Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-02-22



Military spouse living in Charlie's memory
by Ross Forman, Windy City Times

This article shared 2594 times since Tue Apr 9, 2013
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Karen Morgan knows that times are toughest for her 5-year-old daughter in the morning, when she's going to the bus en route to kindergarten, and then at bedtime. Those were the special times together for young Casey and Morgan's longtime partner, Charlie.

Charlie Morgan, a chief warrant officer in the New Hampshire Army National Guard who fought against the federal law that barred her wife, Karen, from receiving benefits to help care for Casey, died on Feb. 10. She was 48. The couple had received a civil union in Vermont in 2001 then, after the repeal of military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy in 2011, they were married in New Hampshire in October 2011.

"Casey has done well, though she misses [Charlie] terribly," Karen said in a phone interview. "[Casey] is very resilient, and I'm doing everything I can so she has a good memory of Charlie, and what Charlie and I thought was important, [including] our fight for gay families in the military. I want her to carry forward that sense of justice and fairness—and I feel that's the legacy that Charlie will leave to Casey, and also to a lot of people.

"Overall, Casey is doing OK. She just really misses [Charlie] around those times."

Karen and Charlie were together for 16 years, fighting the endless battles facing same-sex military families. Charlie ultimately died at a hospice after a battle with breast cancer.

Karen has been working part-time as a special education teacher, and also supports and promotes OutServe-SLDN.

"A lot of what I've been doing centers around educating people about what our family is like, what we live with on a day to day basis, how we're similar yet different than other families because gay families do have challenges that heterosexual families don't have," Karen said. "Dealing with losing Charlie has been hard. She was my best friend. When she died, there were a whole set of challenges that I didn't anticipate—and they had to do with navigating a lot of paperwork. In a way, my grieving was cut short by dealing with some of the [military] things I had to deal with, while also making sure Casey was taken care of.

"Because of the state of federal law at this point, I couldn't really be recognized as next of kin for Charlie, even though it was very clearly designated in her paperwork that that's what she wanted."

Clearly, Karen said, the Defense Of Marriage Act (DOMA) has greatly impacted her family, and many other gay families, too, in a similar way.

"I am optimistic that things will change [with DOMA]," Karen said. "Through education and social change, people become increasingly aware of the inequalities, and a lot of people think they are not right, not fair. So I think things will change, though I don't know how soon, or even when."

Karen said the past few weeks have truly been "emotional" due to all of the seemingly nonstop mainstream media news about DOMA and other high-profile gay topics.

"I know Charlie would have loved to have been here to see that, to see the cases go to the Supreme Court, and know that things are changing. So it's bitter sweet," Karen said. "We're making progress and moving forward, though there's a lot of work left to be done, and I intend to stay on this track in Charlie's memory, and for all of those other families that might not be able to speak out for any number of reasons."

Karen and Charlie went to Boston in September 2011, to celebrate the end of Don't Ask Don't Tell, "which had a big impact on our lives," Karen said. "Charlie served proudly for many years, but she couldn't be who she really was."

In fact, as Karen noted, Charlie wasn't even able to have a photo of her family on her desk at work out of fear she might lose her job.

"That was one of the simplest things that meant the most to her," Karen said.

Shortly after DADT was repealed, Charlie learned she had a re-occurrence of breast cancer.

"She really wanted to help everyone, and the best way we could do that is by telling our story," Karen said. "I think there's a definite feeling of change right now. More and more people are expressing support, and I think that's great. I think that's coming from education. I'm really glad it's happening."

This article shared 2594 times since Tue Apr 9, 2013
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gay News

Bill would prohibit discrimination in the military, protect trans service members
--From a press release, American Veterans for Equal Rights - Washington, D.C. — Congresswoman Sara Jacobs (CA-51) introduced legislation today that would prohibit discrimination in the military and protect transgender service members. The Ensuring Military Readiness Not Discrimination Act, commonly ...

