September 11 Digital Archive






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September 11 Email: Body

December 14, 2001

Special Master Kenneth R. Feinberg
September 11th Victim Compensation Fund
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20530

To Mr. Feinberg:

I am writing to urge you to ensure fair treatment for all surviving families of the tragedy on September
11th, including the children and families of low-wage workers and gay and lesbian families. Under
traditional rules based on lost wages, the survivors of a bond trader earning millions of dollars per
year might receive thousands of times as much compensation as the survivors of a dishwasher in one of
the restaurants destroyed. Justice requires looking far beyond the last paycheck to the inherent worth of
all those killed, so that a high minimum compensation level is set to lessen the disparities. It would be a
double blow to the survivors to first lose their loved one and then watch as most of the taxpayer money
went to those who were already well off in the first place.

The second major issue has to do with recognizing the legitimacy of gay and lesbian relationships and
families. Gay and lesbian families are especially vulnerable when one partner is killed. Because the
option of marriage is unavailable, these families may find themselves in the traumatic predicament of
having to prove that their union is legitimate. Fortunately, both the Red Cross and the State of New
York have already announced that they will not discriminate against gay and lesbian families. The
Department of Justice should do the same.

Thank you for considering my comments. I look forward to hearing how you will act on these very
important issues.


Individual Comment
Amherst, MA

September 11 Email: Date



“dojA004587.xml,” September 11 Digital Archive, accessed June 13, 2024,