Lesbian Wife Ashley Broadway Denied Membership to Military Spouses Group

| by Michael Allen

Ashley Broadway wrote an open letter on Monday on MilitaryPartners.org, the website of the American Military Partner Association, to explain how a representative of the Fort Bragg, North Carolina group said that she did not qualify for membership, even though she legally married Army Lt. Col. Heather Mack in November.

The American Military Partner Association's official reason for banning Broadway was her lack of a military ID card, which is only available to opposite-sex military spouses.

However, BuzzFeed.com reviewed the American Military Partner Association's previously published bylaws and found no mention of an ID requirement.

Apparently, the "active ID card" requirement was added to the website, after Broadway published her letter.

Broadway told BuzzFeed.com: "I think when I heard those words, I feel like I've been discriminated against for the 15 years that I've been with Heather because I met her, and she was in the Army. I had to lie for so long, almost live two different lives. I could never really tell people, I couldn't get married."

"I've been discriminated against because of the military, because of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' but I just really had in my heart, had in my mind, that people were moving on from it," she said, adding, "I was so proud to finally say, 'We're married.'"

Pro-gay organizations such as OutServe-SLDN have asked the Pentagon to include ID cards for same-sex spouses of service members.

Allyson Robinson, Executive Director of OutServe-SLDN, told Buzzfeed.com: "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. 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."

"In the absence of a reply from the Association, we are left with no option but to reach out to the base’s leadership. General Allyn needs to know if there is discrimination happening against the military families in his community."