Denied Membership: An Open Letter to the President of the Association of Bragg Officers’ Spouses

Madam President,

Earlier this month, I was delighted to find that there is an Officers’ Spouse Club (OSC) on the Ft. Bragg base. My wife and I have been together for fifteen years as partners, and with the recent repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” are finally legally married.

I emailed a listed contact for the group and eagerly waited to hear back. When I did, I was incredibly disappointed to be told I “do not qualify.”

I respectfully ask that you reconsider my request to join the Association of Bragg Officers’ Spouses. Although I have only been a legal spouse since November 10th, I have been in a committed relationship with my spouse since 1997. I have been at every promotion ceremony from First Lieutenant through Lieutenant Colonel. I watched with pride when she took her guideon and began company command, and I was the shoulder she cried on when she had to give it up. I have endured deployments and several TDYs, and I’ll continue to comfort our son and newborn daughter as they watch her leave on the next. 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. As an educator, I would often tutor “Army Brats” in reading. I briefed inbound families on the different school districts, assisting in housing location decisions. I have worked with local Humane Societies to help deployed Soldiers find temporary homes for their pets while they deploy, and most recently, I volunteer as a family coordinator for the American Military Partner Association, assisting other military members with same-sex partners and their families work through the existing inequalities we face.

I am aware that I am not the only same-sex spouse denied membership in a military spouse association. It is happening in other service branches as well. The American Military Partner Association comes together to support spouses in this situation. Most recently, Tanisha Ward, the wife of a deployed Airman, was denied membership to the Little Rock Air Force Base Spouse’s Club. She and her wife had just PCS’d to Little Rock when her wife, A1C Hensley, deployed. Far away from her family and friends, Tanisha looked to other spouses for support. However, Tanisha was denied as a same-sex spouse. Ft. Bragg should not be another example of this discrimination.

You see, our lives are more similar than they are different. I am dedicated to my spouse and the country we love. I was excited to stumble upon your Facebook page, and to see an organization whose vales and enthusiasm were so in line with my own. I read through your mission and the description of your club and found a club where I could continue to make a difference. I was overjoyed when I read that the club is made up of military spouses dedicated to the tradition of the Army, while moving towards its vision of tomorrow. My families, and families like mine, are included in the vision of tomorrow’s Army. Please keep in mind that DADT was repealed over a year ago. Our Commander-in-Chief supports us; I was the first same-sex military spouse invited by the First Lady to attend her Mother’s Day Tea. We are a part of the face of this country’s future, and the White House, Pentagon, and many other posts are leaning forward to embrace this progression.

The American Military Partner Association has created a petition to ask you to end this kind of exclusion. I hope that you reconsider my membership in the Ft. Bragg OSC, as Ft. Bragg is known amongst military communities for setting the standard, leading by example, and being at the forefront of change.

Very Respectfully,

Ashley Broadway

Do you support Ashley?  Sign our petition today!

 

UPDATED: Association of Bragg Officers’ Spouses Attempts to Solidify Discrimination

 

46 Comments

  1. As the wife of a newly retired British Army full Colonel, I am absolutely horrified that you would be denied access to the OSC. Actually, I am pretty horrified that there is an ‘O’SC and not just an open to all ‘SC’ but that’s another conversation. If this had happened on any base we lived on I would have started a riot – actually I don’t believe that I would have had to, because I am in no doubt that my fellow Army wives and I would have simply picked up our dropped jaws at such rampant homophobia and gathered up the spouse into our group. The U.S military needs to get a grip. My husband had a junior Officer whose husband (who incidentally lived with his husband in Army Quarters) who was a main-stay in our ‘Wives Club’ (dodgy title I would agree – but wives of wives and husbands of husbands and wives of husbands and husbands of wives were all equally welcome). Tell these half-wits to get stuffed and feel free to tell them that I said so!

  2. Eloquent letter! Military spouse for 21 years to a SNCO. Shame on these women for treating another mil spouse poorly. Unfortunately, it’s not surprising. Sorry, but officer’s wives;’ groups will often find a way to remain exclusive. This is just another way to make it happen. So, Ashley, don’t feel too badly. This is a reflection of who they are. Not a reflection of you. Find a group of people who will support you, regardless of gender, rank, or orientation, and leave the hateful people to stew in their hatred. Blessings to you and your family!

