Army Wives Group At Ft. Bragg Discriminates Against Lesbian

The wife of a ranking officer at Fort Bragg has been denied membership in a military spouses’ group—and all signs indicate it’s because they’re a same-sex couple.

Ashley Broadway, who is legally married to Army Lieutenant Colonel Heather Mack, applied to the Association of Bragg Officers’ Spouses earlier in December but was told she didn’t qualify—even though she and her partner have been together for 15 years.

Broadway made her case in a letter:

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 dedicated to my spouse and the country we love. I was excited to stumble upon your Facebook page, and to see an organization whose values 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 Please keep in mind that DADT was repealed over a year ago.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.

Very Respectfully,

Ashley Broadway

A petition has been started to get the spouses’ organization to change its mind, but we’re not holding our breath: Broadway was told she didn’t qualify for the group because she didn’t have an “active ID card.” But that requirement wasn’t added to the group’s charter until after Broadway asked to join.

“The facts here are simple: there is no legal need or justification for any spouse to be excluded from a group like this, which exists to provide support to the spouses and families of our military men and women and the communities they serve,” said OutServe-SLDN Executive Director Allyson Robinson. “Though the organization operates on Ft. Bragg with permission from the Commanding General, the group is not formally affiliated with the military and is not required to bar membership to Ashley.”

OutServe-SLDN  is reaching out to General Dan Allyn, base commander at Fort Bragg, to resolve the issue.

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  • viveutvivas

    Seriously? You join an institution that has so little regard for human rights that it indiscriminately continues to kill civilians, including children, in drone strikes on inhabited towns, systematically discriminates against occupied populations elsewhere in the world, syetmatically discriminates against women’s and minority rights in their own ranks, treats gay whistleblower Bradley Manning like an animal and a criminal, and the most important thing you can think about b*tching and moaning about is that you can’t join the freaking mommy group?

  • LaTeesha

    She has apparently never hung out with the twits who make up these groups. I can’t imagine voluntarily hanging out with these wives. My dad was an officer in the military and my mother often refused to join these groups because she find the women to be complete bitches.

  • DarkZephyr

    @viveutvivas: Not everyone feels the way that you do about the American military.

  • Mjl-428

    @LaTeesha: that was kinda why my unit now has to have an FRG restarted. Because I think as much as our unit hated its Battalion Commander, the moms and wives probably hated his wife just as much

  • viveutvivas

    @DarkZephyr, LOL, that’s not much of a counterargument, is it?

  • mlbumiller

    @viveutvivas: First say on the damn topic of the article. What is really sad, is not much can be done. It is a private group, they can make what ever choices they want who can become memebers. The base commander could kick them off the base if he wanted, but since DOMA is in force, the DOD does not see her a spouse. Sad but ture, fair… no. My own experience of officer wives is not very positive; they for the most part were bitches thought they wore the rank.
    Second, PFC Manning as far as I am concern should not have even been arrested in a war zone for passing classified documents, his a** should have been shot for treason on the spot. He wears the uniform of the US Army and needs to follow regulations, instructions, orders and the UCMJ at all times, that he swore to uphold. I do not consider him a whisler blower since he faild to address his concerns as perscribed under regulations. He is a crminial. Third, he was in a militar brig, not a federal prison. The rules are different. Medical might have stated that he wasnt a risk to himself, but tha is only an advisment the brig commander has he last say. Sh*t, if the would have put him in regular population, he more than likely would have been beaten to death for what he had done an admitted to and for being a “faggot”.

  • 2eo

    No, exposing the crimes of the people supposed to be defending our freedom is one of the most brave, democratic and heroic things anyone can do. We are supposed to be better than them and the documents exposed a lot of people who condone the machine to be exactly the same as the enemy.

    He should have a medal for his services to humanity and democracy, not jailed and tortured for exposing the talking heads as barbaric hypocrites.

  • Kevin B

    I am as appalled as anyone at the use of torture. I’m not the kind of apologist who only thinks it’s bad when other nations do it. I’m fully aware that the US has committed it, and recently. But not to Bradley Manning. Solitary confinement is not torture. Being under constant surveillance is not torture (and is especially important when a prisoner is at risk of injuring or killing himself). If you think his treatment was unnecessarily cruel, feel free to say so. Don’t insult everyone’s intelligence by equating it with actual torture.

    I haven’t read more than a couple of the actual documents he leaked, but let’s be honest, neither have you. I’m sure some of them exposed hypocrisy or barbarism. Most of what I saw did nothing but hurt American interests. What “service to humanity” is achieved by releasing internal memos that mildly disparage foreign leaders? How is “democracy” served by identifying Afghan and Iraqi civilians who were serving as intelligence sources?

