“Time is of the essence for me because if something was to happen to me, as I had said before, I want to make sure my family is provided for,” LGBT activist and member of the New Hampshire National Guard, Charlie Morgan told msnbc’s Thomas Roberts in December 2011. Sadly, in February 2012, Morgan passed away after battling a reoccurrence of breast cancer, right before then Defense Secretary Leon Panetta extended full military benefits to same-sex couples. According to rules, those benefits weren’t able to be applied to her family posthumously.
Charlie, a frequent msnbc guest, was part of the eight couples challenging the Defense of Marriage Act that headed to the Supreme Court on Wednesday. Her widow Karen Morgan, joined msnbc’s Thomas Roberts to talk about the struggles her family has faced trying to make sure Morgan’s dream becomes a reality.
“I’m optimistic and hopeful that the Supreme Court will find that DOMA is unconstitutional,” Karen Morgan said. “Our family and many, many other families across the nation, with gay spouses of soldiers deserve to be recognized and I’m hoping that the Supreme Court will be able to do that this year.”
Morgan expressed the hurt she felt at not being able to receive the benefits that straight military spouses are entitled to under law, but said the fight against DOMA could serve as an example for future generations, especially for the couple’s five-year-old daughter, Casey Elena.
“One of the beautiful things that I have noticed and remarked upon in the past is that Casey is not aware of discrimination,” she told Roberts. “She does not understand it. She does not have the language to describe it and that’s the case of a lot of kids her age.”
Karen Morgan also reflected on Charlie’s legacy and said that she hopes it teaches younger generations to take “fairness and equality for granted.”