Gay News

Biden appoints Laura Ricketts to Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition
President Joe Biden has appointed Laura Ricketts—the lesbian co-owner of the Chicago Cubs, board chair of Chicago Cubs Charities and board chair of LPAC, which works to elect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer women and ...

Gay News

WORLD Venezuela code, Oxfam, Bosnia items, 'Brokeback,' Pope Francis
Venezuela's Supreme Court annulled a controversial part of the military justice code that had criminalized same-sex relations within the armed forces, the outlet Punch noted. The court annulled the provision, which had provided for a penalty ...

Gay News

Affinity renews Burning Bowl tradition
On the afternoon of March 19, Affinity Community Services held Burning Bowl 2023 Renewal: And Still We Rise at the Pavilion at the Dan Ryan Woods. ...

Gay News

Center on Halsted to Honor Sen. Tammy Baldwin April 15, Human First Gala at The Geraghty
--From a press release - CHICAGO — Center on Halsted is pleased to announce that its inaugural Trailblazer Award will be presented to Senator Tammy Baldwin at its annual Human First Gala being held the evening of Saturday, April 15, in ...

Gay News

Navratilova says she is cancer-free
Legendary tennis figure Martina Navratilova said she is now cancer-free—four months after announcing she had been diagnosed with throat and breast cancer, ESPN reported. "As far as they know I'm cancer-free," Navratilova told Piers Morgan for ...

Gay News

Protest held outside New Life Covenant Church over alleged anti-LGBTQ practices
Now-former New Life Covenant Church parishioner Rosaly Andino, who is a lesbian, and her allies gathered across the street from the church in the Humboldt Park neighborhood March 12 to protest alleged anti-LGBTQ practices by Pastor David Marrero. ...

Gay News

LPAC expands board of directors, building on successful 2023 midterms
--From a press release - Washington, DC — LPAC, the national political organization dedicated to electing LGBTQ women and nonbinary people to public office, announced today that Liz Culley and Janelle Perez have joined its Board of Directors. LPAC is the ...

Gay News

WORLD Kenyan group, Alan Emtage, trans anchor, Hershey campaign
The Kenyan Supreme Court allowed an LGBTQI+-rights group to register as a non-governmental organization, The Washington Blade reported. Ten years ago, Eric Gitari, the former executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission ...

Gay News

Lightfoot concedes but other LGBTQ+ candidates make inroads
Incumbent Lori Lightfoot, the city's first Black lesbian mayor, conceded defeat the evening of Feb. 28, after a tumultuous term and a difficult election season, where she competed against eight challengers for her post. "I stand ...

Gay News

Singer Zolita zips through Chicago on a whirlwind tour
Zoe Montana Hoetzel has evolved into the multidimensional artist known as Zolita while cultivating a massive following. Her personality is multifaceted as well. She identifies as a lesbian, an activist and a witch, but she's also ...

Gay News

Passages: Longtime activist Achebe (Betty) Powell passes away
Veteran social justice organizer and educator Achebe (Betty) Powell passed away Feb. 21, according to multiple reports. Powell died of COVID-19 related complications at New York Presbyterian Hospital in Brooklyn, according to a Feb. 22 statement ...

Gay News

HRC condemns North Dakota House for latest "Slate of Hate" targeting trans, non-binary people
--From a press release - Bismarck, ND - Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, denounced members of the North Dakota House for ...

Gay News

Hidden History: Pamela Bannos brings the life of 19th-century lesbian photographer to new audiences
Few people outside of New York may know about 19th-century photographer Alice Austen (1866-1952)—but author/historian/Northwestern University professor Pamela Bannos wants to change that. Bannos recently completed a podcast series about ...

Gay News

At 'FIRST(ISH)' Sight: Producer Ashley Flowers speaks on 'honest' representation
Ashley Flowers—a producer, co-creator and actor in the short film First(ish) Date, now in pre-production—wears many creative hats. She also has an extensive resume working with stage and film props as well; Flowers has been working ...


Copyright © 2023 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.