A new video from Freedom to Marry and OutServe-SLDN demonstrates the inequality of federal marriage discrimination in a visceral way. "Second Skin" places two soldiers, one straight and one gay, side by side to show that while all service members receive the same battle wounds, the Defense of Marriage Act continues to treat gay military members, veterans, and their families unfairly despite the repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy.
"Gay and straight service members scar in the same way, but the military is forced to treat them, and their families, differently because of the 'Defense of Marriage Act,'' says the video, which is playing online in honor of Veterans Day.
"Same Skin" is the latest video in the Freedom to Serve, Freedom to Marry campaign launched by Freedom to Marry and Outserve-SLDN earlier this year. The campaign aims to repeal DOMA, the 1996 that prevents the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages and thereby denies equal benefits to the families of gay service members and veterans.
OutServe-SLDN filed a federal lawsuit last year against DOMA and other laws that result in unequal treatment of gay and lesbian service members, veterans, and their families. In addition, the Supreme Court may indicate next week whether it plans to hear one of several DOMA challenges.
Advocates are also pushing for passage of the Respect for Marriage Act, legislation that would repeal DOMA. The Senate Judiciary Committee advanced the measure last year, but it faces a more challenging climate in the Republican-controlled House.
"This is a two-front war," said OutServe-SLDN executive director Allyson Robinson. "Together, we will continue to fight in the courts and on Capitol Hill, and we will reach a day when the families of brave gay and lesbian servicemembers and veterans are treated as equals. There cannot be two classes of service members."
Watch the "Same Skin" video.