9/11 fund compensates lesbian whose partner died in terrorist attack
May 07 2004 12:00 AM ET
The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund announced Thursday that it will compensate Nancy Walsh for the loss of her partner, Carol Flyzik, who was onboard an American Airlines flight that crashed into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
Questions had been raised as to whether the federal fund would include surviving same-sex partners within its scope. "I learned the extent of the discrimination our families face in times of crisis because of discriminatory marriage laws," Walsh said. "Obviously, no amount of money can make up for my loss. I am heartened, however, that the federal fund did not compound the loss as it could have done by ignoring our three children and the family we created together by our love."
Flyzik and Walsh had been together for over 13 years when Flyzik left for a business trip on behalf of Meditech on September 11.
"Nancy's loss is as real and tangible as that of any legally married surviving spouse, who is automatically entitled to compensation," explained Jennifer Levi, senior staff attorney for Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders. "The federal fund's award acknowledges the seriousness of the relationship and the importance of including gay and lesbian families within the law's protections. Families are formed by love and commitment, despite the law's exclusion of gay and lesbian couples."
The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund is part of legislation passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bush. It provides compensation for economic and noneconomic loss to surviving family members of those who were killed or physically injured as a result of the terrorist-related aircraft crashes of September 11.