Bragg OSC to Issue “Special” Membership to Gay Spouses

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Board members with the Fort Bragg officers’ spouses’ club late tonight announced they are willing to issue gay spouse Ashley Broadway and others like her a “special Guest Membership” to their club after originally denying her admittance because she is not a DoD ID card holder.

“In a continued attempt to support all military families, the (Association of Bragg Officers’ Spouses) Board would like to offer Ms. Broadway a special Guest Membership,” the statement released late tonight said.

The original statement did not make clear whether a similar guest membership would be offered to any spouse who applies for the club. Emails requesting clarification on that point were not immediately answered.

UPDATE 1/17: OSC officials later said they will give a similar “guest membership” to any local officer spouse who who can produce a marriage certificate. 

“Guest membership will be extended to anyone with a valid marriage certificate in any state married to an Active Duty Officer in the armed forces residing in the Fort Bragg area,” officials told SpouseBuzz in an email.

Broadway, who was legally married to Lt. Col. Heather Mack in D.C. in November, applied for membership to the Bragg OSC shortly after her wedding. In early December she was informed that because she does not have an ID card she would not be permitted to join.

Because of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, same sex couples are not recognized by the DoD as legally married, and therefore are not given ID cards.

At the time the Association of Bragg Officers’ Spouses (ABOS) president said they would review this issue at their next board meeting. But the board has yet to make a decision. According to the statement signed “The ABOS Board” their bylaws, which do not specifically deny non-IDed spouses, “continue to be under review.”

The statement comes on the heals of a Defense Department decision to not require the club to accept gay members in order to continue operating on post at Bragg. Defense officials said the non-descrimination agreement by which the club must abide does not include any mention of sexual orientation. Because they are not breaking the rule, officials cannot force them to change, they said.

The Marine Corps, however, recently took a different view. Rather than abide by the department-wide policy, they issued a mandate requiring clubs to accept same-sex partners or relocate off-base. According to the story on Military.com, the Corps’ Staff Judge Advocate instructed legal offices through the service to view gay-spouse exclusion as discrimination. “We do not want a story like this developing in our backyard,” he wrote.

In a post here on SpouseBuzz last week I called for the DoD to update their anti-descrimination policy so that no spouses are excluded from the support we desperately want and need. I would hope the Bragg club plans to eventually do the right thing and not just allow gay spouses in a “special guest” members. Because spouses — gay or otherwise — aren’t special guests. We’re all in this big, confusing life together.

Why can’t we start acting like it?

 

About the Author

Amy Bushatz
Amy is the editor in chief of Military.com’s spouse and family blog SpouseBuzz.com. A journalist by trade, Amy also covers spouse and family news for Military.com where she is the managing editor of spouse and family content. An Army wife and mother of two, Amy has been featured as a subject matter expert on CNN.com, NPR, Fox News, NBC, CBS, ABC and BBC as well as in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post. Follow her on twitter @amybushatz.

32 Comments on "Bragg OSC to Issue “Special” Membership to Gay Spouses"

  1. Krystel Spell | January 18, 2013 at 7:52 am |

    In addition she wouldn't be allowed to vote on anything club related.

  2. Disgusting. Just what she want's, to go join a group who basically said we don't want you here, but you can come sit with us anyway. It's those close minded women in the OCS at Fort Bragg who have lost here.

  3. clubs should be allowed to pick who they want. the government should stay out of thier business.

  4. I think they were strong armed , forced , threatened whatever into accepting them

  5. Special favors for homosexuals,female military meetings with the king at the whitehouse,multi-naval officers releaved of command;It all adds up to the democratic party trying to break up the conservative lean in the military.

  6. Separate and unequal is alive at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina.

  7. So Lou, a club (on govt. property) should be able to pick who they want? You are in favor then of excluding someone because of their race or religion as well?

  8. Judgment is coming and it will be swift. Our joke of a military can only last for so long. We will fall.

  9. Please notice it seems like only the female sex wants to disrupt things , the males stay quiet and don't cause problems.

  10. Rafael Merheb | January 18, 2013 at 12:07 pm |

    DoD, does not recognize same sex marriage, do not issue ID's ..but force the officers wife to accept or move out of camp…..Why this woman want to belong to the OWC……

  11. Ouch – y'all are pretty rough! Ease up and let it go. She can probably bring something to the table that may make the little tea party more interesting. Bill

  12. Meh… by the end of the year, DOMA will be dead after the Supreme Court rules it unconstitutional and DoD will return to the rule it always used before DOMA: If a state says it's a marriage, then it's a marriage – and they get spouse benefits. Applied to inter-racial marriages when they were still illegal in some states, applied to child-brides when some states still allowed such things… it's what will go into effect here.

  13. Simple solution to those who think homosexual activity is wrong, is to stop going. Create a new club off-base. As a former officer, I would not go.

  14. MilitaryOfficer | January 18, 2013 at 9:32 pm |

    Bottom line, she's a spouse. She should be allowed in the club with full privileges. What if a male spouse were denied admission? Like it or not, military policy now allows people to serve openly. Many states allow same gender marriage. This is the direction that our military force is moving in. At one point minorities were not allowed to join. Then women were not allowed to join. Later the military became diverse with other cultures and women being allowed to serve. Get over yourselves.

