The equal treatment of gay spouses in the military took a step forward after the Fort Bragg spouse’s club offered full membership to the wife of a female officer.
Ashley Broadway, who is married to Lt. Col. Heather Mack, was offered full membership to the Association of Bragg Officers’ Spouses on Friday, after initially being offered a guest membership.
“In order to immediately support all military officer spouses who are eligible for ABOS membership, a more inclusive definition of spouse was needed,” the group wrote on its website.
Moving forward, the group said any spouse of an active duty commissioned or warrant officer with a valid U.S. marriage certificate would be eligible for membership.
“It is and always has been our mission to support military families,” the statement said.
Broadway’s application was rejected in November on the grounds that she did not have a military identification card. While spouses are given ID cards, Broadway had a card that afforded her the same privileges as a nanny, designating her as a caretaker to the 2-year-old son she has with her wife.
“It’s another slap in the face to my life and that of thousands of gay and lesbian soldiers because it, basically, it’s like, ‘Yes, please wear the uniform, please sacrifice, put yourself in harm’s way, but, by the way, we’re not going to take care of your family or your spouse back home,’” Broadway told Military Spouse magazine after she was offered guest membership.
After months of fighting, Broadway told the Los Angeles Times she was “overjoyed” that a non-discrimination clause had been added to the group’s by-laws.
“I have further reason to take pride in the Ft. Bragg military community, knowing that we, as military spouses, are able to come together to support each other, our soldiers, and our families,” she said in a statement.