Same-sex Army wife banned from joining Fort Bragg officers spouses club

By on Dec 15, 2012 in Lifestyle, United States Comments

Updated: January 27, 2013 3:25 a.m.

Read Lesbian Army wife Ashley Broadway wins 2013 Fort Bragg Spouse of the Year, offered ABOS full membership

A same-sex Army wife was banned from joining club for spouses called Association of Bragg Officers’ Spouses (ABOS) of Fort Bragg, which is being dubbed as the largest Army installation in the US. A petition was recently launched, asking the club to allow her to join, as well as other wives of lesbian Army members.

same sex Army wife Ashley Broadway Heather Mack

Ashley Broadway (left) and her spouse Lt. Col.
Heather Mack

Image Credit: Ashley Broadway via NBC News

As noted at NBC News on Friday, December 14, 2012, Ashley Broadway, who married her 15-year companion, Lt. Col. Heather Mack last November, said she was not allowed to join the ABOS. The couple has a 2-year-old son and Mack is now 8 months pregnant with their second child.

“I was really hurt by the denial. Living for years under ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,’ I couldn’t be a part of the military family. After ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,’ I thought, wow, I can finally be part of something, finally give back to the military community in ways other than just writing a check.” Broadway told the report.

“So it was a blow. A real blow. Here, I thought things were progressing. I was knocked back down.” Broadway added, noting that ABOS president Mary Ring told her her application was denied because she does not have a military spouse identification card, a rule that was reportedly added only a few weeks ago.

Last Monday, December 10, Ashley Broadway wrote an open letter to ABOS about her denied application to their spouses club, saying that she has been in a committed relationship with her spouse since 1997 and they were married last November 30; and asking them to re-consider her application.

“When I decided to dedicate myself to my spouse, I knew all too well I was dedicating myself to the Army as well. My record of service to the military community would be an outstanding addition to your group. I began volunteering to assist military families.” Broadway wrote on her open letter, published at Militarypartners.org, the official website of American Military Partner Association, where the online petition was published.

On Friday late night, the Little Rock Spouses’ Club (LRSC), a private organization and is not a part of the Department of Defense, announced its support to Ashley Broadway and other same-sex Army wives, noting that they proposed a motion to amend the LRSC Constitution regarding membership, and 30-day review period for members is now open.

Meanwhile, NBC News said that they received an email from Association of Bragg Officers’ Spouses with a statement saying, “In response to recent interest in the membership requirements of our organization, we will review the issue at our next board meeting.”



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