  • 2eo

    @Kevin B: Bless, I’ve read just shy of half the documents released.

    Also, there is not a single document in the entire release that identified any field operatives or named any serving officer specifically, nor gave away tactical information. Not a single life or identity was compromised by the release, not one.

    Maybe you shouldn’t get your information from Fox.

  • mlbumiller

    @2eo: is quite obvious that you have never taken a Oh to defend the Constitution of the United States from enemies both foreign and domestic. He was an is an enemy. If he wanted to expose corruption in wrongdoing he did it in the most illegal way possible.. the department of the army the Department of Defense in all Federal employees have access to numerous different whistleblowing avenues to expose corruption fraud waste abuse and illegal activity. He failed to use those means. I did 20 years in the Navy from 1986 to 2006. He knew when he really so documents that he did something that was totally illegal. When you have access to confidential and secret documents you were Julie informed of what your responsibilities are in handling those documents. Failure to follow those rules regulations instructions and orders of those above you Result in disciplinary action an possible imprisonment. You were told this from the get go and you signed documents that you understand. We are in a state of War he did something illegal on the waterfront is actually been shot then.

  • 2eo

    @mlbumiller: So you’re saying that to serve a democracy you must abandon every human notion of morality and rationality in order to serve.

    That makes you considerably less of a person, it makes you a robot, an unthinking worthless cog in a bloated ineffective machine, and nothing else.

    The freedom to think and act rationally is of utmost importance when fighting an enemy, the ability to question and expose liars and traitors, like those at Abu Ghraib is the most fundamental concept of the militaristic democratic process. To be against wanting to know absolutely that the government and military are transparent and worthy of representing their people is the exact motivation for Al-Qaeda.

    Also, for the record, quoting years of military service isn’t going to give you an edge, I’m not Fox News and I don’t buy into appeals to populum with ease, irrespective of your service your opinions are contemptible.

    Freedom is knowledge. I’m also NOT American.

  • mlbumiller

    @2eo: obviously you really didn’t read the post. I’m not saying that his views were wrong. What he did was illegal in under the Uniform Code of Military Justice he broke the law. I know of 3 organizations he could have made report to in started investigation that would be done by independent Party . Instead of taking a lawful action he did an unlawful action. You making a comment about nothing you know about you’ve never served in the US military you don’t know military law so In this country you have the right to make An opinion but that opinion is Is based on your total ignorance of what Of what the US military allowed in does not allow you to do. Are US servicemen does not lose his right at the US citizen he just have to be more cautious and follow not only US law but he has to follow military law.. my disk closing that I was a 20 year service number give me the proper background and support in my opinion I making my opinion based on my 20 years of military experience. He broke military instruction military law and failed to follow direct orders from his superior officer which he swore when he entered into military service. Not only did he do that but he did that in a war zone which by military law could be construed as treason.

  • mlbumiller

    @mlbumiller: you say you’re not an American but you don’t say where you’re from. I am sure not only your government but your military has made some questionable decisions and actions and it’s past and Willie and its future.

  • Freddie27

    Most of what viveutvivas said is utter, self-righteous nonsense. The US military conducts war operations around the world, of course there are civilian casualties. That’s what happens in war! The US military does not target them and kill them on purpose, unlike most of their enemies who are happy to murder civilians to make a point. The US military follows orders; not everyone agrees with the wars being conducted around the world or the drone strikes, but the US Congress and President have unfortunately decided to go down that course. Petition, protest and blame your Congress(wo)man, Senator and President, not their subordinates who follow their orders. How does the US military discriminate against minority soldiers? The US military is all the time attempting to alleviate sexist discrimination against female service members, opening up more posts to them, aiding the reporting and prosecution of sexual assaults.

    It is undoubtedly true, though, that Bradley Manning is an American hero, who risked everything to expose US war crimes committed in the Middle East, including the deliberate covering up of the murder of Reuters journalists by a US attack helicopter. The inhumane and degrading treatment that he has been subjected to, including solitary confinement and stripping down, is little short of torture and a punishment for his actions; it is a stain on the US conscience to lock up this prisoner of conscience anymore.

  • Richard

    @viveutvivas: I’m considering being upset about something, but I can’t tell if it’s a big enough deal to make you upset, so I don’t want to overstep my authority. Please send me your phone number so that I can clear my opinions with you before mentioning them in public.

Comments are closed.