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Freedom To Marry And SLDN Explain DOMA's Impact On Military Families: VIDEO


In a new effort to highlight how the Defense of Marriage Act harms gay and lesbian military families, the group Freedom to Marry and Servicemembers Legal Defense Network have just launched a new campaign called Freedom to Serve, Freedom to Marry.

To mark the occasion, which will include multiple and varied media spots, the organizations have released a video showing the tragic trajectory of a lesbian soldier's relationship, and how her wife was the last to know of her war-torn fate.

"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," said SLDN executive director Aubrey Sarvis in a press release.

"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."

For his part, Evan Wolfson, the founder of Freedom to Marry, remarked: "Many people assume that, with the repeal of 'Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,' gay men and lesbians serving our country are now 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 federal ban on treating married service members as what they are: married."

Wolfson went on: 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.”

Watch the first installment of Freedom to Marry and SLDN's joint effort, AFTER THE JUMP.

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  1. Very powerful...

    Posted by: Lucas | May 16, 2012 12:11:57 PM

  2. WHAT are they talking about??? DOMA never did prevent one's same-sex partner from being notified AS LONG AS that person is designated for such notification in their personnel file. This was spelled out in the Pentagon report released in November 2010, emphasis mine:

    "[T]here are some benefits that are NOW, under current law and regulations, FULLY AVAILABLE to ANYONE of a Service member’s choosing, INCLUDING A SAME-SEX PARTNER, because they are 'member-designated' benefits. Examples here are beneficiaries for Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance and Thrift Savings Plan, MISSING MEMBER NOTIFICATION, and hospital visitation access. If Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is repealed, Service members may designate a same-sex partner for these benefits without then having to conceal the nature of the relationship from the military ... These designations are usually made on the Service member’s DD Form 93, Record of Emergency Data (RED) and the Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) Policy. Service members may want to designate permissible benefits to someone other than a person in the priority list set by law. This COULD INCLUDE AN UNMARRIED PARTNER, significant other, friend, or distant relative. SERVICE MEMBERS MUST BE DILIGENT to ensure their DESIRED beneficiaries ARE PROPERLY DOCUMENTED in the event the Service member dies or goes missing while serving." – “Report of the Comprehensive Review of the Issues Associated with a Repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” Department of Defense, November 30, 2010.

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | May 16, 2012 12:25:43 PM

  3. A friend of mine recently had a heart attack and was in a come. His partner is a soldier stationed in Afghanistan. The partner happened to be in the US at the time (he was coming for a visit) so he was able to come to AZ to see Tony, but then had to return to duty because he was not officially married. Tony died and his partner was unable to be there. It is heartbreaking. DOMA affects people every day.

    Posted by: jht | May 16, 2012 2:00:06 PM

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