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

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

UPDATE: In response to the American Military Partner Association’s open letter, the Fort Bragg Association of Officer’s Spouses has attempted to solidify their exclusion of same-sex military spouses. Instead of allowing a lesbian military spouse to join, the Association responded by adding the requirement of an “active ID card” to their list of requirements on their website and Facebook page (their Facebook has since been deleted). As of 9 December 2012, this was not a membership requirement listed in either place.  

More importantly, this is not a requirement listed in their bylaws which state one must only be a military spouse.

Ashley Broadway is the spouse of an active duty commissioned officer of the United States Army and should therefore qualify. Additionally, the below document was also found that outlines membership requirements which clearly only state one must be a military spouse.

Bottom Line:

This is a direct attack on same-sex spouses of service members.  The Association of Bragg Officers’ Spouses has no legitimate reason to deny Ashley Broadway membership because she meets the requirements outlined in the Association’s bylaws.

Please sign our petition!

Read Ashley’s original open letter here.

23 Comments

  1. Do not be narrow-minded and discriminatory toward a woman and mother whose spouse is of the same gender. This applies to male couples as well. You are bigger than narrow-minded bigotry and discrimination. The military has always tried to fight for right, justice for all, all over the world. DO the right thing and end prejudice toward those who need your real support here and abroad. I’m praying you will have hearts of flesh and not hearts of stone…

  2. Ashley exemplifies a outstandong officer spouse.

  3. Discrimination is an ugly thing and should not be part of any military unit, whether it be towards a member of our armed forces or their spouse. Please recognize the spirit of ending DADT and welcome spouses of all service members into your association. Stand on the right side of history or be remembered as bigots. The choice is yours.

  4. This situation bring tears to my eyes. Dear women of Ft. Bragg, imagine your membership was denied due to eye volor, hair color, nationality, or Creed. As same sex spouses we deal with the same hardships you do, but without access to healthcare and dependent pay. Sometimes, we are just lookinf for friends who know what it is like to have a spouse deploy, or just work very long hours. My heart is sad for you that because a woman may love another woman, this makes you personally uncomfortable. Please have your own personal views, but open your eyes to the bigger situation. I am an enlisted Coast Guard spouse. Our spouses club reached out to me for membership and did so with open arms! I only hope your organization will find the courage to do the same.

  5. This is just shameful.

  6. ALL military spouses, regardles of race, gender, national origin, disability, creed, religion or SEXUAL ORIENTATION should be included. A military spouse is a military spouse and your behavior is shameful.

  7. Why bother even wanting to be in the “clique?”
    I’ve found military officer wives to be the most clique-ish, denigrating, self important bunch of bitches who have a sense of entitlement. I can’t even remember how many times I heard the words “do you know who my husband is?” when I was active duty. (followed by my, “no and don’t give a shit and no, you can’t have my ID card). I say go and find an enlisted Ombudsman group, they are friendlier and more informed than those broads (intended derogatory) in the rarefied air of the “O” club.

  8. Article 133 – “Any commissioned officer, cadet, or midshipman who is convicted of conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.”

    It is a shame that, as spouses, you fall so short of the high ideals that your spouses and partners have sworn to uphold. ALL military spouses, regardles of race, gender, national origin, disability, creed, religion or SEXUAL ORIENTATION must not only be included, but welcomed as part of our broad, strong, military family.

  9. I am a current member of the ABOS. I was unaware that this is going on as I’m sure the other members are too. We are all not privy to what goes on behind closed doors with the leadership. I apologize, although I am not in any leadership position. I just hate to see generalizations made that all members if this group feel that same way. The majority of us didn’t know this was happening.

  10. Hi Steph,

    We were unaware that most have you have not heard of this. It is great to hear that you believe in support for all military spouses. So far, many of us have seen this on a face-to-face level. We are proud of all of our men and women in uniform and their families. Please feel free to email me at lauren@militarypartners.org if you would like to discuss how you and other members can support Ashley in the meantime.

    Again, thank you for your feedback!

  11. sounds like its time for a lawsuit. seriously, sue those anti-love, anti-family jerks.

