Sally Ride, who died on Monday, can help put a face to a national problem.
She was the first American woman and the youngest American ever to travel in space—the kind of accomplishment that automatically gets you the label of “inspiration for generations of young Americans” and an obit in The Times.
What’s less well known is that Ms. Ride was gay. Family and friends were aware of her 27-year relationship with Tam O’Shaughnessy, but the wider public was not. I bring up this personal detail because, as numerous people on the Web and Twitter have pointed out, Ms. O’Shaughnessy is not entitled to any federal benefits. (She probably doesn’t need the money, but that’s beside the point.)