Battleland

Same-Sex Spouse Standoff Surrender

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Ashley Broadway

Ashley Broadway, left, and Heather Mack

Not 48 hours after Battleland’s piece in the dead-tree version of Time on the same-sex spouse squabble at Fort Bragg hit the street last Thursday, the Association of Bragg Officers’ Spouses decided to let Ashley Broadway become a full-fledged member.

For those keeping score at home, Broadway is the spouse of Army Lieutenant Colonel Heather Mack, a logistician based at Fort Bragg. When Broadway sought membership in ABOS, the club declined, because she lacked a military ID (which the military denied her, because under the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act the military doesn’t recognize same-sex marriages).

After pondering Broadway’s request for a month, and with public pressure building, ABOS sent Broadway an email Friday declaring that “any Spouse of an active duty commissioned or warrant Officer with a valid marriage certificate from any state or district in the United States is eligible for ABOS membership.”

This is one of those spats that seems insignificant, unless you, or your significant other, is involved.

1 comments
MitchellWood
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"This is one of those spats that seems insignificant, unless you, or your significant other, is involved."
 

Can't disagree more with this ending.

I am not Ashley Broadway nor am I Lt. Col. Heather Mack, but as a lawfully wedded husband of a 20-year Navy veteran, this "spat" does not seem at all "insignificant" to me. I can easily picture my partner and myself in similar situations, and that 1) Ashley's advocacy and volunteer efforts efforts have been recognized by her base-specific designation as Spouse of the Year and 2) the ABOS's decision to relent on its ham-fisted attempt to deny membership and discriminate against Ms. Broadway represent important milestones in the on-going struggle for full acceptance and inclusion of LGB members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their partners and spouses. 

 I'm grateful for these two women having had the courage to withstand the hate and animus cast their way during the past few months, for their on-going service to our country, for the Marines establishing the appropriate precedent, and for the ABOS' willingness to open its collective mind and finally accept the reality that LGB couples should be afforded the same rights and privileges as their heterosexual counterparts.