  15. Im over myself about 20 years ago. Its the white Nazi feminist man hating crowd that is not over themselfs. They want to shove the homosexual way of life down my mouth and make me agree with them that gay partners are equal to natural marriage. They cant have kids without a man involved! The human race would have died off long ago if everyone was gay. Lesbians and Gay men offer no benefit to society by being 'married' vs being civil union partners (knock yourself out), they in fact create a tax burden on the rest of us to 'create' an equality that does not and can not exist naturally. Gay marriage failed popular vote in every state it went to the ballot in…and then it gets overturned by federal judges who trample the voters rights to give a hyperpolitical minority rights that dont exist in nature. Constitutional free speech trumps thier rights to 'gayness'; I dont agree, and never will! This is not about race rights, this is not civil rights like the female vote, or rights MLK won for millions of my black brothers and sisters, Its about forcing us to accept thier unnatural BEHAVIOR as natural. The officers club and other clubs can regulate BEHAVIORS, they already do. Get out of the civil rights discussion you putrid rotten white feminist KKK bigots. Homosexuals can't claim equality in a civil rights fight. Civil rights is about unchangable gender or race, not an individuals behavior.

  16. I would just quit the group cause they are not legitimate spouses and this is only happening because people scream homophobia whenever you do something that doesn't support their beliefs. If only we all could get what we want by running to the media and getting them to report one sided stories.

  17. @unidragon: You are equating animals to humans. Animal behaviors are not an excuse to condone animal behavior in humans…its a different level of consciousness and reason. So, who cares about the animals. More to the topic, if a club disagrees with a certain behavior, they do not need to allow the member access. I can't be a member of a country club if I don't golf in a collared shirt. Does the spouses' club need to accept a spouse who's a drug user or alcoholic? No. That's how homosexuals should be viewed…like a drug user or alcoholic…you do not have to accept their lifestyle, and you try to get them help. You can still respect them as a person, but that doesn't require caving to political correctness and condoning "animal-like" behavior into your spouse's club.

  18. Wow so much hate on this board. If your gay and tell me, cool, I'll tell you I'm not gay and I dont care if you are. As long as you pick up that weapon beside you and watch my back while I watch yours, nothing else matters in war. I dont care if you male or female, when the shit hits the fan, as long as your a ready, able and willing soldier to fight for the same things I am fighting for who cares? If you are distracted by a female soldier (or a gay one) then YOU are not doing your job and YOU are not disciplined. Suck it up cupcakes, life is not fair, noone is the same and not everyone in the world will agree with your views. So many other problems in life…grow up.

  19. I would let her in then everyone should walk out anfd start another club off base were the military can't tell you who you have to let in your club.

  20. From some of the hate messages I see posted here I wonder who on earth they actually like. Perhaps other hate mongers like themselves. How did they become such ass—–? Thank God I don't recall knowing anyone like them during my time in service. Maybe they just have to get discharged, grow old, ignorant and self hating to turn out like this.

  21. former GI joe | January 22, 2013 at 9:17 pm |

    My last duty assignment, in 1977, I was in a co-ed barracks. It was exactly like living in a combination whore house. When I see how the gays and lesbians are forcing themselves on the military these days, all I can say is that I'm sure as hell glad I got out when I did.

  22. Any organization operating on a Federal facility (taxpayer funded) is required to abide by federal non-discrimination guidelines – looks like a civil law suit is in the making.

  23. Tolerating change at Ft Bragg

    Mat_10:15 Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.
    Luk_10:12 But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city.

  24. I personally hate the Officer Spouses Clubs. All about what rank your husband is and face-timing with the Alpha Spouse. :( You are almost required to join if you don't want to be looked down on. Meh! They do have some positive points like fund raising; but I think that can be done without having to carry your spouses rank around like a badge of honor.

  25. She doesn't belong in military facilities. She belongs in the Congress or the Administration with her type.

  26. This same issue came up when women began to enter the force in large numbers and the husbands were stay at home and care for the children or held other jobs out side the military. It was resolved with them becoming full members of the Wives Clubs. If the wives have a problem with the organization they have several options, do not join the club, talk there husbands into leaving the service. Spouses are as important to the unit as the service member.

  27. Things change.

  28. Support for our service members are at the top of the list when it comes to their families,it should not matter if that means the spouse is male or female or gay or ''sad''….spouse clubs are there to provide support for spouses, the family ,the base and often times special project no other group can tackle…this lady is a spouse no matter if she has an I.D. or not….she is a partner of this service member and should be able to support her spouse just as the other spouses do…some of the members of the Fort Bragg Club need to get over them selves and remember they don't wear the rank..their spouses do and maybe it's past the time for their group to open up the membership to all ranks and get into this, the real world of today…it's 2013..not the 40's ….after all of this why would this person still want to join and donate her time with such a narrow minded group anyway…..very sad

  29. What's really funny are the folks that think homosexuals in the military are something new. Just because they weren't "out" doesn't mean they weren't there. Clearly they've done their job proudly and well since the beginning with no detriment to our country. Crying like chicken little that the end is near is well past it's prime.

  30. Hey, wait…I'm an enlisted member's wife and I want to join their club. Aren't they kinda discriminating by keeping us enlisted spouses out too? Why is it different? Just because their bylaws say no enlisted shouldn't matter it's discrimination. Why don't all clubs just open their doors to whomever wants to join?? It's all so confusing, why don't we all just get along and make all clubs open to anyone who wants to join. How dare they only want legitimate card carrying officer's spouses in their Officer's Spouse Culb! What is this world coming too? Hmmmmmmm

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