Saturday, January 26, 2013

Ashely Broadway and Col. Mack face discrimination in post-DADT days.

While more states have started to practice marriage equality this year, our society continues to play catch up with other changing policies and laws about same-sex couples. This is especially true in the U.S. military, even after the draconian law of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) was repealed in 2010.
DADT made it nigh to impossible to be an out-LGBTQ military service personnel and not face discharge, either honorable or dishonorable. With the repeal of DADT, LGBTQ individuals and couples began coming out of their closets, living openly in military service to our country, with little to no fear of recrimination. There have been beautiful photographs taken of individuals in military dress kissing their same-sex spouse or partner, with their children hugging the embracing couple.
While the federal law has changed in terms of military service, some ancillary groups have yet to change policies that have caused great consternation and heartache among many couples. In other words, there is more work to be done. We only find out about the old rules that need to be changed as people bump up against them.
This was brought to the forefront recently when Ashley Broadway, wife of Lt. Col. Heather Mack, was initially denied membership in the Association of (Ft) Bragg Officers’ Spouses group (ABOS) because she was in a same-sex relationship with Lt. Col. Mack (even though ABOS declares they are supportive of all military families). The by-laws of ABOS had not been reviewed and “updated” to include military spouses in same-sex couples. As a compromise, they offered Ashley Broadway a “guest membership,” even though she is a military spouse.

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