September 11 Email: Body
Wednesday, December 05, 2001 12:28 PM
Sept. 11 Victims Compensation Fund
Kenneth L. Zwick:
I am writing to you as a concerned, taxpaying, and voting American citizen to convey my opinion as to why gay/lesbian couples should be recognized as family and entitled to compensation under the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund.
First I want to say that since 9/11, I have never seen our country more united (I was born in 1967). I have never felt so patriotic and proud to be an American. I even stopped thinking about the differences between Republicans/Democrats and Conservatives/Liberals. We are all just Americans!
I count myself blessed that I was fortunate to not lose any family or friends in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Since 9/11, I have been very concerned about what would happen to me or my same-sex spouse should one of us ever be killed in a future attack. The fact that some American's believe that one of us wouldn't be entitled to both emotional support and financial assistance in such a time of crisis is outrageous. We gay couples pay the same taxes, vote in the same elections, fulfill our civic duties, in the same manner as any other American yet there are still some that believe we aren't entitled to EQUAL treatment under the law.
When evaluated claims for relief, I urge you to establish standards for providing relief to the surviving same-sex partners of gay/lesbian victims of 9/11. I know that the absence of a marriage license makes such cases a bit harder to prove, but clearly there are objective ways to prove the validity of such relationships. It is unfair to deny someone the legal ability to marry and then penalize them for not having a marriage license. This becomes a double punishment.
I am aware that many gay and lesbian organizations have submitted formal requests to the DOJ regarding this position as well as guidelines for determining the validity of such relationships. This all seems fair to me.
In my own instance, god forbid something happened to one of us, my same-sex spouse and I have the following:
wills, power of attorneys, joint lease agreements, joint loans, joint credit cards, joint bank accounts, AS well as our Vermont Civil Union and Jewish Marriage Certificate.
Even in the absence of a Vermont Civil Union or a religious based Marriage Certificate, clearly I have demonstrated to you that there are other ways to proove the existance of an intimate, emotional, and financially interdependent spousal relationship.
To deny gay/lesbian survivors appropriate compensation is simply cruel and unfair.
September 11 Email: Date
“dojA000932.xml,” September 11 Digital Archive, accessed July 11, 2020, https://911digitalarchive.org/items/show/20996.