Homosexual Denied Membership in Army Spouse’s Club
Update: The Fort Bragg spouse group says some of the public accusations against them are “misrepresented.”
A homosexual woman lodged a public complaint after being denied membership in Fort Bragg’s “Association of Officers’ Spouses.”
[Ashley] Broadway said the social group — which is not an official military organization — told her she could not join because while she has a marriage certificate, she doesn’t have a military spouse ID…
Broadway says the clause about the ID card was added after she was denied, in what she believes was an effort to exclude same-sex spouses.
Broadway has indicated that she “has a case…because the group violated their by-laws.” Notably, that hinges on the definition of the word spouse. Federally, homosexuals are not recognized as “married.” In North Carolina, which is where Fort Bragg is located, the state Constitution defines marriage as a man and woman. In that regard, Broadway’s argument fails because she isn’t a “spouse,” though that may still depend on one’s political leanings.
Conveniently, Broadway works for the American Military Partner Association — which, just coincidentally, is a homosexual advocacy group focused on obtaining benefits for homosexual partners of military members.
Naturally, her group publicized the decision and condemned it:
The AMPA said the decision to deny Broadway membership is “a direct attack on same-sex spouses of service members”…
Both the AMPA and the article note the Fort Bragg group is not a government organization — meaning it can essentially do whatever it wants. Also, some Officer Spouses Clubs at other locations have reportedly been accepting of homosexual partners.
The melodrama surrounding Officers Spouses Clubs (or Officers Wives Clubs, as they were once known) is not confined to the recent changes regarding homosexuals in the military. OSCs have frequently had spats over accepting fiancés, girlfriends, or even active duty female members who may or may not have a military husband. (While it may vary among services and it does occasionally happen, men do not frequently join “spouse” groups.)
Ultimately, the social groups are free to make the decisions their members agree upon.
Broadway acknowledges the group is not obligated to admit her, yet she is essentially trying to force them to do so, via negative publicity, if nothing else. She admits she’s doing it to make a point:
I am out to inform the public that LGBT military families are not being treated fairly.
As has been repeated here many times, even mentioning the “T” demonstrates ignorance, since “transgendered” individuals are banned from military service. As far as the “LGB,” under federal law they are treated equally with other unmarried military “families,” which, semantically speaking, is “fair.”
To be clear, most military spouse groups already discriminate. For example, to be a part of the Fort Bragg group one has to be an officer’s spouse — not enlisted — and one also has to be married — not a live-in girlfriend, even if its long-term and “serious.” Certainly, an argument could be made that those groups could use support, too (and those arguments have been made). It may not be “fair” to exclude those or other groups, either. The point is spouse groups are free to define their own membership, and they have done so.
To be fair, many people struggle with the best way to “support” a person who has chosen a lifestyle with which they disagree without simultaneously condoning that lifestyle. Some families become estranged, for example, over parents’ unwillingness to “condone” the decision by their son or daughter to live with someone without getting married. Others arrive at a compromise that grants them some degree of a relationship. Similarly, homosexuals living with US troops would likely benefit even from some basic social support provided by a spouse group — but, like the rest of society, some in that group will struggle with their desire to provide support without condoning the lifestyle.
Notably, there were repeated assurances that DADT repeal would be transparent, and even a year out a “report” was issued saying repeal was a non-event. Critics of the report pointed out there are many buttons yet to push in the post repeal environment. For example, for this spouse group, DADT repeal is not a “non-event” — even though DADT repeal technically had nothing to do with them.
There is more yet to come on this subject. The Supreme Court has taken up the challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act, which is currently the only thing preventing homosexuals from being recognized as “married” within the military benefits system. In another relevant issue, the Army continues its Strong Bonds marriage enrichment program, which is run by the Chaplaincy. The “collision” of homosexual couples, a program intended to support traditional marriage, and chaplains who may be theologically opposed to homosexuality has yet to publicly occur.