Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, and, as we learned posthumously, the first lesbian in space, is being heralded as an American icon by politicians, as they ignore the fact that her partner of 27 years, Dr. Tam O’Shaughnessy, will not be able to access any federal benefits because of DOMA, the federal 1996 Defense of Marriage Act that bans the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages.
Cenk [Uygur] pays tribute to Sally Ride, the first American astronaut in space, who died of cancer on Monday. Only after her death was Ride’s 27-year relationship with a woman acknowledged publicly, prompting questions about the federal benefits that because of the Defense of Marriage Act would not be extended her partner, Tam O’Shaughnessy. “It’s not surprising that a lot of people don’t know about Sally’s relationship with Tam,” Ride’s sister, Bear Ride, tells Cenk. “They’re domestic partners in the state of California. Sally and Tam were in something of a privileged position. They had the resources to hire attorneys and do all the stuff that one would not normally have to do if one was heterosexually married… I could not agree with your position more about this horrible discriminatory situation… I loved your comment about Romney [praising Sally Ride]. That’s just something that the politicians really need to meditate on. They can’t have it both ways.”
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