  12. @sarah
    Strictly legally, they are probably doing nothing wrong. It’s a private club that collects membership fees. So they can set their own rules. Even gender or race discrimination is legal in that context. If there were a federal non-discrimination law covering sexual orientation and given their affiliation with the military, then *maybe*. But as it is, there isn’t a legal case here.

    But given that this may be in the national news soon, they may receive more attention than they thought

  13. I am so ashamed! I am a military spouse and I can not beleive that my fellow military family is being denied rights!I do not care black,white, yellow brown, or who you love…We take care of our family…

  14. Steph: I started inquring over a month ago and was finally told by your membership chair that I was denied due to not having a military identification card per Mary Ring. I asked for your president Mary Ring to call me and to send me the bylaws. No word from the ABOS, so I choose to write the open letter. I know some members had no idea about my being denied, and I ask for you as members to please address this with your board.
    Steve: We have been contacted by multiple law firms in NC and DC and because the group violated their by-laws, we actually do have a case. I’m not out to sue, I am out to inform the public that LGBT military families are not being treated fairly.

  15. So sad this is going on! I support you!! You back your soldier and that is all that is needed in my book! :) GOOD LUCK!!

  16. As a veteran who served 27 years as an Officer in the Canadian Air Force, I’m disgusted with the behaviour of ABOS. If you think you have a case, sue the bastards.

  17. Prior service here. I’m confused as to how this new requirement even matters. As a spouse shouldn’t Ashley have a dependent ID Card? Has the Army not caught up with DADT repeal to issue ID Cards to same sex spouses yet? Or is the issue that Ashley’s spouse is not Active Duty?

    I guess my question is why would requiring an Active ID Card in any way help keep out same sex spouses?

  18. HI Jimmy,

    Unfortunately DOMA and out-dated DoD policies prevent Ashley from getting a dependent ID card.

  19. This club and Mary Ring should be absolutely ashamed of themselves. It is time to form a new all inclusive, loving club that really cares about and is interested in supporting our service members and their families instead of promoting their own discriminatory beliefs. Mary Ring and her cohorts have many religious groups that support their beliefs. They are wrong in using the ABOS as an extension of those beliefs.

  20. ABOS members and Mary Ring should read the article at http://www.servicemembers.org/2012/n-h-soldier-fighting-breast-cancer-and-the-defense-of-marriage-act-forgoes-further-chemotherapy/. If this doesn’t change their mind, they simply don’t have a heart. How can you, as members of the ABOS actively or passively support such a group through your membership? Think of the harm you do to LGBT families, especially their children. What is next on your agenda, revoking the membership of those who support LGBT family members? If so, that would include me if I, as a married ID holding spouse, chose to be part of your narrow minded group. Don’t, worry though, there is no chance that I would every want to be part of your ‘rank’. Is it your goal to become an anti-gay group? If so, you are well on your way. As members of ABOS, your true colors will be known to all. Luckily, there are plenty of pro LGBT groups available for you to join later as you try to save face!

  21. Lacking the family member military ID opens the organization up to anyone claiming to be a military officer’s spouse. The ID is the only proof that you are a service member’s dependent. Without the required ID, Ashley Broadway isn’t eligible for any military benefits let alone this private organization. Going after this organization is misguided and counter productive to your cause. Your fight shouldn’t be with this group of military spouses but with those who have the power to grant you full military spousal benefits which include the dependent ID card.

  22. @Zack
    The ID is merely convenient for them and you’re forgetting that they didn’t require one until she applied to join. DOMA doesn’t apply to this group, so that’s just another excuse.

    There are alternatives to military ID cards here. For example they could require a marriage license and a copy the military member’s ID card.

  23. nothing against her for trying to “make it right” but you do realize that this does NOT ‘discriminate’ against just homosexual military spouses right? if there were a heterosexual spouse that did not have a DoD ID then they would be declined membership as well…..

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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  10. This is about more than a Spouse’s Club « LeftFace — The Other MilSpouse Blog - [...] had vainly hoped that when the media fervor over Ms. Broadway was denied entry to the Association of Bragg …

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