Fort Bragg Spouse of the Year part of a same-sex couple

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Lt.Col Heather Mack, son Carson, Ashley Broadway

Ashley Broadway and other same-sex military spouses do not have military ID cards or family member status, because the Department of Defense doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage. Ashley, like other same-sex military spouses, doesn’t receive military healthcare, moving or housing allowances or other similar benefits of being a military spouse.

Even so, she said the response she received when she first asked to join the Association of Bragg Officers Spouses was the first real discrimination she had experienced. The club’s leadership took two months to deliberate and first offered Ashley a guest membership, because she lacks a military ID. The club has since changed its policy…

Last week was an eventful one for Ashley and her Army wife, Lt. Col. Heather Mack. On Wednesday Heather gave birth to their second child, a girl. The couple also has a 2-year-old son.

On Friday, Ashley was named Military Spouse of the Year for Fort Bragg, N.C. The online competition, sponsored by Military Spouse Magazine, is part of a nationwide contest and is not affiliated with the Association of Bragg Officers Spouses.

Just after Ashley’s win was announced, the Fort Bragg spouses club publicly invited Ashley to join as a full member. They released a revised membership policy that includes full membership for all legally married military spouses, even those who do not have ID cards, namely same-sex spouses like Ashley.

Amazing coincidence. 🙂

“I have responded to them that I hope to join real soon. Of course, just having had our daughter, family comes first … I hope to attend an event and get involved starting in March…”

Much of this crappy behavior towards spouses in same-sex couples in the military is “excused” in court by DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act. Hopefully the Supreme Court – even packed with Republicans – will recognize a responsibility to bring constitutional law in line with 21st Century social understanding.

Though our populace has grown to greater understanding of the real world, Congress stands alongside state governments incapable of rationale lawmaking. So, the next decision lies with our judiciary.

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