Remembering Chief Warrant Officer Charlie Morgan: Soldier, Mother, Wife

On Sunday, February 10, Chief Warrant Officer Charlie Morgan of the New Hampshire National Guard passed away after a courageous battle with cancer.

Since coming out publicly as a lesbian after the repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell" in September 2011, CW2 Morgan has been a fervently vocal advocate supporting repeal of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibits federal respect for lawful marriages between same-sex couples. She and her wife Karen, who married in New Hampshire, are plaintiffs in a lawsuit brought by the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network in October 2011 challenging DOMA. CW2 Morgan and her wife consistently spoke out about how DOMA hurts their family by barring Karen from receiving military, Social Security, and other protections that would help her care for their 5-year-old daughter Casey Elena if CW2 Morgan passed away. 

Morgan was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008, and after undergoing chemotherapy and a double mastectomy, was declared cancer-free in 2010. She was deployed that year to Kuwait for one year, and in September 2011, she learned that the cancer had returned as incurable Stage 4 breast cancer. 

OutServe-SLDN Executive Director Allyson Robinson announced CW2 Morgan's passing this weekend. She said:

Chief Warrant Officer Charlie Morgan, a courageous fighter for our country, for her family, and for the equality of all who wear the uniform of our nation, passed away early this morning. On behalf of her wife Karen and daughter Casey Elena, we thank all those who have supported Charlie so fervently since she proudly came out on national television on the day 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' was repealed, and who have stayed by her side through her brave fight with cancer. She made an indelible mark on everyone she met with her integrity, her positive outlook, and her unflinching commitment to righting the wrongs visited upon gay and lesbian military families. The fight for full LGBT equality in this country is forever changed because Charlie Morgan took up the cause.

Freedom to Marry extends our deepest condolences to Karen, Casey Elena, and all of CW2 Morgan's family. We thank CW2 Morgan for her service and remember her for bravely lending her voice to the movement to repeal DOMA and respect all same-sex couples' marriages nationwide.

You can extend your condolences to the Morgan family or share your memories of CW2 Morgan HERE. And watch the video that CW2 Morgan and Karen appeared in for Freedom to Serve, Freedom to Marry - our joint campaign with OutServe-SLDN to spotlight how DOMA hurts military families - below.