Ashley Broadway, who in December was denied membership to Fort Bragg’s officers’ spouse club because her spouse is a woman, has been named Fort Bragg’s 2013 spouse of the year and offered full membership to the club.
Broadway applied to join the officers’ spouse club after she was legally married to longtime partner Lt. Col. Heather Mack in November, and said she was shocked when the club refused to admit her. Later, the club offered to allow Broadway to join as a “special guest,” but Broadway rejected the offer, calling it offensive.
Friday, Broadway was named Ft. Bragg’s military spouse of the year, the result of online voting. She will now move on to the Army spouse of the year and military spouse of the year competitions.
Just hours after the announcement, the spouse club sent out a statement offering Broadway and other same-sex spouses with valid marriage certificates full membership to the club.
Broadway said she was “overjoyed” to see the club has now included sexual orientation in their non-discrimination clause, and said she will complete her application to become a full member of the club.
“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,” Broadway said in a written statement.
Still, advocacy groups such as OutServe-SLDN and the American Military Partner Association note that same-sex military spouses do not receive the same benefits that opposite-sex spouses do.
“If Ashley’s peers can bestow this honor on her, how can the Pentagon continue to pretend her family and others like them don’t even exist, and continue to delay taking actions currently in its authority to treat them the same as all other military families?” Allyson Robinson, executive director of OutServe-SLDN said in a written statement.