Much is being made about the prominent voices who will testify at Senator Leahy’s DOMA hearing next Wednesday, but I wanted to highlight the story of one person directly affected by DOMA who will tell his story to Senators next week. Legally married in California, testimony will be heard from:
Ron Wallen, an Indio, Calif. resident, who married Tom Carrollo in 2008
after being together for 55 years. In March, Carrollo lost his battle to
cancer. After Carrollo’s death, Wallen’s income was compromised because DOMA prohibits him from receiving his spouse’s Social Security payment. Wallen would have been able to receive these payments had he been in an
opposite-sex marriage. According to the hearing notice, Wallen is unable to
make payments on his family home and is faced with selling the residence,
after just losing his spouse.
Celebrity testifiers include Evan Wolfson, the head of Freedom to Marry, who has dedicated his life to this work and has certainly earned a place at the table. Also included is Joe Solmonese, who heads an organization that claims a million members, which entitles him to attend White House cocktail parties where he can show off his Dolce & Gabbana suits. Let’s hope he wears a pretty one for the teevee cameras next week!
But it’s Ron Wallen’s story that needs to be heard. Because it’s the real story of the pain, anguish and theft imposed by DOMA. It’s Ron Wallen who is actually affected by DOMA. It’s Ron Wallen who is losing his home. It’s Ron Wallen who is being hurt by the Social Security Administration’s DOMA restrictions. Here is Ron and Tom’s story.