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Sally Ride -- who was the first American woman in space -- recently died and was rightfully celebrated as a hero for her service and risking her life for the United States.
Unfortunately, Ride's domestic partner of 27 years Tam O'Shaughnessy, under federal law, will not receive the survivor annuity, death benefits, or Social Security payments that are given to family members of heterosexual astronauts.
Even though the majority of Americans support the rights of same-sex couples and more states are legalizing marriage equality, 1,138 benefits are still denied to these couples (even if they're married) because of the Defense of Marriage Act.
The government should treat Sally Ride's partner with all of the respect partners of heterosexual astronauts are given. Please tell the United States government to give Sally Ride's partner death benefits and to fight against DOMA!
I am writing to you all today to discuss an issue that does not only affect the individuals I am speaking of specifically, but Americans all over the country.
Even though many states are passing laws for same-sex couples and legalizing gay marriage, the Defense of Marriage Act denies 1,138 rights to these couples under federal law.
Sally Ride was the first American woman in space who recently died, leaving behind her partner of 27 years, Tam O'Shaughnessy. O'Shaughnessy will not receive death benefits, survivor annuity, or Social Security payments given to family members of heterosexual astronauts because of this law.
I urge you all to give Sally Ride's partner death benefits and to fight against DOMA.
Thank you for your time.