  3. It seems to be being a military spouse is hard enough, to be left out of a support network is unthinkable. Every mom needs the support of other moms. The Fort Bragg Officers’ Spouses group needs to get with the times and start including all spouses. Come on ladies it is 2013 let’s get with the times!

  4. The only thing that I wasn’t impressed with was the fact that he opeend with Retired Navy Seal. Thats was so unprofessional! Why would you say that, seals know nothing more about the design of boats then any one that been around boats most of their life so it wasn’t to show that he really knows about boats. When I present something I dont say Rodney Long Here retired us Paratrooper, aircraft structure specialist with the 82nd and 160th, slicc, and aircraft recovery specialist.- so why????

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. A New Kind of Army Wife | TIME.com - [...] repeal of `Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ are finally legally married,” she wrote in a public letter to the spouses’…
  2. A New Kind of Army Wife - Rise of the Right - [...] new dissolution of ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell,’ are finally legally married,” she wrote in a public letter to a…
  3. Fort Bragg officials to meet lesbian military mother | QNotes Gay Charlotte and LGBT Carolina News, Arts & Entertainment - [...] by Matt Comer  Editor  editor@goqnotes.comPublished: December 18, 2012 in News Ashley Broadway and her son. Courtesy American Military Partners Association…
  4. Same-Sex Military Spouse Discrimination at Fort Bragg: What’s the Bigger Picture? | Daily Queer News - [...] Colonel in the Army, for the sole reason that she is a same-sex spouse.  When she wrote her open…
  5. Women Sex Health » Same-sex spouse not allowed to join group at Fort Bragg - [...] wrote an open minute to a organization’s president and posted it on AMPA’s website. The organisation also combined a…
  6. Slinking Toward Retirement | A New Kind of Army Wife | TIME.com | News, Travel, Opinion and Just Odd and Funny Things... - [...] the recent repeal of `Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ are finally legally married,” she wrote in a public letter to…
  7. Activists: Fort Bragg officials using ‘delay tactic’ after alleged anti-gay discrimination | QNotes Gay Charlotte and LGBT Carolina News, Arts & Entertainment - [...] by Matt Comer  Editor  editor@goqnotes.comPublished: December 20, 2012 in News Ashley Broadway and her son. Courtesy American Military Partners Association…
  8. Lesbian barred from joining Army wives group at Ft.Bragg | The ... - hardPuppy - Network Blog - [...] made her own case in a letter to the director of the Ft. Bragg group,4 which was published on…
  9. An Open Letter to the National Military Family Association: Please Stop Excluding Same-sex Military Spouses - [...] North Carolina, another organization, the Association of Bragg Officers’ Spouses, recently denied one of our members admission to their spouse club…
  10. USA - Military club closes ranks to gay wife - [...] Broadway posted an open letter to the club on the American Military Partner Association, the nation’s go-to support network for gay, lesbian…
  11. Military club closes ranks to gay wife – NewsWeekin News - [...] Broadway posted an open letter to the club on the American Military Partner Association, the nation’s go-to support network…
  12. U.S. military club closed to gay wife | Rene Kubitza News - [...] Broadway posted an open letter to the club on the American Military Partner Association, the nation’s go-to support network…
  13. Gay Military Wife Denied Access to Fort Bragg Spouses Club — The Good Men Project - [...] any heterosexual military spouse. She was not going to back down without a fight. So she posted an open…
  14. News | Ripple's Web » U.S. military club closed to gay wife - [...] Broadway posted an open letter to the club on the American Military Partner Association, the nation’s go-to support network…
  15. Your Domain Name - ... [Trackback]... [...] Informations on that Topic: militarypartners.org/an-open-letter-to-the-president-of-the-association-of-bragg-officers-spouses/ [...]...
  16. Splitting hairs on ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy | Pro BTC - [...] Broadway posted an open letter to the club on the American Military Partner Association, the nation’s go-to support network…
  17. On Our Radar – Ashley Broadway, An Army Of One Literate Lesbian | The New Civil Rights Movement - [...] more they stay the same. So Ashley did exactly what I would have done in her place; she wrote…
  18. On Our Radar – Ashley Broadway, An Army Of One Literate Lesbian « Radical Right Thugs: assassins of gay soul and spirit - [...] more they stay the same. So Ashley did exactly what I would have done in her place; she wrote…
  19. Ashley Broadway – An Army of One Literate Lesbian | Brain Drops - [...] more they stay the same. So Ashley did exactly what I would have done in her place; she wrote…

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