Friday, January 18, 2013
A military spouses' club that came under fire for denying membership to the wife of a lesbian soldier is now offering her "guest" membership.
But Ashley Broadway is rejecting the offer, calling it "just plain hurtful," according to the Los Angeles Times. Broadway had hoped for full membership.
As Home Post reported previously, Broadway attempted to join the Association of Bragg Officers' Spouses after her wife, Army Lt. Col. Heather Mack, was transferred to Fort Bragg. Broadway and Mack have been in a committed relationship for more than 15 years, and the couple was legally married after the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell.
In a letter posted on its website, ABOS stated:
“In a continued attempt to support all military families, the ABOS Board would like to offer Ms. Broadway a special Guest Membership. Additionally, LTC Mack, as an active duty officer, is and has always been eligible to become a Member of ABOS and participate in ABOS events.
It has always been and will continue to be our mission to support all military families."
Broadway said the reason the club gave for initially denying membership was that she didn't have a military spouse ID card. Broadway is unable to get such a card because the military, as part of the federal government, doesn't yet recognize same-sex marriages.
ABOS sent an email to the Military.com blog SpouseBUZZ stating that it would no longer require a military ID card as a condition of guest membership:
“Guest membership will be extended to anyone with a valid marriage certificate in any state married to an Active Duty Officer in the armed forces residing in the Fort Bragg area.”