Ashley Broadway is an Army wife who was looking to make a few new friends when her family was relocated to Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Broadway and her spouse have one son, with a second child on the way, and are looking to settle down. Ashley had hoped to make some like-minded friends who know the ups and downs of being a wife in the military.
With that in mind she applied for membership to the Association of Bragg Officers’ Spouses, a club where she’d be able to associate with others in her situation.
However, CNN reports that Broadway was not accepted into the club and she believes it was because of one specific difference between her situation and the others. Ashley is married to Lieutenant Colonel Heather Mack, and she believes she wasn’t accepted into the club because she’s gay.
The club says her application was not accepted due to a new rule that all members must have a military identification card. While the card is available to all military family members, Broadway isn’t eligible to receive one. The club is also not a military club, but rather a private group.
While the couple is legally married, following a November ceremony in Washington, D.C., and the military’s repeal of the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy allows for soldiers to be openly gay in the serivce, the military still does not recognize same-sex marriage due to the Defense of Marriage Act. The 1996 law will be spotlighted in March, when the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments on its constitutionality.
The club claims it will revisit membership requirements at the next board meeting. In the meantime, Broadway has penned an open letter to the president of the club and has received a lot of support online from others in similar situations.
Still, she just wishes they’d take the time to actually discuss the situation with her, saying, “I kept thinking that if these people just met me, they would like me.”