Tuesday, Freedom to Marry and Outserve-SLDN released the latest video in their “Freedom to Serve, Freedom to Marry” campaign series, featuring three prominent straight allies – Retired Rear Admiral Jamie Barnett, Army Major Mary Bergner, and former Congressman and Army Captain Patrick Murphy – speaking out in support of married gay and lesbian service members.
The so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) prevents legally married same-sex couples from receiving over 1,100 federal protections that opposite-sex couples receive.
“What a tremendous day when ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ was repealed,” says Retired Rear Admiral Barnett in the video. “The challenge now is not letting anybody think that it’s over. There’s still law that embeds discrimination.”
“I always fought for equality and believed in equality,” adds Army Major Bergner.
This is the final pre-DOMA decision video of a year-long series by Freedom to Serve, Freedom to Marry to highlight the harms of DOMA on service people. Previously released videos feature married same-sex military couples such as the late Chief Warrant Officer Charlie Morgan of the New Hampshire National Guard and her wife Karen; Captain Steve M. Hill and his husband Josh Snyder; and Major Shannon McLaughlin and her wife Casey.
“America’s gay and lesbian service members are just as brave, courageous, and heroic as non-gay soldiers, yet they are still barred from sharing in the critical safety-net of protections that come with being legally married,” said Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry. “No service member should have to worry about their family while they are risking their lives overseas. It’s time for the federal government to give gay and lesbian soldiers, their military spouses, and their families the same respect and support that non-gay soldiers receive, and strike down the so-called Defense of Marriage Act.”
“As we await the Supreme Court’s decision, we are reminded that this is not just a gay or lesbian issue. This goes to the heart of readiness, retention, and cohesion, and America’s service members and veterans – no matter what their sexual orientation – know that this is a discriminatory and harmful law that must be relegated to the dustbins of history,” said Army Veteran and OutServe-SLDN Executive Director Allyson Robinson.
For more information on Freedom to Serve, Freedom to Marry, visit their website.