Spouse Club in Fort Bragg offer “guest membership” to same-sex spouse

Army.lt.col.heather.mack.ashley.broadwayA bit of a controversy has been brewing in Fort Bragg recently. It all started when Ashley Broadway, wife of Lt. Col. Heather Mack, was rejected from the Association of Bragg Officers’ Spouses.

You’d think being the wife of a Lieutenant colonel who is in the Army would qualify Broadway as a spouse, but I digress. Initially the ABOS said Broadway doesn’t have a spouse military ID, so it’s ‘too bad, so sad’, but allegedly that rule wasn’t even added until after Broadway asked to join.

In an action I suspect is only to help smooth things over with the public, Mary Ring, president of ABOS sent a letter to Broadway offering her a “guest membership” while their bylaws are reviewed. 

Stephen Peters, the executive director of the American Military Partner Association, was not at all satisfied with the offer, said it’s “not only offensive but ridiculous.”

“Ashley is not a ‘guest’ military spouse. She is a military spouse, plain and simple,” Peters told BuzzFeed. “So the idea that the organization, in order to end the negative attention they are getting because of their outright discrimination, wants to give her a ‘guest membership’ is not only offensive, but ridiculous. The ABOS openly admits a military ID card is not listed as a requirement, yet they continue to deny her full membership.”

A little over a week ago the Marine Corps released a statement supporting Broadway, essentially telling ABOS to ‘be equal or get your damn lemonade stand off my lawn.’ The Army however, took ABOS’ side citing a 2008 policy that hasn’t been updated since the repeal of DADT and Fort Bragg spokesman Ben Able said ABOS is “not in violation of federal discrimination laws because federal discrimination laws don’t extend to sexual orientation.”

So the saga continues. Even in the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell there are leftover policies that need to be changed, and quickly. There is no reason why discrimination like this should still be happening, but here we are.


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