Lesbian military wife gains full access to club and named Military Spouse of the Year

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By Anna Peirano

Ashley Broadway, wife of Lt. Col. Heather Mack, was in the news last year after it seemed her local military spouse’s club in Fort Bragg, North Carolina was denying her entry into the group for being a lesbian. But it looks like the tables have turned for Broadway, who’s already having a much better year. 

Originally, the private military club told Broadway that she couldn’t become a member without a military ID card. Mack and Broadway were legally married, with a signed marriage certificate from Washington D.C.. However, because of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, the military didn’t officially recognize their union.  

But on Friday, Broadway told the Associated Press that not only did she receive an invitation from the club’s board in an email, but she was also notified at the same time that she has been named Fort Bragg’s 2013 “Military Spouse of the Year” by Military Spouse magazine. In addition to the invite, Broadway also found out that the group has added sexual orientation to the nondiscrimination clause in its by-laws. 

“I’m pleased, I’m happy. As soon as things calm down with the baby, I want to get involved,” says Broadway. “I hate that it took so long for them to come to this conclusion. But I think things happen for a reason… I think if anything it’s brought up a larger issue: We have two classes of service members and how they’re … not treated equally. Looking back, it’s been a blessing in disguise because people are talking … in Washington, this is being talked about.”

Also this week, Lt. Col. Heather Mack gave birth to the couple’s second child, a baby girl.

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