the lives of the people who have risked their lives and health for all of us.

1:05PM PDT on May 17, 2012

Hate and fear will destroy the world, haven’t we had enough of it YET??? Who is to say what true love is and is not? Let these people live out their lives in peace and if being married helps then why stand in their way? Their marriage does in NO way hurt my marriage and it won’t hurt or change YOURS either.

To everyone in uniform, come home soon and come home SAFE!!!

1:03PM PDT on May 17, 2012

Nyack you are so right: a penis and a vagina are NOT what makes a marriage.
FAR from it.

I watched the video AGAIN -- I have to say it is a very well-told story --
and now I am just SOBBING!
and so Angry at the same time....!

If this doesn't move even hard-core bigots, nothing will.....

12:53PM PDT on May 17, 2012

This made me cry.

I HOPE THIS VIDEO IS AS EFFECTIVE AS IT IS INTENDED TO BE.
THIS DISCRIMINATORY TREATMENT HAS TO END.
IT *HAS* TO.
IT JUST HAS TO.
IT HAS TO END NOW!

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