By Trudy Ring
Originally published on Advocate.com January 18 2013 9:01 PM ET
Ashley Broadway, a woman married to a female U.S. Army officer, has been offered a guest membership in a military spouses’ club, but she immediately rejected the offer as “extremely demeaning.”
Broadway, who is married to Lt. Col. Heather Mack, had sought to join the Association of Bragg Officers’ Spouses at Fort Bragg, N.C., but was turned down in December because she lacked a military dependent identification card, although such a card was not required at the time she applied for membership. Earlier this month club officials told Broadway they would consider issuing her a “Friends of Bragg” pass, which does not provide the same access as membership. Then Thursday night, the group emailed her with an offer of a “special guest membership,” which would allow her to attend club functions but not vote on any policies, while its by-laws are under review.
Broadway told NBC News the offer was “extremely demeaning.” She added, “I correlate ‘guest membership’ to saying, ‘Heather, you can be gay and be in the military but we’re not going to treat your spouse as equal.’ I can be in this club but I can’t have full membership? That’s not acceptable. I’m either going to be a member or not. I applied to be a full member with a vote. I am declining their offer.”
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